Big Stuff From Hot Stuff Foods

In an effort to satisfy large groups of customers, Hot Stuff Foods has developed the Big Stuff Crowd Pleaser Pizza, a 52-inch party pizza ideal for “wowing” hearty appetites at football parties, youth sports events, birthdays, family get-togethers and all other gathering of pizza lovers. The new Big Stuff Pizza delivers about $15 of gross profit

Growing the Family Business

Employee Relations Though its owned and operated entirely by the Huppert family, the Team Oil Travel Center employs 16 people from the local Spring Valley, Wis. community. Tony Huppert, CEO and vice president of the company, calls employees and customer service the backbone if Team Oil’s success. Employees are encouraged to learn many interesting and

Always Stay Prepared for the Worst

Several clients have recently challenged us to try to creatively refinance convenience mortgages tied to properties that were acquired over the last several years. These properties were purchased based upon high cash flow multiples of seven times or more–multiples that have become the norm with many transactions around the country. When considered in light of

Executing Background Checks

You’ve certainly heard the old saying: “Our people are our greatest asset.”  We all know what the phrase intends to convey, but, if you think about it, the analogy is clumsy at best. In the real world, assets are things that can be bought, sold or traded, like buildings, equipment, patents, systems and secret ingredients.

Managing Real Estate Operations

The foundations for other industries lay in the product. The film industry pumps out movies. Pharmaceuticals companies manufacture drugs. Publishers print magazines. For convenience stores the world over, the foundation is literally the foundation.   “It comes down to location, location, location, just like in real estate,” said Jeff Lenard, vice president of communications for

Finding the Right Loyalty Fit

Finding the right loyalty program “fit” involves a lot more than simply signing up with the first supplier partner you find. Successful c-store retailers need an up-to-date loyalty solution that fits their budgets, their POS systems and their stores. “We’re just gas people—we don’t understand this stuff,” said Gene Tish, vice president and chief operating

Identifying More Effective Profit-Building Strategies

“In a business like cigars, where unit volume is growing 10% plus year-over-year, emerging strategic thinking in convenience retail suggests that retailers can grow even faster by employing a “price-for-volume” strategy for key products.” David Bishop, partner, Willard Bishop This summer, we examined how convenience retailers could manage the cigar category differently to realize above-market

Satisfying Hunger and Thirst

Anyone who’s ever tried to satisfy an urge to snack with a bag of salty chips knows that you have to have a drink to do it right.  That, of course, is the basis of cross-marketing: linking the desire for one product to a perceived need for another—and offering customers cost-saving deals that combine their

Building Breakfast Sales

Chains like McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have been busy overhauling their foodservice programs to capitalize on the increased demand for breakfast items, described by foodservice experts as the fastest-growing daypart segment. Convenience chains like 7-Eleven, however, are well ahead of the curve already owning a popular line of breakfast items that continues to expand.

Homer Simpson? Hardly!

No one sells food that is both fresh and convenient in the U.S., sniffed a retailing analyst quoted by the London Economist last year. “The typical American convenience store consumer is Homer Simpson.” Oh, really? Tell that to the hundreds of customers who stood in line waiting for giant British food retailer Tesco’s first Fresh

Betting on the Franchise

7-Eleven Timeline 7-Eleven Inc. began almost 81 years ago when a Dallas ice dock operator decided to add milk, eggs and bread in response to his customers’ needs. The company’s first expansion outside Texas was into Florida. The retailer entered the franchising arena in 1964 with the acquisition of Speedee Mart, a chain of franchised

Slam Dunk

The influx of people moving to western North Carolina from the Northeast and Florida—both areas where Dunkin’ Donuts does a booming business—was one reason Citizens Fuel Co. is excited these days to be adding Dunkin’ franchises to at least three of its 10 Citi Stop c-stores. “We felt it was a huge opportunity to fill

Cigars And Moist Smokeless Drive Revenues Even With Concerns Over Tobacco Taxation

The long-predicted demise of cigarettes has not come to fruition, nor is it likely to. But the effect of tobacco taxation and smoking restrictions has made it much more difficult to rely on cigarette sales as the primary category for driving in-store profitability. But don’t read that to mean tobacco is suffering. Retailers are reporting

Competitive Assortment, Lower Prices Accelerate Cigar Growth

New insights on the cigar category reveal that retailers who manage the cigar category more strategically benefit from accelerated growth and a larger share of the market. The data was shared in a Convenience Store Decisions Webcast, sponsored by John Middleton Inc., titled “Cigars: Accelerating Category Profits by Increasing Strategic Focus,” and offered new evidence

Deal Brewing for Couche-Tard?

United They Stand

United El Segundo Inc. Retail arm: United Oil Co. Primary areas of operation: Owns and operates convenience stores in Southern California in addition to maintaining a vast dealer-operated network and a chain of car washes. Long-range plans: Increasing market share while growing store count through new-to-market stores and acquisitions. Established: 1948 Net sales (2006): $1.27

Growing the Business Together

On November 29th of this year, one of the most exciting moments of my publishing career occurred when we, Harbor Communications, closed on the purchase of Convenience Store Decisions from Penton Media. It was quick, exhilarating, and I am thrilled to now be the owner of such a groundbreaking, long-running publication serving this vital market.

New Beginnings

I’d like to begin this month by saying I hope each and every one of you had a happy and healthy holiday season.   It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for us at here at Convenience Store Decisions so I want to take a few minutes to give you all a personal update on the

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