L.E. Belcher

L.E. Belcher Stores Support MDA

“This year, we more than tripled the money raised over last year’s holiday drive,” says director of retail operations. It may be nearly spring, but L.E. Belcher stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts are still basking in a well-deserved holiday glow. Over the course of five weeks in November and December, L.E. Belcher store locations decked

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Rock the Vote

Pop Rocks consumers have been busy voting for their top pop songs as well as the greatest hits of the 70´s. The new “U-ROCK” sweepstakes is available on the Pop Rocks Web site, offering consumers the chance to win $100 iTunes gift certificates. This is the first activity of the Pop Rocks’ new marketing plan

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Don’t Overlook the Little Things

We all know that customer service, bright lights and a clean store drive business, yet many stores are not getting the message. By Jim Callahan. Last month I took a close look at making the outside appearance of our convenience stores attractive enough to entice consumers to want to enter our stores and spend more

Walgreens

Walgreens Aids Disaster Relief Efforts in Japan

“We’re doing what we can to help the Red Cross reach those who need it most,” says Walgreens spokesperson. Walgreens is donating $150,000 to the American Red Cross in response to the devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan last week. The company also plans to match employee donations up to $100,000. “Our employees have

National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS

Durbin Amendment in Danger of Delay

On Tuesday, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced a bill in an effort to delay implementation of the Durbin amendment. The legislation, S. 575, introduced on March 15, seeks to delay — for two years — critical reforms aimed at providing relief to America’s small-business owners. The reforms, scheduled to take effect this summer, would limit

Wal-Mart Express

Wal-Mart Begins Build on Express Stores

A smaller footprint version of Wal-Mart is soon to give c-stores extra competition. Wal-Mart has begun construction on the first of its Wal-Mart Express stores, which are expected to average less than a tenth of the size of an average Wal-Mart Supercenter, Business Review USA reported. On March 16, construction is planned on a 14,400

convenience store forecourt

Driving Business with Branding

As competition increases from drug stores, fast-food restaurants and coffeehouse, communicating a clear branding strategy is timely and vital. The forecourt is more important than ever, especially as gas prices are rising at a fast clip. Fewer trips mean fewer opportunities to market through the forecourt, so retailers must use every strategy to drive store

Delek US Holdings Reports Q4 and 2010 Results

“As we look to the year ahead, we remain focused on the expansion of our retail footprint through new store construction,” says CEO. Delek US Holdings Inc., a diversified energy company with assets in the petroleum refining, marketing and retail industries, has released the financial results for its fourth quarter and full-year 2010. “During 2010,

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Fresh-Cut Produce Thrives At C-stores

Convenience stores are a “tremendous growth channel” for fresh produce, notes  United Fresh Produce Association spokesperson. In today’s health-conscious world, convenience stores are stocking up on produce, changing their image in customers’ minds from merely the place to fill up on gas and grab a pack of cigarettes to a one-stop shop for everything from

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Getting A Bigger Piece of the Foodservice Pie

Quality, price point and flexibility continue to drive customer interest in pizza. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Americans are into upscale, premium and gourmet everything these days. So why would anyone expect pizza to be any different? The question is, “Can your pizza program measure up?” From exotic toppings to a variety of doughs, c-store

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Turning a Foodservice Profit

The stagnant economy and hefty cigarette taxes have more c-store chains adding extra roller grill items to provide a greater array of hot food options at a value price. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Yes, the number of food items that can be prepared on roller grills—hot dogs, corn dogs, taquitos, stuffed breadsticks, kielbasa, grilled

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Energy Powers Beverage Sales

The convenience of shots and the widespread  availability in c-stores have spurred the category’s success. By: Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Energy shots remain the hottest product in the energy beverage sector. The emergence of the shot market was so fast that the products seemingly came out of nowhere, at a time when the typically strong

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Crafting a Beer Strategy

Microbrew sales are growing at a strong clip, while wine and spirits are also poised for a strong 2011. by: Joe Bush, Contributing Editor The near-term future of wine and craft beer sales in convenience stores involves value, flavor and products geared toward specific ethnic groups. The Brewer Association reports that while overall beer sales

