CSD at the Races

NASCAR appeals to millions of race fans across the U.S. Spend any time at a race and you’ll quickly know why. It’s not just the roar of the engines or the intoxicating smell of burning rubber and motor fuel—it’s the intense, high-speed race to be a champion that at any given moment could send one

A Clear Vision

Smoking restrictions, excessive taxes and competition from tax-free sources on Native American reservations and the Internet have proven to be three obstacles too big to overcome for most convenience store retailers. For Smoker’s Express, a seven-store chain based in Fairless Hill, Pa., these obstacles are merely gateways to new sales opportunities. Nestled in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh

Shades of Gray

As Howard Glavin tells it, this whole PCI thing starts to sound more like a job for Ernest Borgnine than it does the information technology department. The Digital Dozen. Nuclear toxic waste. Shades of gray. A former FBI agent turned global manager of PCI at IBM Internet Security Systems (ISS), Glavin turned some smooth analogies

Economic Sign of the Times

Convenience store retailers are no strangers to dealing with adversity. Whether it’s Wal-Mart, finding talented labor or dealing with high gas prices, the industry has persevered by choosing good locations and providing outstanding service to loyal customers. But a downturn in the economy poses a new threat many may not be ready for: loyal customers

The Industry’s Power 25

"AN OUTSTANDING LEADER," "INNOVATIVE," AND "A TRUE VISIONARY." Such high praise could only describe the outstanding leaders guiding the convenience store and petroleum industry during a period of economic turmoil. Convenience Store Decisions is proud to recognize these titans of industry in the second annual Power 25 issue. These influential business leaders were selected for

PCATS Appoints New Executive Director, CEO

The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) has appointed Thomas Oare as its new executive director and CEO, effective Feb. 1, 2009. Oare replaces the present executive director and CEO, John Hervey, who announced his retirement effective Jan. 31. "We are extremely pleased to have found someone with the background and experience of Tom

Fuel Freefall Continues

Gasoline prices continue to plunge with regular grade having now broken below $2 per gallon in numerous metropolitan regions across the U.S., offering a tax break that is certainly welcome news amid the current bleak economic outlook. The primary reason for the freefall from all-time record highs set during the summer is tumbling crude oil

Store Brands Bring Big Bucks

Looking for ways to boost your grocery sales? Sales figures show that in today’s scary economy, shoppers are pinching pennies wherever they can—and one way that’s becoming increasingly popular is buying generic or so-called "house" brands. Gone are the days when generic brands looked, well, generic. Today’s generic brands are more attractively packaged, and the

Grocery Aisles Growing Sales

According to Nielsen’s Gas Monitor Report, when gas prices rose, consumers reacted by limiting the amount of fuel they bought during each visit to the pump. But this trend encouraged more trips to the fuel island. Additionally, higher fuel prices encouraged consumers to shop more at c-stores rather than travel to additional destinations. The economy

Partnering for Perfection

Choosing a branded pizza partner means balancing a complex equation that weighs such factors as product quality, financial and logistical considerations, marketing programs, employee training, ongoing support, brand equity and local competition. Suddenly, a cheese pizza isn’t so simple any more. It’s a complex decision that must be made carefully, said Dan Rotherham, director of

By the Numbers

» 5 Anniversary years the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) is celebrating next month at the annual conference in Orlando. » 17 Sites Smoker Friendly has added to its retail network, including 16 Discount Tobacco Outlets in Alabama and Wallace Oil’s Quickees in La Junta, Colo. » 18 Ohio customers who will win

Foodservice Flexibility

New items that c-stores carry personify the industry’s mission more fully than sandwiches and wraps: convenient, colorful, fast, tasty, inexpensive and full of impulse-sale potential. But the fact that consumers can also find them everywhere—from Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble to Starbucks and every local grocery and convenience store in between—means operators have to get

7-Eleven Leaps into Gaming

Take it from 7-Eleven: Today’s average gamer is not a teenage—he’s in his early 30s and most likely a male. That’s good news for the Dallas-based retailer, whose customer base skews heavily toward males between the ages of 18 and 34. The c-store chain said it’s taking the plunge into video game sales after dabbling

Super-Convenience, Kentucky-Style

While Wal-Mart and Tesco are embroiled in a battle royale over the super-convenience concept on the West Coast, Kentucky-based Houchens Industries has quietly been having its druthers in the college town of Bowling Green, Ky. "This was part of senior management at Houchens coming up with the next generation of grocery-and-convenience store of the future,"

Operations Wake-Up Call

Tougher economic times are pushing convenience retailers to look at how they can improve operations. While cutting costs may be one common theme, savvy retailers are also looking at other avenues to help them stand out among the competition. "The economy changed and that changes how people are buying," said Brooks Blair, owner of Bells

Feel the Power

Convenience Store Decisions is proud this month to present our Power 25 issue. The Power 25 recognizes industry pioneers, association executives and manufacturers that shape the way the convenience store industry operates. These prominent leaders were selected for the lasting contributions they have made to the convenience channel and the impact their influence has on

Three-Mile Marketing

As John Matthews sees it, a store languishing in mediocrity is a store that has become wallpaper in the halls of retail.   "Generally, when starting a business, it’s easy to get people excited when its new and fresh," said Matthews, founder of Chicago-based retail marketing firm Gray Cat Enterprises. "After a few years, though,

Compassion in Convenience

At a Glance: Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Founded in 1964 by Tom Love, Love’s generates approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and has aggressive plans to grow 15 stores annually. Headquarters: Oklahoma City Number of Stores: 200-plus in 33 states Employees: 6,000 Foodservice Brands: Love’s operates 120 QSR’s under multiple national brands including

Freefall Continues

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN Commonly called a tax on American households, gasoline prices continue to plunge with regular grade having now broken below $2 gallon in numerous metropolitan regions across the U.S., offering a tax break that is certainly welcomed news amid the current bleak economic outlook. The primary reason

7-Eleven: Cross-Promotion and Private-Label Devotion

7-Eleven Inc. has teamed with department-store retailer J.C. Penney Co. for a creative cross-promotion while also committing to the expansion of its private-label products, the Dallas Morning News reported. 7-Eleven and J.C. Penney Co. are using the cross-promotion as a test in Dallas-area stores this week, as well as stores in Chicago, Los Angeles and

Cash Room Automation: A “Revolution” Has Begun

Rutter’s Continues Record Growth

Rutter’s Farm Stores is continuing its year of record expansion with today’s opening of a c-store in Chambersburg, Pa. “We’re thrilled to be opening a new store in Chambersburg,” said Scott Hartman, president and CEO at Rutter’s Farm Stores. “It is a vibrant community that fits our brand and product offering well. We have been

Game On

Take it from 7-Eleven: Today’s average gamer is not a teenager – he’s in his early 30s and most likely a male. That’s good news for the Dallas-based retailer, whose customer base skews heavily toward males between the ages of 18 and 34. The c-store chain said it’s taking the plunge into video game sales

Winn-Dixie Adds nFinanSe Discover Network

Stored value and prepaid card program provider nFinanSe said its Discover Network Reloadable Prepaid Card is now available at all 521 Winn-Dixie grocery stores in the southeast. Consumers can purchase the Reloadable Card for $5.95 and load funds at their discretion. No credit check or bank account is required. Consumers can also use the Discover

Truckers Rejoice

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN In less than four months, the national average price for diesel fuel sold at retail outlets went from rapidly marching towards $5 per gallon to now falling below $3 per gallon, with the Department of Energy’s statistical arm, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), reporting a nearly

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