Staying Alive: Planning to Thrive!by Jim Callahan, Convenience Solutions

Staying Alive: Planning to Thrive! Staying Alive is both the title of an old disco tune, as well as a description of the challenge that today’s c-store operators face. C-store growth in numbers as well as quality continues unabated. I certainly don’t have all the answers about staying relevant, but I have some very interesting

Tomlinson Industries Acquires New Facility

<p> Tomlinson Industries has purchased of a new manufacturing/warehouse facility in Macedonia, Ohio. The building is 72,000 square feet with area for potential further growth. As a result, all production and warehousing for the foodservice products division will be relocated to Macedonia, the company said. Consolidating foodservice operations will allow for greater control of product

BP Sell-Off Continues

As part of its transition to a franchise-based business, BP said it has put up for sale 78 stores in the Chicago market. The British oil company now has hundreds of stores available through sealed-bid auctions managed by NRC Realty Advisors LLC across the country. Of the 78 Chicago sites, 65 are available for franchise,

Private Label Potential

A new benchmark study conducted by Retail Systems Research (RSR), and sponsored by Eqos, titled, "PLM Squared: Product Lifecycle Management Powers Private Label Merchandise" reports on key industry trends that have affected private label programs during the past two years. Additionally, this report identifies best practices implemented by the most successful retailers and offers recommendations

Wright Express to Acquire Pacific Pride

Wright Express Corp. reached a deal to acquire certain assets of privately held Pacific Pride Services Inc. for approximately $32 million in cash. The deal will be financed through the company’s existing credit facility and is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2008. The U.S. fleet fuel distributor channel represents

VERC Expands Portfolio

VERC Enterprises, operator of 20 stores throughout Eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire, acquired a new location in Westin, Mass. VERC Weston Mobil is currently operating as a gasoline station, but the company hopes to expand services at the unit. VERC Enterprises CEO Leo Vercollone is working with Weston officials in the hopes of obtaining permitting

Jenny Bullard Named Chair of PCATS

Jenny Bullard, the chief information officer of Flash Foods in Waycross, Ga., was named chairwoman of the board of directors of the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS), succeeding Devin Bates of Stripes Convenience Stores in San Angelo, Texas. Bullard, who oversees the technology systems at 176 stores, is the first female to hold

Open Pantry Promotes Fiene, Schutz

Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin, Inc., operator of 26 stores in Wisconsin and Illinois, announced two moves to solidify its executive team. Jim Fiene, the former senior vice president of the Pleasant Prairie, Wis. chain, was promoted to chief operating officer, effective Feb. 6. "Jim Fiene has dramatically contributed to up-imaging our company during

Wis. Sued Over Gas Competition Law

The state of Wisconsin is being sued in federal court over a law designed to ensure fair competition among gas station owners. The filing comes after a federal judge ruled in another lawsuit last year that the law is unconstitutional. In documents obtained by the Associated Press, Flying J filed a new lawsuit Jan. 29

Tensions Boiling Over in Petro-Canada Lock Out

Employees at a Montreal oil refinery are calling on the public to boycott Petro-Canada in support of the 260 workers locked out since November. The lockout was a reaction by Petro-Canada to a year of strained contract negotiations with the Communications, Energy and Paper Workers Union (CEP) regarding contract requirements and safety concerns in the

Coke Makes Honest Investment

The Coca-Cola Co. and Honest Tea Inc. completed a deal giving Coca-Cola approximately 40% interest in the fast-growing maker of certified organic beverages, including the best-selling Honest Tea brand. Coca-Cola may elect to buy, and the remaining Honest Tea shareholders may elect to sell to Coca-Cola, the outstanding interest not currently owned by Coca-Cola in

Consumers Weary Over Fuel Price

Despite a flailing U.S. economy, gasoline prices are the leading factor in changing American consumer spending, according to a NACS survey. Results found 45% of U.S. consumers said soaring gasoline prices have affected their spending more than rising energy and food costs, the slumping economy or the national mortgage and lending crisis, the survey found.

