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Finding Your Niche in the Hispanic Market

Specifying your target customer in the diverse Hispanic demographic can help food sales soar at retail. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. The first rule of marketing for the average Hispanic consumer is understanding that there is no such thing as the average Hispanic consumer. The Hispanic consumer spans a diverse demographic composed of many niche

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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

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The Economics of Energy Efficiency

Convenience stores and many other retail segments have been able to slash operating costs with LED lighting and other equipment upgrades. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Convenience store chains big and small are finding ways to save money while improving the store experience for customers with energy efficient technologies. When Wawa Inc. was searching for

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Worth The ‘Hassel’

Cumberland Farms turns a unique theft problem into a marketing campaign on its social media sites. By Megan Wilkinson, Assistant Editor Cumberland Farms stores launched a promotion of its iced coffee featuring David Hasselhoff as its spokesman last month, and it garnered instant attention from its customers…maybe too much attention. The chain decided to place

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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

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Managing Today’s Retail Workforce

As major shifts in the economy have created unparalleled effects on the labor market, CSD has partnered with Humetrics to help c-store operators benchmark their hiring practices and employee costs. By Mel Kleiman, Contributing Editor. In an ongoing effort to support the convenience store and petroleum industry’s forecasting and planning responsibilities, Convenience Store Decisions and

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Screen In the Best, Screen Out the Rest

Just as you should consistently ask applicants questions that get you all the information needed, so should you question yourself every time you consider hiring a new employee. By Mel Kleiman, Contributing Editor. One of the fastest growing classes of lawsuits today are employment law filings. In addition to discrimination and wage/hour actions, we’re seeing

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Train to Retain

To get and keep “A” players, retailers must become an employer of choice. This doesn’t always mean paying more money, but it does mean understanding that the way employees treat customers reflects the way their employers treat them. By Mel Kleiman, Contributing Editor. Do you ever wonder why no one ever trains us for life’s

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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

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Advertising, Marketing, Entertaining and Deducting

Promotional budgets are typically one of the first costs businesses look to slash when times get tough. But understanding available tax deductions can help offset advertising expenses. By Mark E. Battersby, Contributing Editor. Without effective marketing and advertising, customers may recognize the existence of your convenience store business, but they won’t know anything about it.

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Don’t Settle for Employee Mediocrity

Training and preparing employees for advancement is one proven method for attracting and retaining these talented workers.  By Mel Kleiman, Contributing Editor. In the course of my more than 25 year’s of consulting and professional speaking work about how to recruit, select and retain the best frontline employees, I have identified one common case of

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Battling City Hall

While dealing with red tape is a common occurrence when dealing with local municipalities, there are tax benefits for businessowners to make the process less costly.  By Mark E. Battersby, Contributing Editor. Thanks to the economy and skyrocketing costs, convenience stores and other businesses are making less money and paying more in taxes while, at

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Putting the Community to Work

With 20% of its staff now made up of challenged and disabled individuals, VERC Enterprises has earned a reputation as a top employer. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. VERC Enterprises, an independent convenience store, gasoline station and car wash operator in eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire, has reached a new milestone by including challenged/disabled individuals

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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

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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

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Exercise Caution on Fuel Tanks

With retailers still unsure of what the future holds for fuels in the U.S., investing in new USTs is a risky proposition. By John Lofstock, Editor. It’s been nearly four years since then-President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act into law, requiring at least 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel be

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Negotiating for the Best Cost of Goods

Convenience store owners need to work more closely with suppliers and wholesalers to get better supply contracts and offer consumers more competitive prices. Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Convenience store owners need to work more closely with suppliers and wholesalers to get better supply contracts and offer consumers more competitive prices. A plaque in Ray Johnson’s

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Tax Savings After the Deadline

With operating costs soaring in a sluggish economy, convenience store owners have a variety of tax benefits available to them from the IRS.  By Mark E. Battersby, Contributing Editor. Earlier this year, the Internal Revenue Service advised taxpayers to cool their heels and wait until mid- to late-February 2011 before filing their returns to allow

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Marketing in a Digital Age

Rising Star: Megan Sutfin Social Media Administrator, Sac N Pac Stores. Smart convenience store chains recognize that social networking is a crucial tool in keeping the lines of communication open with customers and growing loyalty for years to come. A social media team can help your chain control brand image, calm any negative conversations that

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Integrating POS Solutions

Speed of service is crucial, but with all the services that convenience stores offer today communication between machines is key. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Greater speed of service and reduced operational costs can both be achieved through new integrated point-of-sale (POS) solutions. Case in point: Kocolene Marketing LLC in Seymour, Ind., which is making

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Southside Oil Welcomes John Hornyak

New senior vice president of wholesale fuels joins Southside Oil team. Southside Oil, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the largest ExxonMobil fuel distributor in the region, Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (MACS), has appointed John Hornyak as senior vice president of wholesale fuels. Hornyak brings to the Southside Oil team celebrated experience as a senior executive in the

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Managing the Distribution Network

There are endless perks and possibilities for convenience store chains of all sizes that embrace self delivery. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. In the highly competitive convenience store industry, retailers must constantly search out new ways to control expenses, boost profits and improve margins. For chains of a certain size, self-distribution has the potential to

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Is Groupon Right for Your Business?

A growing debate continues as to whether Groupon, and other daily deal sites like Living Socialare good for businesses or are they a quick-fix marketing solution in a sluggish economy yielding short-lived, expensive, false hope. While the jury is still out, there is no debating that the daily deal phenomenon continues to grow in popularity.

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Facebook Marketing for Convenience Stores

Convenience store chains, like most retailers, pay close attention to transaction counts and sales per customer. Until recently, getting to know your customers as individuals might have seemed costly and out of reach for all but the largest of companies. Having the opportunity to communicate with your customers and getting to know their friends and

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What’s your turnover rate?

Turnover can be very costly, yet it is often overlooked or poorly measured by many convenience store retailers. Studies peg the cost of replacing one c-store employee can be $1,500 or more and that ignores the opportunity cost from increased sales resulting from a well trained, stable, customer focused work force.   Many chains are

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