Wal-Mart Slowing New Growth

As part of its growth plan, Wal-Mart’s U.S. division plans to spend more on remodeling existing stores and less on opening new ones, according to MarketWatch.com. Capital spending for Wal-Mart’s U.S. presence is expected to drop by about a third to $5.8 billion to $6.4 billion for 2009, down from $9.1 billion in 2008, Eduardo

NPD: Restaurant Deals Trigger Modest Gains

Discounted prices, dollar menus and other promotions are driving customer traffic and keeping the restaurant industry in the black, according to Chicago-based market research company The NPD Group. NPD said total restaurant industry traffic was up 1% for the quarter ending August 2008, with the modest gain driven almost entirely by deals and discounts. As

Manitowoc Completes Enodis Acquisition

Wisconsin-based Manitowoc Company Inc. said it has completed the acquisition of Enodis plc, a designer and manufacturer of commercial foodservice equipment. The $2.7-billion acquisition establishes Manitowoc among the world’s top manufacturers of commercial foodservice equipment, though the company also makes cranes and lifting solutions for the global construction industry. The Manitowoc-Enodis integration creates a company

Ahold May Expand Giant Brand

Dutch retail group Ahold said it plans to expand its Giant chain in the U.S. with the launch of Giant and Go convenience stores, Just-Food reported. A spokesperson for the company told a Just-Food reporter that the new format, which will be launched in Lancaster, Pa., will feature eight fuel pumps and a selection of

Mike And Ike Adds Berry Blast Variety

Mike and Ike candy-maker Just Born Inc. has introduced some new flavors to its Berry Blast variety, including strawberry, peach berry, wild berry, blueberry and blue raspberry. Mike and Ike’s Berry Blast flavors will be available in March. “We are excited about the new Mike and Ike Berry Blast variety,” said Donald Houston, senior brand

Truckstop Diesel Volumes Increase

Diesel volumes at truckstops increased in September over 2007 volumes, according to a fuel survey conducted by NATSO, an association representing 1,100 truckstops and travel plazas. The September results marked the first year-over-year increase in diesel sales volumes since April and followed a sharp 7.8 percent decline in August. NATSO’s survey showed that diesel sales

Fuel Continues to Tumble

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN In a growing number of metropolitan markets, gasoline prices at retail outlets have fallen below their price a year ago, and are still headed lower as demand tumbles on driver conservation and amid a troubled economy. Wholesale markets are factoring in greater decreases in gasoline prices,

Cenex Adds Gift Card Program

CHS Inc. has launched a new Cenex Winter Gift Card Campaign, just in time for retailers to capitalize on an expected increase in demand for gift cards that can be used to pay for household essentials. The winter campaign includes all new in-store merchandising, three fresh gift card designs and professional installation services for retailers,

Worsley Expands with TNS

Worsley Operating Corp. is extending its broadband network to cover the Lil Cricket brand it acquired earlier this year, after signing a new deal with Transaction Network Services. The new deal builds on the success Worsley has achieved with TNS’ FusionPoint solution since switching to broadband just two years ago. Based in Wilmington, N.C., Worsley

Fresh & Easy Adds 11 Stores in Arizona

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market said it has announced the locations of an additional 11 Fresh & Easy markets in Arizona. The convenience chain, a spinoff of UK-based Tesco, has 26 stores operating in that state, with another store scheduled to open Nov. 13. All 11 of the newly announced sites are in Phoenix and

Cumberland Assists Food Drive

Canton, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms is partnering with the 4-H organization in that state for a food drive to benefit food pantries, the Boston Globe reported. The food drive will run through Nov.15, allowing residents to drop off non-perishable food at any of the 190 Cumberland Farms stores in Massachusetts, the Globe reported. The 4-H members

Altria Revenues Up

Altria Group Inc. said its third-quarter diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were up 15% versus the third quarter last year ($0.46 versus $0.40), while net revenues increased 5% to reach $5.2 billion. The company’s operating income increased 8.8% to $1.3 billion, primarily driven by higher operating companies income and lower general corporate expenses.

