slurpee

Dispensing Variety and Value

When it comes to dispensed beverages, customers are still looking for new and unique products that provide them with instant gratification. By John Lofstock, Editor. Dispensed cold and frozen beverages are proving to be not just popular year-round products—sales are strong and getting stronger as summer approaches—but excellent tools for driving traffic through promotions and

Office-Food-Shot

Capturing Lunch and Dinner Customers

When it comes to foodservice, convenience store operators must develop the expertise to make smart choices and deliver winning mealtime solutions. By John Lofstock, Editor People need food, and convenience stores need people to like their food, which is why keeping lunch and dinner menus fresh, new and exciting is so important. The food itself

Lessons in Retail Leadership

Despite fast-changing customer expectations, shortened product and retail life cycles and rapid technological advancements, many retailers have not taken advantage of opportunities to innovate. By applying new perspectives to established ways of doing business, convenience store retailers can strengthen their competitive and financial positions, improve the customer experience and create a new life cycle of

coffeebeans

Coffee Consumption Surging

One in four coffee drinkers are now choosing gourmet products daily as younger consumers embrace upscale brews. By John Lofstock, Editor.  Coffee consumption tracks strong and steady, according to the National Coffee Association’s (NCA) National Coffee Drinking Trends, with sales data suggesting a solid footing for future growth. Rebounding youth consumption, strong gourmet allegiance and

convevo

Convevo Launches a Loyalty Program for C-Store Retailers

The Digital Deal is an innovative, turnkey text marketing solution aimed at connecting c-stores with their customers. Convevo Partners, a leading convenience store consulting firm, has introduced The Digital Deal, the first ever loyalty program designed specifically for multi-unit and single-store operators. The program is built around a text marketing engine that is fully managed

sandwich

Emphasizing a Strong Breakfast Business

Given that the morning daypart is such a high-growth segment, it should be no surprise that the industry’s leading retailers are focusing a lot of effort on solidifying their offerings. By John Lofstock, Editor. Americans are more amenable to buying meals at convenience stores, but won’t budge when it comes to quality, price or convenience

HRPromo

Take the 2012 CSD/Kleiman HR Human Resources Benchmarking Survey

In order to support the convenience store industry’s forecasting and planning responsibilities for the new year, Convenience Store Decisions and Kleiman HR are collaborating to provide insight into the industry’s human resources practices. For the fourth consecutive year, Convenience Store Decisions, in partnership with human resources expert Mel Kleiman is launching a confidential online survey

Finding Your Way with Foodservice

Growing up in New YORK CITY few things were as natural to me as eating out. Even now with three children, a minimum of two meals a day are eaten outside the house seven days a week. The kitchen table is more of a convenient place to store things, like takeout menus and the kids’

RottenRobbie

Robinson Takes the Helm at NACS

Incoming chairman promotes advocacy as he prepares to battle swipe fees, fuel standards and tobacco regulations in the year ahead. By John Lofstock, Editor. Renowned author and business strategist Tom Peter once said, “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” When it comes to the challenges facing the convenience store and petroleum industry over

Fuel

The Impact of Alternative Fuels

The political momentum to bring renewable energy products to the pumps is strong and growing. But with all the added costs to rebuild the nation’s petroleum infrastructure, is it worth it? By John Lofstock, Editor. Preparing for the future is a complex issue retailers should always be pondering. But in the fuel business this question

Salinsky-headshot-p5

Salinsky Honored by SIGMA

Massachusetts retailer is the 19th operator in 53 years to receive the association’s Distinguished Marketer Award. By John Lofstock, Editor. Few people have seen the convenience store and petroleum industry evolve as has Richard Salinsky, president of Best Petroleum in Lynn, Mass. With more than 50 years of experience and dedication to the industry, Salinsky

Are Customers Always Right?