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Effectively Managing the Supply Chain

Pressure to reduce costs means that wholesalers and distributors need to work with convenience store retailers to trim the fat from the industry’s distribution infrastructure. by, John Lofstock, Editor Cutting supply chain costs remains a challenge for convenience store chains large and small—one that, sooner or later, they must confront. Dealing with primary wholesalers, multiple

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Scoring Sales with Superior Sanitation

While a tidy restroom is crucial, c-store cleanliness starts with a well-kept forecourt, a quality store design and a dedicated staff that understands your expectations. by, Erin Rigik, associate editor Think your c-store and restrooms are clean enough? You might want to triple check your sanitation standards, especially if your chain is pushing foodservice. According

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Courting Car Wash Customers

Strong new car sales are likely to spur more car wash trips, giving operators an opportunity to garner a strong repeat business in 2011. by, Erin Rigik, associate editor Buoyed by the likelihood of tax cut extensions and increased consumer confidence, auto sales climbed in December—great news for car wash operators as new automobile owners

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Swipe Fee Fight Returns To Capital Hill

“We’re not looking for a free ride. What we’re looking for is fair and reasonable,” notes 7-Eleven Franchisee Dennis Lane. Thursday, Feb. 17, marks the eighth public hearing on debit and credit card swipe fees. The hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. is set to be held in the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer

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Chandler Oil Gets an Upscale Facelift

David Miller renovates his flagship Chevron store in 45 days. He is expecting a 20% sales lift from his investment. When David Miller, president of Chandler Oil Chevron, decided to remodel his 3,000–square-foot Chandler, Ariz., store last year, he knew it was crucial to his customers, as well as to his business, that he keep

Four PS Food Mart stores feature a drive-through window where customers can order  cigarettes, milk and other products without leaving their car.

Connecting with the Community

For convenience store operators, being a good corporate citizen isn’t something they can take lightly. In fact giving back to the community should be considered the cost of doing business, and it should be part of a company’s long-term mission. Giving back is something Folk Oil Co. takes seriously. This fall, the company’s PS Food

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Starbucks Debuts Mobile Payments

The Starbucks Card Mobile App now offers customers with BlackBerry smartphones, iPhone and iPod touch the fastest way to pay at nearly 6,800 U.S. company-operated Starbucks stores. Starbucks has announced the launch of mobile payments in all of its U.S. company-operated stores, allowing customers to pay for in-store purchases with select smartphones. Building on the

sheetz

Sheetz Selects HighJump

Warehouse Management System (WMS) to streamline c-store replenishment and reduce IT costs. Sheetz has selected the HighJump warehouse management system (WMS) to streamline its supply chain operations that replenishment to retail locations. Sheetz began the search for a new warehouse management system as part of an initiative to lower IT costs and reduce business risk

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Starbucks To Launch 31-Ounce Drinks

Seattle-based Starbucks is rolling out a new drink size called Trenta—the chain’s biggest drink size yet, Reuters reported. At  31 ounces, the Trenta is just seven ounces larger than its Venti cups, which currently are the largest size on the Starbucks menu. The Trenta size is debuting in 14 states, including Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Texas,

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Susser Estimates Q4 Results

Susser Holdings Corp. expects to report same-store merchandise sales growth for the fourth quarter of 2010 of approximately 7.3% year-over-year and an increase in retail average per-store-per-week fuel volumes of 4.3%. Fourth quarter merchandise margin is expected to be in a range of 33.7-34%, and retail fuel margin is expected to be 14.7 cents to

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Attacking Shrink from All Angles

Loss prevention in retail is becoming a more challenging task as the economy stumbles along. In order to keep costs down it is important to put measures into place that will deter thieves. In a tough economy, every dollar counts. But loss prevention is often overlooked by convenience stores, even when following through on upholding

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Marketing and Social Media

In 2011, look for cause marketing to be a bigger trend. An expert panel at the U.S. Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) annual meeting revealed that the trend toward cause marketing is the next step in engaging customers and increasing loyalty. But it’s not enough just to pick a cause and throw together a promotion. Customers

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