sandwich

Focusing on Fresh Foods

The grab-and-go business is constantly evolving. Today’s customers not only want their foodservice fast, but they expect quality, consistency and healthy daypart options. By John Lofstock, Editor. Convenience store operators are driving sales of healthy, portable foodservice offerings like packaged sandwiches, wraps, salads and some roller grill items. But, historically, the industry has seldom gotten

IMG_4940

Industry Insights on Managing Your Managers

The Convenience Store Decisions case study series examines how experts in and around the industry identify and overcome challenging operating scenarios. By John Lofstock, Editor. Sometime late last year I sat down with several members of the Convenience Store Decisions Editorial Board looking for new ideas that could help our readers think outside the box

2013leadership

NACS Leadership Tackles Retail Challenges with Real Time Solutions

Customer engagement, the future of payment technologies, alternative fuels and the new legislative landscape highlight the 2013 Leadership Conference in Miami. By John Lofstock, Editor Convenience store retailers not in touch with the needs of their customers risk far more than losing repeat business and sales. They risk extinction as customers gravitate toward chains that

tobacco

Legislative Update on Cigarette Graphic Warning Labels

Thomas Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), discussed the future of cigarette retailing in convenience stores. By John Lofstock, Editor. While cigarettes have long been a staple at U.S. convenience stores, accounting for millions in pack and cartons sales and boosting the profits from the average smoker’s market basket, it remains

BOLLA

Bolla Means Business

The New York City marketer is thriving with 44 convenience stores, an upscale foodservice offering and a new organic coffee program. By John Lofstock, Editor. The Brooklyn Nets? Fugetaboutit. New York City’s largest borough is celebrating the growth of a convenience store chain it can call its very own. That’s because Bolla Management Corp. hasn’t

chevronfuelschool

Connecting with the Community

Chevron is gaining momentum through its corporate social responsibility initiatives and a growing loyalty program with Safeway. We increasingly hear that corporate social responsibility has become a business imperative. Not only do responsible and transparent approaches help build brand and reputation, they help strengthen the community and, therefore, the marketplace. A solid business plan, embedded

Sandy Brings Out the Best and Worst in Marketers

The buildup leading up to superstorm Sandy was met by many along the East Coast with skepticism. We’ve all heard these doomsday scenarios before, but rarely has the storm matched the hype. As such, many residents ignored the warnings to fill up their gas tanks and gas cans in preparation for power outages and fuel

smokeless

Smokeless Sales are Surging

Innovations and competitive pricing are pushing the popularity of moist smokeless tobacco. By John Lofstock, Editor. With cigarette smokers in flux—some sticking to favorite brands, others trading down or trying e-cigarettes and some transitioning to smokeless products—opportunities for c-stores abound. Industry insiders are looking for increased moist smokeless tobacco (MST) usage and concomitant rise in

familyexpresslogo

Family Express Connecting With The Community

Through its partnership with Purdue University, the Indiana chain is giving college football an opportunity to win free gas for a year.   Valparaiso, Ind.-based Family Express earlier this year entered a multi-year sports marketing agreement with Purdue University Athletics and its multimedia rights holder, Purdue Sports Properties. As the college football season winds down,

Tedeschi

Tedeschi Celebrates in Style

With a new store design, a dazzling foodservice program and outstanding customer service, the Massachusetts retailer is CSD’s 2012 Convenience Store Chain of the Year. By John Lofstock, Editor. Few companies can match the rich tradition and deep roots Tedeschi Food Shops has planted in the convenience store industry. In business since 1923, the company’s

A Night to Remember for Team Tedeschi

In front of nearly 300 convenience store industry retailers and suppliers, Peter Tedeschi, president and CEO of Tedeschi Food Shops, accepted Convenience Store Decisions’ 2012 Convenience Store Chain of the Year award at a banquet in Las Vegas. Tedeschi is CSD’s 23rd Chain of the Year winner, the oldest and most prestigious award offered in

fuel line

Storm Sandy Continues to Wreak Havoc on Fuel Market

OPIS Chief Oil Analyst Tom Kloza stressed that the fuel supply is strong and that consumer panic is causing long lines and undue stress at the pumps. By John Lofstock, Editor Motorists in New York and New Jersey are facing two-hour lines at gas stations–if they can find one selling gasoline at all. Lines stretch

girl

Dealing with Difficult Colleagues

When an organization’s employees aren’t happy, it’s unlikely they’ll be providing the kind of quality service that leads to happy customers. By John Lofstock, Editor. Too often, retail chains promise satisfaction to customers and then allow internal politics to frustrate their employees’ good intentions to deliver. It’s important to remember that your customers aren’t the

