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C-Stores Change with the Times

Whether it’s technology, the workforce, or the weather, the industry has always adapted and moved on. By David Bennett, Senior Editor There are few Years more turbulent in the history of the convenience store industry than 1990. Just prior, the total number of c-stores had peaked at 83,000 in the late 1980s. The market was

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VCU Earns C-Store Accolades

After putting a novel spin on an existing theme, Virginia Commonwealth University is named top innovator in 2014’s NACUFS New Store Design competition. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Convenience stores aren’t new to U.S. college campuses. For years, universities have afforded students expedient spaces where they can purchase beverages, snacks and merchandise. However, just like

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Blu Tops in E-cig Sales

Lorillard remains category leader with continued strong c-store sales. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Lorillard Inc.’s (LO) popular blu e-cigarette continues to garner strong sales, retaining its No. 1 spot in the c-store channel. Lorillard garnered 42.0% $ share in the recent period ended June 7, according to data from Wells Fargo Securities LLC. Logic

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Choosing the Right Foodservice Partner

Want to avoid the deep end of the proprietary food pool? A co-branded relationship with a QSR can keep your operation flowing smoothly. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Today, quality foodservice is a key ingredient in profitable convenience store operations. Just how key? Foodservice accounted for 18% of total c-store sales in 2013, which also

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Regulators Chew on Cigars

While federal officials weigh new standards for the tobacco industry, retailers hope cigar sales don’t go up in smoke. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a big step towards regulating other tobacco products (OTP), including cigars, by proposing to assert deeming regulations under the 2009 Family Smoking

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Employing a Special Workforce

In following through with its unique hiring policy, VERC Enterprises has positively impacted surrounding communities. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Most convenience stores strive diligently to create a working environment where employees feel wanted and useful. VERC Enterprises Inc. has taken that page and written its own book, which began more than a dozen years

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Snacks Remain A Mainstay

Salty snacks again are grabbing a lion’s share of c-store snack sales, but healthier offerings are making noise. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Convenience stores represent five times their fair share when it comes to grab-and-go snacking occasions, beating out grocery stores and even discount stores, according to a 2013 study by market research firm

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Weighing Financial Services

Whether it’s check cashing or the latest mobile wallet technology, providing customers with useful financial offerings can help your bottom line. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Cash makes up nearly 29% of U.S. consumer transactions per year, or about $1.2 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. Among those transactions last year were a lot of

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Lorillard Joins Altria In Pricing Action

Tobacco companies enact pricing adjustments, raising the cost of popular cigarette brands in the next few days. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Lorillard Inc. (LO) is pushing through a six-cent per-price increase across the some of its key cigarette brands, a move that will keep pace with rival Altria Group Inc., according to analyst reports.

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Commonwealth-Altadis Unveils Packaging Innovation

“Slide up, light up” feature sure to strike it big with consumers, CA officials predict. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Kicking off a company Webcast describing the latest upgrade to its flagship cigarette brand, Commonwealth-Altadis Inc. (CA) CEO Kevin Freudenthal said “it’s the most exciting thing in packaging for USA Gold in CA’s history.” Rolled

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Chocolate: Sweet Returns

Finding out what confectionery products your customers will gobble up in 2014 can be a recipe for more sales. By David Bennett, Senior Editor You don’t need to be Willy Wonka to know that chocolate candy is a sweet product in terms of generating impulse sales. The National Confectioners Association (NCA) recently reported that the

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Filling Station Rises in Buffalo

A transportation museum in the Queen City is putting the final touches on Frank Lloyd Wright’s first service station design, providing a glimpse of how modern service stations evolved. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Before Route 66 was designated Historic Route 66, and well before convenience stores offered the first Gas Station TV monitors above

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PCATS Rebrands For The Future

Name change signifies organization’s refocused mission. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Searching for a stronger identity to match its technical expertise, the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) has been rebranded as Conexxus. Gray Taylor, executive director of the newly branded Conexxus, said Tuesday night that the name change signifies the refocus of the

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Mobile Commerce Gets A Workout

The Conexxus (formerly PCATS) mobile committee works on developing standards streamlining mobile transactions. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Even before the former Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) rebranded as itself as Conexxus, its Mobile committee was living to the group’s new motto: Solve Forward. Tuesday’s Mobile workshop was one of a half-dozen working

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Embracing a Healthier Menu

For convenience stores, healthy food offerings are creating a convergence of nutrition, foodservice solutions and profitability. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Problem: Customers want healthy,grab-and go-meal options.Solution: Add fresh cut fruits, yogurts and salads to the  menu. They’re quick, easy and appeal to a wide variety of customers. Also consider more wholesome ingredients like baked

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