coffeeiced

Seasonal Surge Drives Dispensed Beverages

Cold and frozen dispensed beverages are undergoing some major changes these days that continue to make the category one of the hottest in the convenience store industry. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Spring has sprung and with it comes a renewed focus on cold, frosty and refreshing beverages. For Pat Kelly, purchasing director for Hanover,

Krispy-Chicken-Sandwich-Combo

The Convenience of Co-Branding

Partnering with an established brand can help your chain leap into the foodservice business with a widely-recognized and trusted menu offering. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Foodservice demand is on the rise and competition is fierce for share of stomach sales not only from QSRs, but from grocery stores, other c-stores and even Walgreens. As

Grab&Go

Grab-and-Go Continues to Grow

Consumers are looking for fast service, fresh ingredients and value pricing when choosing a foodservice solution and convenience stores are answering the call with innovative programs that meet the latest food trends. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. The number of consumers purchasing grab-and-go sandwiches and other foods is continuing to rise. Retailers have to be

RollerGrill

Rolling Right Along

Emphasizing quality and a dynamic product assortment has had positive effects on food sales at the roller grill. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Rollers grills can do a lot, but they do not sell for themselves. Managing roller grill food sales is no different from other foodservice categories in that convenience store operators need to

American-Pride5

Getting the Most Out of Your Car Wash

Energy efficient washes can help car wash owners save money, while winning bonus points with customers who value sustainability. By Jim Callahan. Increasing profits at the car wash depends on two tasks: drawing new customers and tempting current customers to increase the frequency of their visits. To succeed with a car wash, you must be

betsi1final

Five Ways to Stop Wasting Cash in Inventory

Scrutinizing expenditures across all areas of the business is a proven method for boosting profitability. By Betsi Bixby, Meridian Associates. When we do business valuations for marketers who want to know what their business or someone else’s is worth, one of the criteria we measure is inventory efficiency. Why? Because inefficient inventory will actually reduce

Best-50th-all

Stop’n Go Celebrates 50 Years

As part of the year-round festivities, stores will hold community events to celebrate their individual anniversaries. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Stop’nGo of Medina Inc. is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year with store celebrations, promotions and customer sweepstakes, among a slew of other exciting commemorative events. Family-owned Stop’nGo operates 10 locations throughout Medina and

customer

Give Stores a Quick Makeover

Checking store sets daily for clutter and cleanliness is a simple solution for enhancing your location’s appearance. By Jim Callahan I went to check on a small convenience store recently that was in need of a little pick-me-up. One of the first things I noticed was the amount of free space the store had along

7-ELEVEN, INC. LOGO

7-Eleven Partners With YooLotto

New App for lottery players tracks tickets and delivers real-time drawing results. YooLotto has announced that version one of its free lottery-management application is now available for download for both iOS and Android devices. Currently supporting Powerball and Megamillions games in Texas, YooLotto is planning a national roll-out for the multi-state games later this year.

kangaroo-express-celebrates-national-coffee-day01

RooCup Returns at Kangaroo Express

Fans can reserve a refillable cup online and start their RooCup summer one week early. Kangaroo Express, operated by The Pantry Inc. has announced that fans of its RooCup can now pre-register to reserve, or rather “ROOserve,” their refillable cups for the summer. The RooCup, a collectible cup refillable with any fountain and frozen beverage

ampm

C-store Chain ampm Offers Collectible Cups

“With a limited supply available at each participating ampm location, collectors will be challenged with the mission of acquiring a complete set,” says ampm marketing vice president. Convenience store chain ampm has joined forces with Blizzard Entertainment to offer customers an exclusive set of collectible cups based on StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, which

JackLinks

Jack Link’s, Seattle Mariners Announce Partnership

Jack Link’s to sponsor team beginning this season; will host bat night giveaway April 27. America’s favorite meat snacks and America’s national pastime: it’s a perfect pairing happening this season and beyond through an exciting new partnership between Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and the Seattle Mariners. Jack Link’s, the No. 1 U.S. meat snack brand,

United

United Supermarkets Growing its C-Store Business

With fresh foods, made-to-order coffee and drive-through service, United Express is meeting the grab-and-go needs of Texas customers. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor United Supermarkets is going all in on its effort to boost its convenience store business by expanding its United Express c-store concept. With two freestanding United Express stores already up and running,

