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Improving Retail Retention

In a down economy, employees have fewer job opportunities, but retailers would be remiss to overlook company morale simply because employees have fewer options. By John Lofstock, Editor. We live in a 24/7 stressful society, filled with uncertainty in the job market, the economy, competition, etc. A large percentage of employees admit to being unhappy

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ExxonMobil to Pay $1.5 Billion For Gas Station Leak

Exxon Mobil is being ordered to pay more than $1.5 billion in damages to 160 families and businesses affected by a 2006 gasoline leak in Maryland, The Huffington Post reported. Jurors awarded more than $1 billion in punitive damages on Thursday, after earlier awarding $495 million in compensatory damages. The award in Baltimore County Circuit

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Serving Today’s Students

The Rochester Institute of Technology’s Global Village has earned accolades for its new convenience store, restaurants and international flavor. By John Lofstock, Editor. Long known for its high academic standards, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) can add award-winning convenience store retailer to its impressive list of accolades. After nearly three years in the planning

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Focusing on Foodservice

Burgers, brats and sausages continue to drive sales among core convenience store customers. By John Lofstock, Editor. While customers may say they want healthy and organic foods, a Technomic report found that 91% of consumers said they eat a burger at least once a month and 44% have a burger at least once a week.

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Serving Today’s Smokers

Led by the Gallagher family, Smoker Friendly continues the fight to sell tobacco legally and responsibly. By John Lofstock, Editor. While the federal government seems intent on eliminating tobacco products altogether, tobacco remains a legal product in the U.S. enjoyed by legal-aged adults exercising their right to smoke, dip or chew. The right to enjoy

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Maintaining Cigarette Sales

Despite taxation and regulation, convenience store retailers remain optimistic about this lucrative category, though a potential ban on menthol products is looming. By John Lofstock, Editor. In an era in which the sports page sounds like the business page, talk of selling cigarettes inevitably sounds like political rhetoric. When c-store operators talk cigarettes these days

Applauding Industry Leaders

By: John Lofstock, Editor. “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.” Those words are about as chilling to convenience store retailers as Navy SEAL Team 6 is to terrorists. But this is the new reality for all marketers of tobacco. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants convenience store retailers to think otherwise.

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Poultry Fuels Healthy Food Sales

Whether it’s sandwiches, wraps or salads, chicken’s flexibility allows for a variety of healthy menu options. By John Lofstock, Editor. Convenience stores are going fresh and healthy, but not quickly enough for consumers, a new research report suggests. Convenience stores have been a growing outlet for produce, but consumers want more. More than half (52%),

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Gas Prices Rising After Slumping to Five-Week Low

Climbing wholesale gasoline costs are poised to push higher the U.S. regular grade retail gasoline average when the Energy Information Administration releases its survey results for May 31 from a five-week low of $3.849 gallon set on May 23, reversing two consecutive weeks in which the average fell by nearly 12 cents per gallon. The

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Cornering the Smokeless Tobacco Market

Keeping sets fresh—allocating shelf space, rotating product, keeping tabs on expiration dates and weeding out slow sellers in favor of new items—is the key to maintaining strong sales. By John Lofstock, Editor. Convenience store operators are enjoying the growing popularity of smokeless tobacco products, but they are also being forced to keep a wary eye

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Agriculture Secretary Pushes E85 at a Thorntons in Tenn.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted the importance of moving toward a clean energy economy and breaking the country’s unsustainable dependence on foreign oil while visiting a Thorntons convenience store that markets E-85 fuel. “Flex-fuel pumps give Americans a choice to purchase domestically produced renewable transportation fuels,” Vilsack said. “The Obama Administration is working to transform

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ConocoPhillips Joins Kickback’s Coalition Loyalty Program

ConocoPhillips today reported that it has joined the Kickback Points Coalition Loyalty Program. This compelling program will offer Phillips 66, Conoco and 76-branded retailers a turnkey and cost effective loyalty solution. Participating consumers can earn and redeem points instantly for fuel and merchandise purchases at participating Phillips 66, Conoco and 76-branded sites as well as

Serving the Industry

There is more pressure than ever on convenience store chains to not only exceed customers’ expectations, but to stay ahead of the competition, navigate legislative issues and still be good corporate citizens in the communities they serve. This doesn’t even take into account managing operations, training employees and developing a strategy to grow the business.

