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Clean Restrooms Offer Distinct Competitive Advantages

As convenience store operators vie for foodservice customers, they need to ensure they are conveying a safe, sanitary image throughout the store. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. When David Miller, president of Chandler Oil Chevron, remodeled his 3,000–square-foot convenience store in Chandler, Ariz. last year, he had design team C7 Works give extra attention to

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Preparing for PCI D-Day

As the deadline for PCI DSS 2.0 compliance approaches, chains should make sure they understand the changes— and triple check that they meet the requirements. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. On Jan. 1, 2012 all convenience store retailers must comply with PCI DSS 2.0 standards. While some chains have been ready for more than a

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Marketing in a Digital Age

Rising Star: Megan Sutfin Social Media Administrator, Sac N Pac Stores. Smart convenience store chains recognize that social networking is a crucial tool in keeping the lines of communication open with customers and growing loyalty for years to come. A social media team can help your chain control brand image, calm any negative conversations that

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Integrating POS Solutions

Speed of service is crucial, but with all the services that convenience stores offer today communication between machines is key. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Greater speed of service and reduced operational costs can both be achieved through new integrated point-of-sale (POS) solutions. Case in point: Kocolene Marketing LLC in Seymour, Ind., which is making

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Southside Oil Welcomes John Hornyak

New senior vice president of wholesale fuels joins Southside Oil team. Southside Oil, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the largest ExxonMobil fuel distributor in the region, Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (MACS), has appointed John Hornyak as senior vice president of wholesale fuels. Hornyak brings to the Southside Oil team celebrated experience as a senior executive in the

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Weigel’s Marks A Milestone with Aggressive Expansion Plans

As it celebrates its 80th anniversary, the Knoxville, Tenn., chain is opening new stores, embracing an expanded foodservice program and investing in cutting-edge technology. By Erin Rigik, associate editor. With lofty expansion plans ahead, a focus on foodservice and a strong push to capture the elusive female demographic, Weigel’s Inc. is poised to make a

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Valero Launches Mystery Shopper Program

Stores will be evaluated three times a year to ensure customer needs are met and employees are providing a positive retail experience. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Valero has partnered with Maritz Research to launch a new mystery shopping program, called Commitment to Excellence. As part of the new program, each of the company’s Valero,

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EZ Energy Bolsters the Easy Trip Brand

Fresh after moving into its new headquarters, the Ohio chain is reimaging company-owned stores, enhancing its foodservice program and signed a deal to acquire 30 more properties this fall. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In conjunction with its fourth anniversary year, EZ Energy USA Inc. is prepped for an aggressive expansion of both its store

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Merger and Acquisition Activity Heating Up

Chains shedding underperforming stores in order to focus on core retail assets. A  number of top quartile convenience store chains announced plans to shed underperforming stores over the past six weeks in an effort to raise capital to reinvest in core markets. The Pantry Inc. said it would sell 114 locations in nine states throughout

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Adopting “Green” Practices

MotoMart, Sunoco and Rutter’s Farm Stores are among the top convenience store chains making energy efficiency a priority. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. With operating costs rising at an alarming rate, convenience stores are getting serious about energy efficiency. From LEDs that help brighten stores and reduce maintenance costs, to energy management systems and skylights,

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All Aboard the Organic Bandwagon

Natural and locally-grown foods are among the latest foodservice trends, but can c-stores meet this growing demand without alienating its core consumer base? By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Retailers who toured the National Restaurant Show in May know natural, organic and other healthy food options took the show floor by storm. In fact, the National

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Sky’s The Limit at Quick Chek’s Balloon Festival

Record crowds expected at Health and Wellness Sunday to revel in music, food and fun. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Quick Chek Food Stores will kick off the 29th annual Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America, on July 29 at Solberg Airport

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VPS Convenience Store Group Plans Aggressive Expansion

Sun Capital’s c-store division is bulking up its foodservice operations and rolling out new tobacco stores across the Southeast. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. With two acquisitions under its belt already this year, VPS Convenience Store Group, an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc., is poised for additional growth, with its eyes focused on opportunities