Jeff Parker Takes Reigns at Kwik Shop

Jeff Parker today was named president of Kroger’s Kwik Shop convenience store division. He will oversee 131 Kwik Shop stores in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. Parker previously served as senior vice president of operations for the Hutchinson, Kan.-based c-store chain and was the corporate controller for Kroger’s c-stores, Turkey Hill Dairy, and supermarket petroleum operations

7-Eleven Promotes Fresh-Brewed Coffee

The company that invented coffee-to-go some 40 years ago and sells at least a million cups a day is launching a multi-million-dollar “freshness guaranteed” advertising blitz in February. With taglines like “Our coffee’s fresher than your average Joe” and “Guaranteed fresh or we’ll brew it new,” 7-Eleven, Inc. plans to educate coffee drinkers about the

Nabisco Introduces Wine, Cheese & Cracker Pairings

Kraft Foodservice’s Nabisco Website (www.kraftfoodservice.com/crackers) is featuring new wine, cheese and cracker pairing tips to help operators increase margins and sales. Convenience store operators can use these pairing guides to develop catering and special events menus, and to identify spectacular pairings and flavors to keep patrons coming back for more. Developed by Lorraine Hems, a

7-Eleven Extends Gilbarco Agreement

7-Eleven, Inc. has extended its dispenser purchasing agreement with Gilbarco Veeder-Root through December 2010. The company will continue to purchase Gilbarco Encore dispensers, which offer the widest range of models for alternative fuels, advanced security and payment options. "Gilbarco dispensers have been an important part of our successful interaction with customers at the fuel island,"

Famima to Diversify U.S. Portfolio

Famima USA, a subsidiary of Japan’s second-biggest convenience store operator, FamilyMart Co., is shifting its U.S. retail strategy to open more outlets in middle-class U.S. neighborhoods to make the unit profitable by February 2012, said President Junji Ueda. Since opening its first U.S. store in West Hollywood, California, in 2005, FamilyMart has tried to set

Strong Quarter for The Pantry

The Pantry Inc., operator of 1,644 stores in 11 states under brands such as The Pantry and Kangaroo Express, reported sharp gain in first quarter revenues. For the quarter, revenues jumped to approximately $2 billion, a 43.2% increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Net income was $3.2 million compared to just $125,000 a

Elegance and Strength

Rose Displays Ltd. introduces its new line of aluminum AnoPro Holders, a hanging option especially well suited for large graphics. The new holders feature a bold, rounded profile, 1.5 inches in width, making them an ideal option for displaying the largest graphics while retaining an elegant appearance. They are available in sizes ranging from five

Twix Coffee Break

The pursuit of java-flavored food and beverages continues to be a hot trend percolating throughout U.S. culture. Twix, a Mars Snackfood US candy brand, is raising the bar on America’s coffee-flavor craze by introducing Twix Java with real espresso beans and coffee-flavored caramel. The limited-edition candy bar, available in stores nationwide through February 2008, is

Sugar-Free Valentine

This Valentine’s Day, candy maker Just Born Inc., introduces PEEPS Sugar-Free Marshmallow Hearts. Also available are a range of PEEPS Marshmallow Hearts and heart stopping HOT TAMALES and MIKE AND IKE Brand Candy Cards. PEEPS Sugar-Free Hearts were designed to meet the needs of consumers seeking sugar-free and reduced sugar products. PEEPS Sugar-Free products are

Flowers Foods Introduces 100-Calorie Snack Items

Flowers Foods Specialty Group introduces two 100-calorie snack items: Mini Creme-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes and Mini Blueberry Muffins, that deliver great taste and meet new nutritional guidelines. Each 100-calorie pack contains three mini cupcakes or muffins in a trim package that fits great in candy slots. The mini chocolate cupcakes are topped with chocolate icing and

Ribs with BBQ Sauce

Broaster Recipe is jumping into the fully-cooked product segment with the launch of Pork Loin Back Ribs with BBQ Sauce. Individually quick frozen and conveniently packed in two five-pound pouches per case, these ribs offer a restaurant quality product that’s sure to please. Foodservice operators simply heat ‘n serve from a microwave, convection, or conventional

Hot New Bread Line and Pizza Toppings

Hot Stuff Foods has improved and expanded customer choices for both its Hot Stuff Foods, Smash Hits Deli and Smash Hit Subs brands. The company has rolled out two new signature breads including: • Sundried Tomato Basil • Three-Cheese flavored with Asiago, Romano and Parmesan cheeses. "We’ve improved our original white and wheat breads by

Hall of Fame Wine

Legendary quarterback Dan Marino has teamed with Charity Wines to raise funds for children with developmental disabilities. For every bottle of Vintage 13 from Marino Estates sold, $1.25 will be donated to The Dan Marino Foundation to help children with chronic disorders. The wines are available in three varieties: Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. "This

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