Steve Loehr

Preparing for Industry Challenges

Steve Loehr, vice president of operations support for Kwik Trip and the current NACS vice chairman and treasurer, shares his insights on the issues affecting convenience retailers. By John Lofstock, Editor. The convenience store industry continues to evolve, becoming a bigger part of the American consumers’ daily lives. In 2012, the industry achieved record sales

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Maverik Celebrated as CSD’s 2013 Chain of the Year

The Utah marketer honored for its unique adventure culture, an ongoing commitment to employees and its service-first mantra for delivering a memorable shopping experience.By John Lofstock, Editor. There are many common characteristics that comprise Convenience Store Decisions’ Chain of the Year winners. They are retail leaders, innovative marketers, committed to employees and completely driven by

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Bolla Conquers the Big Apple

In a market that has traditionally been difficult for c-stores, Bolla Oil is thriving with an upscale new store design, a strong foodservice program and an impressive real estate portfolio. By John Lofstock, Editor. Surviving in New York’s cutthroat retail environment is difficult. But for Harry Singh (pictured above), failing to succeed was never an

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Take Restrooms from Good to Great

Convenience store operators pushing a foodservice program must be committed to store cleanliness and sanitation. By John Lofstock, Editor. A new national survey revealed that 63% of Americans have had a particularly unpleasant experience in a public restroom due to the condition of the facilities. That’s bad news for operators looking to grow foodservice sales.

Celebrating Maverik’s Adventure Culture

Maverik Inc. is a convenience store chain that prides itself on serving others, and that’s what helped make Convenience Store Decisions’ 2013 Chain of the Year award dinner in Atlanta so special last month. The Utah company that is so used to making others feel special found itself as the center of attention before nearly

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Paper Gains to Arrest Retail Gasoline Price Slide

By Brian L. Milne, Energy Editor, Schneider Electric In the U.S. gasoline market, it’s not unusual for retail prices to slow or even reverse their September decline in October, underpinned by seasonal refinery maintenance which reduces output that, in turn, pressures crude prices. As the U.S. remains in political gridlock, unable to reach deals on

Employees

Are You an Effective Leader?

For far too many of today’s convenience store executives, finding the time to unwind or take a family vacation is a difficult task. But not making the effort could have a negative impact on the business. By John Lofstock, Editor. Did you know 61% of employed Americans expect to have to do some work while

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Are You Creating a Culture of Exile?

Five warning signs that your employees may lack a vital sense of belonging in your corporate environment. By John Lofstock, Editor. Consider the power of belonging. Adolescents will change their speech, dress and behavior to fit in with their peer groups. Adults, too, gain much of their identity from the neighborhoods they live in, the

Tobacco Legislative Update

Tom Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, discusses the state of e-cigarettes and the local issues affecting tobacco retailing.   By John Lofstock, Editor. Of all the different tobacco legislative bills introduced this year in Congress and state legislatures, two issues stand out, namely higher tobacco taxes and electronic cigarettes. Both issues

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Sunoco Acquires Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores, Converting Stores from BP

UPDATE 12:32 p.m.: PARAGRAPH TWO ON REBRANDING CSD has learned that all of MACS BP-branded locations are currently being converted to the Sunoco brand. Sunoco Inc. today reported that is has acquired Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (MACS). CSD has learned that Sunoco is currently in the process of converting all of MACS BP-branded locations over to

Building Profits and Relationships

Fresh off another successful National Advisory Group (NAG) conference last month in Nashville, I would like to thank all of the attendees that joined us for two days of outstanding networking, educational sessions and information exchanges. What makes NAG so special is that it is an association driven by retailers for retailers. We are an

The Silent War Against Retail

Within the past six weeks, documents outlining New York City’s secret war against electronic tobacco were leaked to the public. The contents of the documents are hardly surprising given New York’s recent assault on items sold in convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and supermarkets. The documents were leaked by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

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Bobby & Steve’s Comes of Age

Fresh off the introduction of its World Class rewards program, the Minnesota chain is expanding its foodservice offering, investing in employee training and bolstering its operations to drive profitability. By John Lofstock, Editor.In an industry where more than 145,000 stores all sell the same items, differentiating your brand and your offering is a challenge. But