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CDCG Helps Small Stores Go Fresh

C-stores in the Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady, N.Y., area are getting a helping hand in providing fresh produce to customers thanks to Capital District Community Gardens (CDCG), a private non-profit community service organization and the group behind the Veggie Mobile,  a produce truck that sells  fruits and vegetables in food deserts. So far the c-store

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Commissary Sales Gaining Momentum

While commissary products are growing in popularity at c-stores, not all retailers are at the same level. Luckily, options abound in ways to integrate commissary products for all quartiles. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor Commissaries and a centralized distribution system are becoming more popular across all foodservice segments in both convenience stores and supermarkets as

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Kroger Makes Strides In Sustainability

“In 2010, Kroger stores saved enough energy to power the city of Fort Worth for a full year,” says Kroger president. The Kroger Co. has released its fifth annual Sustainability Report, showing it continues to meet annual sustainability benchmarks, including reducing in-store energy consumption by 30% since 2000. “Kroger associates have worked hard to integrate

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Developing a Fuel Strategy Amid Soaring Costs

High gas prices mean more headaches for retailers. Experts weigh in on the best ways to survive the market volatility. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. With gas prices skyrocketing, retailers are feeling the squeeze from every angle. But there are unique opportunities for savvy retailers to reduce fuel expenditures, which will afford them a better

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Lighting the Way to Profitability

A wide array of tobacco accessories to complement cigarettes and cigars shows customers you’re serious about tobacco and incites impulse sales. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Many retailers recognize that it’s beneficial to step out from behind the counter to teach customers about smokeless alternatives and educate them on e-cigarettes, but taking the same approach

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Empowering Loyalty Customers

Retailers are energizing their rewards programs and using social media to keep loyalty customers active. The modern loyalty program may be 28 years old, but in a saturated market, chains are turning up the creativity to gain customer attention by pushing game-based promotions, cause marketing, discounts on fuel and using social networking to drive interest.

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Fuel Rewards Luring Customers

With gas prices rising, loyalty programs are rewarding customers with steep discounts. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. With fuel prices approaching record highs in May, customers were thinking carefully about where they stop for gas and are paying more attention to rewards programs that offer cents-off fuel gallons purchased. Convenience store chains are responding with

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Flourishing After the Floods

After suffering extensive water damage at its Nashville, Tenn., store, TravelCenters of America has reopened the unit with a new look and a host of modern features. By: Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Just a year ago, the TravelCenters of America truck stop in Nashville, Tenn., fell victim to the historic flooding that ravaged Middle Tennessee

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Forecasting Snack Bar Sales

The food bar category experienced double-digit sales growth in 2010, but 2011 could prove to be a challenging year. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The snack bars/granola bars category experienced sharp sales gains in 2010 as on-the-go consumers were looking for quick meal solutions that wouldn’t break the bank. Total snack bar sales jumped 11.26%

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Quix Fix to Store Management

In addition to expanding its contract management business both nationally and abroad, Strasburger Enterprises is growing its Quix c-store brand with a renewed focus on foodservice. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Wherever oil companies and convenience store chains are divesting stores or taking on new assets, Strasburger Enterprises is often a lifeline on speed dial.

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Gilligan Oil Pushes a Multi Brand Foodservice Strategy

Newest location features Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway in an effort to target customers throughout the day. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Gilligan Oil Co. is aggressively embarking on a new foodservice model that aims to combine its c-stores and two QSR franchise partners under one roof to better pull a variety of customers into the

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Cybera Adds Support for Gilbarco Passport

Cybera enables delivery of Gilbarco Veeder-Root Passport secure high-speed help desk services and improves speed of service for Gilbarco customers. Cybera Inc., a provider of cloud-based security-as-a-service solutions, has announced the Cybera ONE platform now supports high-speed help desk services for Gilbarco’s Passport point of sale (POS) systems and other Gilbarco applications. This new Cybera

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