CustomerServiceLarge

Tracking the Trends in 2013

Despite a weakened economy, the convenience store industry posted healthy sales gains in key in-store categories, such as foodservice, snacks, beverages and tobacco products, raising optimism for an even stronger 2013. For all the concerns about reduced consumer spending over the past 15 months, convenience stores experienced another strong year in 2012. Core categories, such

social-media

Squelching Negative Social Media Backlash

Four tips for managing your response if your chain comes under social media assault. By Ashley Verrill, Contributing Editor. Customer service expert, consultant and author Micah Solomon told me recently about one question that consistently dominates group discussion at his public speaking events: “Isn’t my brand and company in danger out there in the social

smokersrule

Defend Against Odor

Smokersrule sanitizing spray is the latest defense product in the battle against smokers. The third-hand smoke movement (the smell) is gaining traction in the workplace and smokers need to be ready. Smokersrule is an atomizing spray pen that is discrete, that easily fits in your pocket and eliminates the cigarette odors on you and your

pos

Opening the Door to Back Office and Mobile Services

With about 235 million Americans using mobile devices (about 50%), according to Comscore, and smartphone usage as ubiquitous as a cold can of beer, it’s easy to see why some retailers are jumping on the mobile-commerce bandwagon. With the growing popularity of PayPal, Square and mobile payment options, retailers are realizing the value in making

e-cig edit

E-Cigarette Use Surging

Hailed by many as an emerging threat to the tobacco cigarette industry, electronic cigarettes have provided smokers with an alternative to traditional tobacco-based smoking. These battery-operated devices simulate the experience of traditional cigarette smoking by supplying the user with a nicotine delivery system, the appearance of smoke upon exhalation and the hand to mouth familiarity

JackLinks

Consumers Craving Meat Snacks

America’s craving for dried protein-rich meat snacks is showing no signs of slacking as jerky sales hit $1 billion and other dried meat snacks $1.1 billion, according to Chicago-based research group SymphonyIRI. During the 52-week period ended Jan. 27, 2013, dollar sales for non-jerky, dried meat snacks grew 5.4%, said Jamil Satchu, a partner with

smokeless

Smokeless Stays Strong and Steady

The smokeless tobacco category provided another solid year for convenience stores in 2012, and all signs indicate that 2013 should remain just as strong.According to SymphonyIRI, total smokeless sales in U.S. convenience stores for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 31, 2012 totaled $4.82 billion, a firm 5.61% increase over 2011. Units sold also jumped 3.39%

carwash

Fuel Customers Looking for Deals and Discounts

Price, deals, discounts and loyalty programs are increasingly influencing where consumers purchase gas, how much they spend and which brands they purchase, according to recent motor fuels research by The NPD Group. Volatile gas prices and a challenging economic environment have taught fuel consumers to seek out deals, discounts and loyalty programs to get the

rutters-loyalty-cardsjpg

Pursuing the Loyalty Factor

In the convenience store industry, successful loyalty programs adhere to a tried-and-true mantra: rewards, recognition and service, said Fred Thompson, a partner specializing in retail services practices at LoyaltyOne Consulting. Offering rewards because everyone is doing it or simply to access customer information is only going to drive the business so far, said Thompson, who

lighters

Lighters Anchor Tobacco Accessories

While electronic cigarettes and moist smokeless tobacco showed strong growth in 2012, tobacco accessories—lighters specifically—also experienced appreciable sales gains. For the 52 weeks ended Dec. 31, 2012, lighter sales in U.S. convenience stores increased 3.18% to $520 million, according to SymphonyIRI. Unit sales decreased slightly 0.33% to 366 million. The average price of a lighter

breakfastbar

Breakfast Gets Better-For-You

When a snacking occasion hits, convenience store customers are reaching for grab-and-go treats, from more healthful energy and food bars to more indulgent cakes and cookies, and the same goes for breakfast. Energy bars did not have wide appeal or distribution as recently as 1990, but over the past two decades these products have since

Cigar_4

Packaging and Flavor Drive Cigars

Cigar sales are holding steady despite increased taxation across many states, thanks to cheaper price points and innovative flavors. Overall, for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 31, 2012, SymphonyIRI reported that cigar sales in convenience stores slipped a modest 3.16% to $2.41 billion. Unit sales were down just 0.84% indicating that increased taxes are eroding

css.php