Commonwealth Bolstering Sales Force

Kentucky-based Commonwealth Brands Inc. has announced plans to “significantly expand” its U.S. sales force. A wholly owned subsidiary of UK-based Imperial Tobacco Group, Commonwealth is currently the fourth-largest cigarette and fine-cut tobacco manufacturer in the U.S. The announcement comes 18 months after Imperial acquired Commonwealth, and follows the introduction of several new brands to the

Children of the Corn?

A new survey by Mintel researchers indicates that health trends are beginning to impact awareness, and the “eat fresh” concept may be making headway with today’s youth. Indeed, the survey suggests adolescent’s food perceptions and actual eating habits may not be as dire as many adults thought. Asked why they eat what they eat, Mintel

Food-purchase Quantity, Quality Taking A Hit

A new survey by Princeton, N.J.-based Opinion Research Corp. said 67% of people polled nationwide feel that food prices have increased significantly in the last year, and 58% say they’ve had to make cuts to food purchases as a result, the Atlanta Business Journal reported. The New Jersey firm conducted the survey for Minnesota-based Hormel

Slashing The Price To Zero

"We never thought this day would come," said Tony Jacobs, vice president of marketing for Dr Pepper. "But now that it’s here all we can say is: The Dr Pepper’s on us." Dr Pepper is aiming to give free soda coupons to every American when the new Guns N’ Roses album is released on Nov.

ICA Names New Executive Director

The International Carwash Association (ICA) Board of Directors said Associate Executive Director Eric Wulf will assume the role of Executive Director and CEO effective Jan. 1, 2009. Wulf succeeds Mark Thorsby who served as executive director of the organization for more than 15 years. “We are thrilled to see Eric take the reigns of the

Capital Oil & Gas Acquires 16 Sites

Florida-based Capital Oil & Gas said its senior management has agreed to acquire and lease 16 retail locations, including retail gasoline stations that have convenience stores and fast-food operations. The decisions jives with the company’s overall strategy to become a key retailer for consumer-related petroleum products, such as the “lucrative ancillary consumer services” found in

ConocoPhillips Profits Rise

Houston, Texas-based ConocoPhillips posted a 41% profit increase to exceed analyst estimates after gains in petroleum prices made up for a drop in production, Bloomberg news reported. ConocoPhillips said its third-quarter net income of $5.19 billion, or $3.39 per share, compared to $3.67 billion ($2.23 per share) in the same quarter last year. Revenues were

Hot Stuff Foods Unveils ‘Store of the Future’

Hot Stuff Foods unveiled its Store of the Future at the 2008 NACS Show in Chicago this past month, a program offering an entirely new food-solutions initiative. It’s designed to provide multiple food solutions, or “touch points,” for increased convenience and store profitability, says Neal Hollingsworth, Hot Stuff’s executive vice president of marketing. “The six-point

Atlas Oil Named a “Top Workplace”

Atlas Oil Co., a c-store and petroleum marketer and distributor in 17 states, is standing tall after being voted by the Detroit Free Press as one of the newspaper’s top employers in the Detroit market. The 2008 “Top Workplace” list identifies the leading workplaces based upon employee opinions. Atlas emerged as one of the standouts

Fuel Falling Fast

Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN Retail gasoline prices across the U.S. continue to move lower at the fastest rate in history, with consumers in many parts of the country already pulling up to pumps showing gasoline below $3 gallon. The national average is poised to break below $3 gallon, which would be

Spicing Up Roller Grill

Lettieri’s customers are finding out that less can mean more–more roller grill space, more customer choices and more profit potential–that’s because Lettieri’s has added a smaller (6-inch) version of its popular Stuffed Bread Stix to the menu. The new six-inch Stuffed Bread Stix allows more facings on a roller grill, thus maximizing space and allowing

IBWA Announces Industry Awards

Leaders in the bottled water industry were recognized by the International Bottled Water Association at the organization’s 2008 IBWA Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas this month. IBWA recognized its 2008 Award recipients for Route Salesperson of the Year, Plant Manager of the Year and Director’s Awards and Environmental Stewardship. New this year was

Spicing Up Roller Grill

Lettieri’s customers are finding out that less can mean more–more roller grill space, more customer choices and more profit potential–that’s because Lettieri’s has added a smaller (6-inch) version of its popular Stuffed Bread Stix to the menu. The new six-inch Stuffed Bread Stix allows more facings on a roller grill, thus maximizing space and allowing

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