Progress in Processing

Convenience store operators’ turbulent relationship with the credit card industry is set to enter a new phase in 2009 as a pair of legislative initiatives—one for consumers, the other a point of serious contention for retailers—come front and center. From both angles, facing off with credit card companies over the huge profits they’ve been reaping

Keeping Costs in Check

Cutting costs won’t necessarily bring more customers into your store, but it will boost your bottom line. And though heaven knows costs are tough to cut these days, there is one way convenience retailers can save a bundle—by lowering food waste. C-store retailers seeking to win more customers by expanding food offerings should become vigilant

Getting (and Keeping) Customers Inside

Looking for ways to keep your customers coming into your store? You’re not alone. Consumers may understand that convenience retailers need to raise prices, but that doesn’t stop them from buying elsewhere, especially when it comes to buying prepared food. “Food is certainly a good draw, but it’s one of several important factors,” said Sandy

Chicken Facts

Though fried chicken remains the category leader, rotisserie-cooked chicken is rapidly growing in popularity. Results from the annual Consumer Market for Chicken 1,000 Household Survey show that 23% of respondents had purchased rotisserie chicken in four weeks prior to the survey. Results also showed that 25- to 34-year-olds are the least likely to have made

Unleashing the Profit Potential of Meat Snacks

C-store operators need to transcend mere impulse merchandising and gain a real understanding of shifting consumer demographics in order to make the most of the meat snack category. Long considered a convenience store staple, meat snacks—primarily dried snacks and pork rinds—are enjoying a renaissance with the addition of many new flavors, new packaging and better

Drinking For Thinking

Whether they’re touting benefits such as arthritis relief, tanning power or sedation, functional beverages have long surpassed the passé point of added nutrition.  You can divvy up the functional beverage category any way you want: Brain-power libation like Brainiac, by Function Drinks; arthritis-battling brew like Joint Juice, by Joint Juice Inc.; or the sun-tanning stew,

Ruler Cooler

Sarah Jackson and David Oberman may not realize it, but as a pair they embody a curious trend in the c-store industry’s packaged beverage category these days. “I used to drink energy drinks every day,” said Oberman, 20, standing outside a TravelCenters of America on Interstate 90 at the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. “I was an energy

Chevron Honored as 2008 Chain of the Year

It’s been a challenging year for convenience store operators, marked by wild fuel price fluctuations and exorbitant credit card fees. Despite the adversity, Chevron stood apart as one of the premier industry leaders. By advancing its Image Refresh program, growing the Texaco brand and introducing a no-fee credit card for its branded marketers, it was

Cenex Adds Gift Card Program

CHS Inc. has launched a new Cenex Winter Gift Card Campaign designed to help Cenex-branded retailers increase traffic and build incremental sales. The winter campaign includes all new in-store merchandising, three fresh gift card designs and professional installation services for operators, said Rick Cummings, vice president of refined fuels marketing for St. Paul, Minn.-based CHS.

Avoiding ‘The Checkerboard Effect’

Unlike grocery store shoppers, c-store consumers view the entire store as “one large department with a bunch of pockets of stuff,” said John Clutts, retail practice leader for The Partnering Group in Columbia, Md.  This may be something operators focusing on specific sections may not get. The mistake he finds when he walks into c-stores

Setting the Standards

On a Thursday afternoon in October, Salt Lake City native Brandon Frampton ditched the office, rolled up his sleeves and joined ranks with a handful of front-line Pantry employees at a store in North Carolina.  Frampton, 38, hadn’t been vice president of foodservice for the Sanford-based Pantry chain for more than two weeks, and already

Certified Oil Begins Reimaging

Recognizing a need to update its retail image, offer an expanded array of products and services and attract more women, Certified Oil has launched a multimillion-dollar redesign of its convenience store and petroleum network. The company also said it is developing a prototype design for a new brand of Certified convenience stores. The reimaging project

BP’s Midwest Shuffle

Petroleum suppliers and c-store operators Ricker Oil Co., of Anderson, Ind., and Atlas Oil Co., of Taylor, Mich., were the big winners last month as part of BP’s plan to sell off its Midwest retail assets.  Ricker Oil President Jay Ricker, who owns and operates 29 Ricker’s Convenience Stores throughout Indiana, said he more than

Finding Balance

Whether it’s maneuvering the fine line between hard work and spending enough quality time with the wife and kids or walking home after one too many at the local pub, finding the right balance is the crucial difference separating success from a split lip. In his poignant memoir, “From Smart to Lucky: Leadership Lessons from

Game Changers: Lessons Learned From the Election

The 2008 Presidential election will go down as one of the most dynamic elections in U.S. history. I have lived in my neighborhood for 10 years and have never seen an election that brought more diverse signage dotting the lawns around my home. The most interesting representation of this: A nearby house displayed signs for

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