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Complying with Cigarette Sales Restrictions

As the noose tightens on menthol products, convenience store retailers are learning to accept the latest limitations placed on tobacco products. By: John Lofstock, Editor. Cigarettes will soon carry new warning labels as the question for retailers becomes how to market a product whose package basically urges consumers not to buy it. Federal legislation handed

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The Growing Demand for Fresh Foods

In today’s health-conscious world, convenience stores are expanding their menus to include more healthy snacks and meals. By: John Lofstock, Editor. While cash-strapped consumers are cooking at home more often to help ease tight budgets, a new study by the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) found that these shoppers are on the lookout for

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Tom Thumb Wins CSD Extreme Makeover Contest

Florida chain will receive a complete brand audit, consulting services and an updating marketing strategy from Integrate and Convevo Partners. By Greg Ehrlich and John Lofstock One of the biggest differences between top convenience store operators and the rest of the industry is the strength of their brands and their clarity of purpose. Over the

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7-Eleven Acquires Wilson Farms

Deal covering 188 stores significantly boosts the chain’s presence in western New York. 7-Eleven, Inc. has signed an agreement to purchase Wilson Farms, a Buffalo-based convenience store chain with 188 outlets in New York state, with an expected closing in the second quarter. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The addition of Wilson Farms

How Involved Are You?

By: John Lofstock, Editor. After a years-long struggle to get some much-needed relief from the high interchange fees that are eroding the industry’s profitability, convenience store operators are in danger of seeing the victory slip between their hands. The Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank Consumer Financial Protection Act, which is set to be finalized April

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Convenience Store Sales Show Strong Growth in 2010

Convenience store in-store sales grew 4.4% in 2010, reaching a record $190.4 billion, according to figures released today by NACS. Combined with $328.7 billion in motor fuels sales, total convenience store sales in 2010 were $575.6 billion, or one out of every 25 dollars of the overall $14.624 trillion U.S. gross domestic product. The industry’s

Emphasizing Category Management

 By: John Lofstock, Editor. Convenience Store Decisions‘ annual Category Management Outlook issue is routinely one of my favorite issues of the year because it gives the CSD staff an opportunity not only to analyze the industry’s performance over the past 12 months, but to forecast the sales trends retailers can expect to see over the

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Banking Industry has Durbin Amendment Under Fire

By John Lofstock and Erin Rigik. The Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank Consumer Financial Protection Act, which would give the convenience store industry much-needed relief on debit card transactions, could be delayed as a result of a new bill introduced March 15 by Senator John Tester (D-MT). Any such delay would be “a slap in

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Wholesale Gasoline Costs Mixed as Crude Slips

Wholesale gasoline costs were mixed through the week-ending Monday (3/14), with prices in the West Coast bucking lower markets in most parts of the U.S. as California transitions to summer grade gasoline with a lower Reid Vapor Pressure reading. Retail prices will continue to advance on the updraft from previous spiking wholesale values triggered by

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Enter the 2011 C-Store Futurecast Contest

Is your image suffering from market fatigue? Could your stores use a face lift? Are you looking for a marketing edge that will reinvigorate your retail brand? Then it’s time to enter C-Store Futurecast 2011, Convenience Store Decisions’ Extreme Marketing Makeover contest. CSD has joined forces with Convevo Partners and Integrate to offer one contest

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Drivers Fill-Up as Gasoline Prices Spike

Federal data shows that gasoline supplied to the market, frequently referred to as implied demand, surged in late February, holding above the five-year average for the final two full weeks last month even though retail gasoline prices were setting a series of new highs. It was the first time in 2011 that the demand indicator

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Take the 2011 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 human resources practices. For the third consecutive year, Convenience Store Decisions, in partnership with human resources expert Mel Kleiman is launching a confidential online survey

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