Chicken Delight

Village Pantry celebrated the grand opening of its newest Chester’s Chicken in the Indianapolis area yesterday. This is Chester’s third restaurant to open with Village Pantry in the market. “Chester’s is a great opportunity for Village Pantry to help grow its strong food service programs with the highest quality Fried Chicken and side dishes to

Diamonds in Your Own Backyard

While searching for the magic bullet to grow your business, don’t forget about the extensive pool of customers the competition is attracting. I had the genuine great fortune of being hired, trained, nurtured and guided for several years by legendary NACS Hall of Fame member and wonderful friend, Robert E. “Bob” Seng. Many remember Bob

Xtreme Peptime Mini-White Liquid Sport Pack

DMD Pharmaceuticals introduces the new Xtreme Peptime Mini-White Liquid Sport Pack.  This 12ml Sport Pack provides an easy to open rip top for those on-the-go consumers.  This dietary supplement contains vitamin B, caffeine, and taurine.  This convenient blend of vitamins and energizers is formulated for an instant energy rush lasting for hours.  The new Liquid

Pep Up Store Sales

Pep Up Store Sales DMD Pharmaceuticals introduces the new Xtreme Peptime Mini-White Liquid Sport Pack. This 12ml Sport Pack provides an easy to open rip top for those on-the-go consumers. This dietary supplement contains vitamin B, caffeine, and taurine. This convenient blend of vitamins and energizers is formulated for an instant energy rush lasting for

Vote for Convenience Store Decisions’ Power 25

It time once again to vote for Convenience Store Decisions’ Power 25! The Power 25 recognizes industry pioneers, association executives, lawmakers and other influential figures that shape the way the convenience store industry operates. These prominent leaders are being selected for the lasting contributions they have made to the convenience channel and the impact their

Hide ‘em or Flaunt ‘em?

Wisconsin architectural historian Jim Draeger figures two schools of thought exist in American towns where gas stations or c-stores are introduced. He calls these schools the “hide ‘em or flaunt ‘em approaches.” In the “hide ‘em” school, town planners want gas stations or c-stores to adopt architectural flavors that reflect the community’s subjective tastes. Colors,

Express Rewards

Looking for a new tax accountant? How about a local bakery? The search may be a little easier—and more lucrative—thanks to the highly successful loyalty marketing program at Express Convenience Stores. The 19-store Wisconsin-based chain, which is operated by US Oil Co. Inc. and has units from Oshkosh to Green Bay, launched its GoFor Rewards

Creating Loyal Customers

Faced with rapidly escalating costs, cutthroat commodity pricing and broader competition, the time is right for convenience stores to adopt more aggressive loyalty marketing programs that will attract new customers and reward existing ones. For nearly 80 years, loyalty and frequent shopper plans have proven to be highly effective promotional and brand-building tools for businesses

CITGO Chooses FleetCor

Fleet Card Facts There are an estimated 650,000 fleets in the U.S. for a total of nine million vehicles. Currently, fleet cards are the fastest growing segment of MasterCard’s business. Most fleet cards offer valuable and robust reporting/management tools The tools can track mile-per-gallon variances, driving patterns, fuel purchases, calculate various tax exemptions and more.

Driving New Profits

Fleet Card Facts There are an estimated 650,000 fleets in the U.S. for a total of nine million vehicles. Currently, fleet cards are the fastest growing segment of MasterCard’s business. Most fleet cards offer valuable and robust reporting/management tools The tools can track mile-per-gallon variances, driving patterns, fuel purchases, calculate various tax exemptions and more.

Beer Sales Continue to Surge

Arecent report by a.C. Nielsen shows beer sales are least affected by the current poor economy. The Brewers Association concurred, finding in the first half of this year that craft beer sales rose 11% over 2007. Neither statistic surprised Tim Cote, vice president of marketing for Beaverton, Ore.-based Plaid Pantries Inc. “Beer generally performs well

Philip Morris USA Pulls High-Tech Filter Cigarettes

Philip Morris USA, the nation’s No. 1 tobacco company, has ended test markets of Marlboro-branded cigarettes that use a high-tech filter. The operating company of Altria Group Inc. said it pulled the plug on Marlboro Ultra Smooth, which uses an activated carbon filter. The company had stopped making new shipments of Marlboro Ultra Smooth to

Tobacco’s Cloudy Future

Selling tobacco products at retail continues to get harder—this time because of H.R. 1108, the Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act, which passed overwhelmingly in the House on July 30 and would, if it becomes law, be the first time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulatory authority over tobacco manufacturing and retailing.