Driving Retail Opportunities

The NACS Show is my annual reminder of just how much innovation exists among the many talented retailers and suppliers I communicate with every day. I expect this year’s NACS Show to be one of the most interesting I’ve ever attended. While the event has so much to offer, retailers can’t lose sight of the

customer

Understanding Customer Behavior

Every retailer spends a good portion of his day trying to figure out how best to serve his customers. But frankly, customers and their motivations can throw even the best retailers for a loop. By John Lofstock, Editor. “The customer is always right” is a mantra that convenience store owners hear over and over again.

easytrip

Serving Up Satisfaction

Eight service tips for effectively handling customer complaints at retail. By John Lofstock, Editor. A lot of retail best—and worst—practices can be found simply by observing what others are doing. Spirit Airlines recently flew into a big public relations disaster. Sticking to a no-refunds policy, the airline refused to refund the airfare of a passenger

Salinsky-headshot-p5

Best Petroleum's Richard Salinsky Enshrined into High School Football Hall of Fame

By John Lofstock, Editor It’s been a busy year filled with accolades for venerable industry icon Richard Salinsky. With more than 50 years of experience and dedication to the industry, Salinsky was honored earlier this year with the prestigious Distinguished Marketer Award from SIGMA, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA). Now, the

sandwiches

Dealing Behind the Scenes

Open Pantry’s Robert Buhler opens up about the  company’s future, missed opportunities and the financial wisdom offered by his board of directors. By John Lofstock, Editor. To make your mark in the convenience store industry, you are either growing the business or waiting for the rest of the industry to pass you by. Growth can

food

Consumers Focus On Healthful Foods

IDDBA’s “What’s in Store” report shows customers are looking to eat healthier and are shopping more, but they are also buying less on each trip. By John Lofstock, Editor. Consumers are buying less food on each trip to the store, making value that includes healthy choices the crux of their shopping ethos, according to “What’s

maverik store

FJ Management to Acquire Majority Interest in Maverik

Maverik Executive Vice President Brad Call tells CSD the leadership team and direction of the company remains unchanged. By John Lofstock, Editor FJ Management Inc., formerly known as Flying J, reached a deal to acquire a majority interest in North Salt Lake City, Utah-based Maverik Inc. Maverik, which was founded nearly 60 years ago, has

DSC_0013

Northern Exposure

By combining the rich experience of Shell Oil with family-owned ingenuity, truenorth convenience stores is poised for a breakout year. By: John Lofstock. There aren’t too many 93-year-old oil companies that have enjoyed decades of success, but have managed to keep a low profile. But the winds of change are blowing at Truenorth Energy LLC

Chains Worth Watching

Despite the global recession, convenience stores have thrived thanks to their ability to provide fast service, quality products and great value in strategic locations. As service and location remain the industry’s primary competitive advantage over supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers, many of whom are moving into the fuel and fresh food business, convenience stores

concept online shopping or banking safety

Credit Card Security And PCI: Where Do We Go From Here?

When it comes to data security, all retailers need to be prepared for the worst scenario, but that can’t happen if they aren’t aware of PCI requirements and the severe consequences that can result from a data breach. By John Lofstock, Editor When security breaches make the news, the typical victims are retailing giants, such

Dealing with the Long Arm of Government

The onslaught continues. It never ceases to amaze me that why, in these trying economic times, lawmakers insist on introducing legislation that costs retailers sales opportunities. Virtually every chain I’ve covered over the past 15-plus years in this industry has counted on earnings and profits to reinvest in the business. That means buying more real

mrzip

Mr. Zip Convenience Stores Acquired

The Mr. Zip convenience store chain, operator of 16 stores along the I-75 corridor between Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tenn., was acquired today by Textron Energy, a subsidiary of Classic Star Group of Ft. Worth, Texas. Terms of the deal, which includes the 16 stores and a wholesale fuels business, were not disclosed. Classic Star Group

css.php