standing out in the crowd

Aided by its partnership with Valero, Fas Mart and Shore Stop stores are thriving in a tough East Coast market. Just a few years ago, Fas Mart was facing financial uncertainty. With 170 stores, the Mechanicsville, Va.-based chain, which also operates Shore Stop stores, was forced into Chapter 11. But what was a difficult period

what type of marketer are you

Dealer volume has never been more attractive and times have never been better for wholesale marketers considering exiting the industry. I was sitting in my office the other day ruminating that with the recent letter of intent we had just received, I was about to be a man without a jobbership to sell. Fortunately, the

ecrm to focus on core categories

Buying opportunities abound in tobacco, candy and HBC. Retailers looking for great deals and updates on the newest products hitting shelves are going to want to attend ECRM’s convenience market planning session from Jan. 21-24 in Scottsdale, Ariz. The show, focused exclusively on tobacco, general merchandise and health and beauty care, is expected to attract

quickchek growing new york operations

Wins approval in Ulster County for its third convenience store in the state. The Ulster, N.Y., Town Board has granted site plan approval for QuickChek Inc. to build a gas station, convenience store and car wash at the current site of a Mobil gas station and food mart. The approval did not include any action

the dumber they are the harder they fall

Retail hold-ups and robberies serve as a tent pole on the police blotter of just about every local newspaper. And while most of these crimes tend to follow a simple formula-thief holds up store at gun/knifepoint; thief takes money and runs; thief (hopefully) gets caught by the police-some that are a bit more unorthodox and

let the good times flow

New product trends come and goalmost weekly in the conveniencestore industry, but few trends in the last two decades have had the stayingpower of bottled water. Thanks to new twists on the bottledwater segment, such as the introduction offruit flavors and innovative packaging, bottled water sales continue to post some ofthe strongest sales numbers in

securing the front line

Combining both top-of-the-line technology and in-depth training, Circle K is taking strong steps in the field of cash management. Cash management and securityare essential components of anyc-store operation. Retail venues of all types run high risks of robbery—from both internal and externalsources—but c-stores face a higher riskdue to the inherent nature of the business. For

moist smokeless sales continue gains

Category is the only tobacco segment to record year-on-year spikes since 2002. The moist smokeless tobacco(MST) category is the only growingtobacco category, and has been increasing at 4-6% per year consistentlysince 2002. Over the past few years, theMST category has developed three distincttiers (See Figure 1). Tier one (premium)accounts for more than 59% of MST

bringing products to market

“New” is a tricky term when it comes to productions in the convenience channel. Tjere are few actual unique product launches along the lines of Red Bull anymore. The majority of new products comes in the form of line extensions of already popular products. While line extensions help to create a buzz in the marketplace,

a partner you can trust

In the battle to be the first to market with new products,retailers face fierce competition from other industryoperators and cross-channel marketers. Despite the battle for that share of wallet, chains have come to depend ontheir distributors and wholesalers for the information theyneed to make smart business choices. What is important for convenience store owners toremember

the spice of life

As foodservice flourishes, Open Pantry is getting its “fare share” by serving up authentic ethnic dishes. Anyone can throw a littleTabasco sauce in meat, wrap itin a tortilla and say they have a Mexican program. It’s another thing tocull an offer after trekking theSouthwest to find the real deal inauthentic flavors and ingredients, whichis exactly

financing for the future

When examining short- and long-term funding options, experts stress the importance of due diligence. In the summer of 2005, Meridian, Miss.-based DeweeseEnterprises Inc., owner-operator of the Super Stop! convenience store chain, completed a $30 million deal that significantly improved the company’s bottom line. Deweese sold 24Super Stop locations in Mississippi to Realty Income Corp., aNew

decisionmakers

VeraSun Energy Corp., the nation's second-largest ethanol producer, announced two additions to its management team. Bob Antoine willmove into his new role as senior vice president ofhuman resources, bringing more than 25 years ofexperience to the position. Peter Atkins alsojoins VeraSun as the new vice president of mergers and acquisitions. He will be responsible for