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The Rise of Craft Beer at Retail

Craft beer sales have doubled in the past six years and are set to triple by 2017, according to a Mintel report.  By John Lofstock, Editor. While the economic downturn has affected consumer spending across many sectors, craft and craft-style beers are defying recessionary trends with an impressive upward trajectory. Indeed, latest research by Mintel

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Maintaining Data Security Standards

While many retailers are breathing a sigh of relief in regard to PCI compliance, Visa and MasterCard are constantly changing the rules, requiring stores to make costly changes and upgrades. By John Lofstock, Editor. When it comes to data security, all retailers need to be prepared for the worst scenario, but that can’t happen if

JohnNew

Foodservice Remains the Key to Future Success

By John Lofstock, Editor. While trendy items like electronic cigarettes and energy shots offer convenience store retailers a respite from depressed tobacco and fuel margins, it should be perfectly clear to all store owners that developing a great foodservice program is what it will take to remain profitable in the future. Convenience store operators are

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More Upside for Retail Gasoline Prices

By Brian L. Milne, Energy Editor, Schneider Electric The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) U.S. retail average for all grades of regular gasoline has more upside despite a sharp nearly 15 cents jump in the average during the week-ended July 15 and mixed wholesale costs across the country’s major metropolitan markets for the week-ended Monday (7/22).

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Carpenter Leads a Busy NACS Agenda

Chairman Dave Carpenter promotes advocacy as the industry continues to battle swipe fees, fuel standards and increased competition in the year ahead.By John Lofstock, Editor. The convenience store industry continues to evolve, becoming a bigger part of the American consumers’ daily lives. In 2012, the industry achieved record sales of $700.3 billion, according to the

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Embracing the Technology Revolution

By John Lofstock, Editor There is a rather humorous story behind Simon and Garfunkel’s song Mrs. Robinson that goes beyond the art of seduction. In the popular song, the legendary musical duo asks, “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.” DiMaggio, of course, needed no introduction when the

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The 2014 NATSO Show Heads to Nashville

NATSO, the trade association representing the truckstop and travel plaza industry, announced that its 2014 show, scheduled to be held Jan. 25-29, 2014, will take place at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. The NATSO Show is the premier gathering place for the nation’s truckstop and travel plaza owners and operators

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IRI Identifies Opportunities in the C-Store Channel

The convenience store channel has long been a destination for immediate consumption purchases. However, the channel is undergoing a bit of a metamorphosis these days. Competition is heating up as convenience stores are pitted against other channels, particularly dollar and drug channels, for share of spending. In addition, two major sources of revenue and trip

JohnNew

Driving New Business

By John Lofstock, Editor. Hailed by many as an emerging threat to the tobacco cigarette industry, electronic cigarettes are providing smokers with an alternative to traditional tobacco-based smoking. But these battery-operated devices serve as much more than a nicotine delivery system, they are serving as a shot in the arm for an entire industry. E-cigarettes

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Cigarettes Still King

While electronic tobacco products and OTP have experienced sales gains, cigarette sales in convenience stores still accounted for more than $54.3 billion in 2012. By John Lofstock, Editor. Cigarettes have long been a staple at convenience stores, accounting for billions in pack and carton sales and boosting the profits from the average smoker’s market basket.

Gasoline in Midwest Spikes on Supply Concern

By Brian L. Milne, Energy Editor, Schneider Electric The final and holiday-shortened trade week in May brought about a great amount of volatility in US oil markets, which whipsawed in futures and spot trading on a multitude of concerns ranging from assessments of U.S. and global economies, Federal Reserve stimulus efforts, geopolitical tension in Africa

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Phillips 66 Hands Out Lifetime Achievement Awards, Launches Innovative Retail Programs

Programs announced at 2013 marketing conference help branded customers compete in challenging marketplace. By John Lofstock, Editor Phillips 66 yesterday wrapped up its 2013 Marketing Conference & Trade Show in Las Vegas with a flurry of new announcements and marketer awards. The Houston-based oil company, which operates the Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco retail brands,

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