a different world

Technological advances in Asia could have far-reaching implications on the U.S. convenience industry, from cell phone payment to RFID to the networked store. It’s one thing when your grandmother, who still favors the rotary telephone, is impressed by technology. It’s another when it’s Scott Hartman. President of Rutter’s Farm Stores, a 50-unit chain based in

campus competition

From coast to coast, colleges and universities operate campus convenience stores, offering everything from entres to organics— and, they say, they’re not in it for the money. Forget Ramen noodles and those little boxes of cereal that wouldn’t satisfy a baby’s grumbling stomach. The college convenience store has evolved into much more. Consider Harvard University,

a fresh look

NOCO Express is steadily redesigning its upstate New York locations, while BP has converted a dozen South Florida stores to its popular am/pm brand. What was once a two-bay, NOCO Express gas station tucked in the historic village of Williamstown, N.Y., is now nothing if not top of the line. The fourth of NOCO Energy

designing a security strategy

Regarded as an innovator in employee safety, Tesoro spares no expense when it comes to protecting the perimeter. Tesoro Corp. has undergonea transformation through theyears from a small local refinerto a multi-state marketer that’s willingto take risks to grow the business. Over the past eight years the San Antonio-based refiner has become a full-service marketer

protecting the perimeter

Tesoro Corp. has instituted a series of safeguards to keep employees out of harm’s way. Frank Coletta has every reason to take his job very seriously. If he eases up on the rules and regulations just a little bit, employees could get hurt, or worse. So this savvy industry veteran has no plans to go

ethanol fuels tank concerns

New oxygenates could cause clogged filters, phase separation without proper preparation. Ethanol may be good for the environment and it may reduce U.S dependence on foreign oil, but it’s murder on underground storage tanks. With ethanol-blended fuel on its way to gas stations and convenience stores across the country, petroleum marketers are beginning to realize

pcats pushes loyalty standards

Initiative would streamline access to rewards data for convenience store and petroleum marketers. The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards(PCATS) is developing a domestic standard for loyalty cardprograms to allow them to be integrated into the multiple point-ofsale and back-office systems now servicing in the industry.Working through PCATS’ Retail Financial TransactionsCommittee, the initiative aims to

on the road with nice n easy

The chain has built a a well-deserved reputation for its quality and distinction in the marketplace. Driving eastbound towardCanastota, N.Y., I caught sightof Graziano’s, a quaint andunassuming restaurant on Highway90 frequented by the executive teamof Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes. Itwas there that I had the pleasure ofspeaking with company founder JohnMacDougall, senior executive vicepresident

controlling operations costs

Kwik Trip is maximizing efficiency by combining business intelligence with energy intelligence. Kwik Trip is maximizing efficiency by combining business intelligence with energy intelligence. By Mark Kortkamp, Contributing Editor Kwik Trip Inc. was chosen "Chain of the Year" in 2004 by Convenience Store Decisions largely because people are the heart of their company, and technology

a gift for all seasons

Convenience retailers are building incremental sales with “gift card mall” selections from a host of local and national retail chains. Convenience retailers are building incremental sales with "gift card mall" selections from a host of local and national retail chains. By John Lofstock, Editor Convenience and grocery executives are desperately looking for new growth drivers.

treats of the trade

When retailers keep a watchful eye on products and utilize their vendor relationships, candy can produce some dandy results. When retailers keep a watchful eye on products and utilize their vendor relationships, candy can produce some dandy results. By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor An entire country may separate Kentucky-based Red Hed Oil Co. and Washington-based

paradise found

How FireKing Security’s Image Vault DVR helped Minit Stop stores alleviate the weight of internal shrink and fines from underage sales stings. By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor For retailers facing sub-zero winters and summers that aren’t much warmer, it’s hard to sympathize with the plight of a Hawaii-based chain that wakes up every day to

6 questions to ask yourself before your next hire

By Mel Kleiman, CSP Just as you should consistently ask applicants questions that get you all the information need, so should you question yourself every time you consider hiring a new employee. These six questions will help glean valuable company information and ultimately save time and money. 1. Can we do this job differently or

how to become a local hero

When disaster strikes, every one of us has the opportunity to act heroically. When disaster strikes, every one of us has the opportunity to act heroically. By Mel Kleiman, CSP Remember the old comedy/Western “Support Your Local Sheriff?” James Garner starred as Jason McCullough, a guy who runs out of money on his way to

pitching in

Retailers, suppliers and distributors by the dozens stepped up to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Nearly 10 months later, many continue to help. By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor Hurricane Katrina may have struck New Orleans and the nearby Gulf Coast region, but there's no doubt that the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history rippled

clutch player

By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor Mike Leake may have had eight years of experience servicing convenience stores while working for Frito Lay and then McLane Grocery Distribution as a DSD sales representative, but it wasn't until DesMoines, Wash.-based Emanuel Inc. recruited him that he found a truly unique operation. Leake met owner Sami Said while

in brief

Chevron Invests in Biodiesel FacilityChevron Corp., which operates 2,800 convenience stores, has invested through a subsidiary, Chevron Technology Ventures LLC (CTV), in a Houston-based company that is building one of the first large-scale biodiesel plants in the U.S. The facility will have the potential to produce 100 million gallons per year of this clean-burning renewable

convenience driving natural foods resurgence

Cross-channel marketers report strong sales gains in organic, bottled water segments. By Laurie Budgar, Contributing Editor Everything old is new again. Some long established categories in natural foods are growing at rates usually reserved for products that are just starting to get distribution. Produce does the natural foods industry particularly proud this year. Even though

technically speaking

Scott Hartman, president of Rutter's Farm Stores, said the relationship between retailers and suppliers is integral to the implementation of new technologies. By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor Nearly 40 years after York, Pa.-based Rutter's Farm Stores opened its first unit, the chain's current president plays as big a role as anyone in the convenience

the cleanup continues

 By John Lofstock  When the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) released its State of the Industry report in April, we learned the state of the industry is good. Sales are up, profits are up and operating costs are down. But this hardly tells the whole story. Almost a year after hurricanes Katrina and Rita

shelter from the storm

The convenience store industry was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, and many retailers are still recovering from the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Hurricane Katrina caused nearly $1 million in damages to a dozen Danny & Clyde’s convenience stores owned by Donna Cyprowski and Chris Rittiner, who took the chain’s reins from their fathers.

tesco prepares for its us invasion

With the development of a new convenience store format to be unveiled in California early next year, UK retailers and analysts say marketers should prepare for Wal-Mart, Part II. By Andrew Don Not since The Beatles has a British invasion been so eagerly anticipated. But UK market observers warn that Tesco’s reputation as a bigger,

rollin right along

The roller grill has spun itself into the spotlight at Fas Mart and Pump N Pantry, delivering nice returns to the bottom line. By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor Pump N Pantry hasn’t been afraid to try new items to spice up the roller grill. Not all of them have turned a profit. Take, for instance,

category captain

banking on loyalty

Data mining and basket analysis is giving retailers an edge when going to market, while strategic partnerships keep costs down. By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor They have a saying at Mirabito Fuel Group: “When you attract customers with cheap gas prices, you only buy their loyalty until the next gas fill-up.” That’s the kind of

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