hot stuff snaps up lettieris

Hot Stuff Foods (www.hotstufffoods.com) has acquired Lettieri'sInc. (www.lettieris.com ), a manufacturer of ready-made food products. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the companies said the acquisition is being funded by Hot Stuff management, Lettieri's management and Allied Capital Corp. The addition of Lettieri's extends the company's reach to more than 40,000 additional

southeast petrofood show slated for march

The Southeast Petro-Food Marketing Exposition will be holding its 26th regional show March 7-8, 2007, at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The expo, started by the North Carolina Petroleum MarketersAssociation in 1981, is the largest regional c-store/petroleum show in the nation, and is sponsored by the following five associations: North Carolina

on the road with kwik trip

In her continued quest to speakwith retailers excelling in their markets of operations, CSD publisher Shahla Hebets traveled to La Crosse,Wis., to meet with Steve Loehr, vicepresident of operations support forKwik Trip Inc. Loehr is a savvy industry veteranwith many years of service to Kwik Tripand the convenience store industry.His efforts through the years were

valero celebrates in style

CSD honors the San Antonio marketer as its 2006 Chain of the Year. In this age of cut-throat competition, fewchains are able to rise above theacrimony to stand out as a model corporate citizen. Valero Energy Corp. isat the top of that list, and that’s why itwas no surprise that more than 300retailers and suppliers

mclane delivers the goods

Sam Anderson operates in one of the most competitivemarkets in the country. Rather than fret about thedaunting task of outselling the likes of Sheetz, Wawa and GetGo, he is focused on utilizing the tools at his disposalto put Pump n Pantry in a position to trump the competition. Anderson, vice president of store operations for

the brightest in 2006

For the past 12 months, Convenience Store Decisions has showcased some of the best and brightest category managementdecision makers from across the convenience store and petroleum industry. As 2006 comes to a close and the industry gearsup for what everyone hopes will be a prosperous 2007, CSD takes a look back at some of the

tomorrows success begins today

The time to create a winning game plan for attracting and retaining top employees is right now. I’ve been talking with two friendsabout the possibility of running theChevron Houston Marathon together this January. We kicked the ideaaround for a couple of months, butdidn’t actually sign up. When I finally checked out the raceinformation online, our

a uniform approach to marketing

Enhancing employee image can help operators create a unique niche in the market. After consumers’ positive reactions to its “I’m Lovin’ It” advertising campaign, it was rumored that McDonald’s was in talks with some of the world’s best-known clothing labels&—Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ Sean John line, Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. and Giorgio Armani to name

a culture of caring

Ask any retailer in the industry what sets them apart—what’s their most valuable asset—and almost everyone will say “our people.” But for San Antonio-based-Valero Energy Corp., it’s more than just lip service. Led by Chairman Bill Greehey, Valero has created a corporate culture that permeates its rank-and-file and makes employees feel like they’re doing more

credit relief is past due

The cost some retailers are paying on credit card fees is crippling, but a panel of retailers and industry experts said relief may be on the way. Convenience Store Decisions, with the help of ISD Corp. and the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), hosted a Webcast Sept. 19 to discuss the ever-increasing credit card

ultralow sulfur diesel what you need to know

The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association/Illinois Association of Convenience Stores (IPMA) addresses common misconceptions about ultra-low sulfur diesel. Oct. 15 was a significant milestone in the nation’s transition to Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) 15-ppm sulfur fuel. Prior to Oct. 15, petroleum terminals were permitted to downgrade (to 500-ppm sulfur LSD) as much ULSD as they wanted.

cheers to valero

Let me take you back to a small convenience store in an unassuming San Ramon, Calif. neighborhood. That's where Valero's retail operations began in earnest seven years ago. There was no fanfare, and hardly any press coverage, save for one reporter from New York making the cross-country trip to get the story. In retrospect, I'm

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