Onboarding: The Key to Valued Employee Retention

Branding, corporate identity and corporate image are just a few of the buzzwords the folks in the marketing department use to describe the basic building blocks of a comprehensive business development plan. What these terms have in common is that they’re all about communications. Simply put, as every convenience retailer knows, the world won’t beat

Prototypes with Plasticity

The successful development of a convenience store prototype is a bit like an exercise in finding one’s soul.  Half the soul-searching is done through scrupulous examination of all the internal components, while the rest is done by accounting for all the external forces that perpetually shape the inside. Sound spiritual and cryptic? Maybe just a

Driving Traffic with New Products

Increased channel blurring is making it tougher for convenience stores to retain existing customers—and harder yet to develop loyalty in new ones. With drug stores like Walgreens and Rite Aid now selling beer and wine, Dunkin’ Donuts offering a wide array of drinks, and fast feeders continuing to gobble up market share by offering consumers

Looking at the Future Face of America

Continued ethnic population growth is making ethnic consumers one of the most sought-after demographics in the American retail grocery market. While the following demographic facts and expectations are based on U.S. census bureau data, the variety within each ethnic population means retailers need to tailor the ethnic food products they carry as closely as possible

Food Sales: Keeping Current and Competitive

Too many consumers still think Famima is a Japanese specialty foods marketer, admitted Hidenari Sato, executive vice president of the Los Angeles-based convenience store chain. However, while Famima stores are attracting more and more new customers every day to correct this misperception, the fact that Famima has a notoriously great sushi program is a tremendous

Alon Emerges

Alon USA At a Glance: Alon USA is a Dallas-based independent refiner and marketer majority owned by Alon Israel Oil Co. Ltd. It was formed in 2000 when Alon Israel purchased the downstream operations of Atofina Petrochemical. Today, Alon owns and operates the Fina fuel brand and Southwest Convenience Stores LLC (SCS), the largest 7-Eleven

Mapping Atlas’ Technology

Maher Najjar may be the new guy at Atlas Oil Co., but he leans on an old saying to illustrate the technological challenges he knows loom on the horizon for the c-store industry. "You have to know where you are before you know where you’re going," said Najjar, who after just three months at Taylor,

When Grocery Meets Gas, Customers Swoon

Terry Johnson figured the Uppy’s convenience store chain was on to something good when folks started chatting to each other at the gas pumps. "Nobody does that, unless you know somebody else," said Johnson, vice president of marketing at the Richmond, Va.-based Uppy’s. "It’s kind of like when you’re in an elevator—you just don’t talk

Altria Lands UST

On paper Altria Group’s estimated $11.7-billion deal to acquire UST Inc. is a deal for the ages that will meld its powerhouse Marlboro line with the immensely popular Skoal and Copenhagen smokeless tobacco brands. The combination of Altria, parent company to Philip Morris USA, and UST, creates the premiere tobacco company in the U.S. with

Ready to Go

Shame it isn’t as simple as signing on the dotted line. "You’d think," said Lynn Mitchell, one of six owners at the new RediGo Food Mart chain in Lake County, Ohio, "that we could sit down, have a few beers and come up with a name." But then you’d be thinking like someone who never

What’s your “WOW” Factor?

A retailer needs three elements to deliver great service: a warm welcome, a magic moment and a fond farewell. These elements are fundamental for companies like Ritz Carlton and Disney, as well as the growing chain of Waffle House restaurants. Disney, of course, has been a leader in customer service for decades, having more or less

Overcoming Adversity

Good things happen to good people. That’s an axiom we’ve all heard from the moment we were able to distinguish right from wrong. For Jeff Morris, president and CEO of Alon USA, that was a concept he struggled to wrap his brain around eight months ago. Morris has enjoyed a reputation as a great leader

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