As anyone even remotely associated with the service industry will tell you the customer is king. But a new book is challenging that theory and takes a critical look at the true value of disgruntled customers. For example, in a retail setting, the squeaky wheel almost always winds up getting the grease. Customers tend to

Breakfast_4084

Keeping the Menu Fresh

Foodservice customers are becoming value-conscious, a reflection of current economic conditions. Consumers are now expecting better value in terms of price, service, consistency and food quality. By John Lofstock, Editor. Bringing consumers into convenience stores to buy food requires a great offering at a good price. But with all the competition for share of stomach,

Shell_Station_Exterior

Shell Bolsters Loyalty

The Fuel Rewards Network, an extension of its Grocer Rewards program, is enhancing the brand proposition for Shell marketers and wholesalers. By John Lofstock, Editor. The competition for customers has never been so furious. Consumers have more and more choices every day, and the right customer loyalty program has the power to make or break

smith gm

Thorntons Salutes Employees, Troops

The 2011 General Manager’s Conference in Louisville features awards for top team members and vendors and a Humanitarian Event at Fort Knox. By John Lofstock, Editor Close to 400 general managers, regional managers, company executives and corporate sponsors gathered in Louisville, Ky., this week as Thorntons Inc. kicked off its 2011 General Managers’ Conference. The

fuelpumpingLARGE

Wholesale Gasoline Costs Mixed in Early November

Wholesale gasoline costs were mixed in major metropolitan markets across the U.S. during the first week of November, while the broader trend is moving higher despite poor demand for gasoline. Should current dynamics hold, we could see the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) U.S. retail gasoline average moving higher into the Thanksgiving holiday from a four-week

Honoring the Thorntons Culture

Pride, tradition, exceptional service, an outstanding culture and dedicated employees. These are just some of the unique qualities found in the industry’s top convenience store chains. For the past 22 years, Convenience Store Decisions has had the honor of recognizing this excellence in retailing and this year we are proud to honor Thorntons Inc. as

nacsLogo

NACS CAFÉ is Calling

With foodservice taking on an expanded role in convenience stores, retailers can utilize NACS CAFÉ to learn about best practices, new ideas and emerging solutions. By John Lofstock, Editor. Foodservice now accounts for nearly one in every six dollars spent inside convenience stores. Getting foodservice right is no longer just a challenge, it is absolutely

duke

Englefield Oil Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

Three generations of exceptional leadership and a keen focus on employees help the family business reach this distinctive milestone. By: John Lofstock, Editor. To understand the history of the convenience store and petroleum industry is to understand the individual success stories that helped build our great nation. Each company has a unique story, but their

CustomerService copy

Motivating Employees in a Challenging Economy

Some chains just don’t have the financial resources to give out much-deserved raises and bonuses, but there are other ways to show your staff you appreciate their hard work. By John Lofstock, Editor. To say the least, the past few years haven’t been the best for business. While we have weathered a brutal recession, it’s

Creditcard

Stacking the Cards In Your Favor

General purpose prepaid debit cards are rapidly gaining favor with consumers as an alternative to closed-loop gift cards. By John Lofstock, Editor. Sales of open-loop prepaid cards, issued by banks and credit card companies and able to be used at multiple establishments, are only going to go up as more consumers come to appreciate their

31557-hi-exxon

The Business of Growing

Overcoming the top nine challenges for effectively growing your retail business requires true leadership and patience. By John Lofstock, Editor. The hardest step entrepreneurs take is getting their startup off the ground once and for all. The second hardest step is growing it into the best business it can be. What today’s entrepreneurs and aspiring

Tracking the Trends in Convenience Retailing

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

Miller,-Jeff-12

Updating the State of the Industry

NACS Chairman Jeff Miller discusses card fees, fuel and the future of convenience stores. By John Lofstock, Editor. Jeff Miller, president of Miller Oil Co. in Virginia, wears many hats. He is an oilman, an industry advocate and a leader.   For the past year, he has also been the chairman of NACS, which could

Heroes-2

Giving Back to the Community

The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees boosts charitable funding. By John Lofstock, Editor. As part of its ongoing commitment to charitable causes, the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) helped raise nearly $750,000 this year for two of its charitable partners, Hire Heroes USA and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Hire

css.php