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Organizational Transformation–A Step Forward

In business, it is essential to know the path just traveled. Most organizations take a look back at the preceding 1-2 months to evaluate their financial results and attempt to make rhyme or reason of it. Lengthy discussions are had to either justify or explain the results—of which there is no way of amending. In

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Tear Down The Expense Wall!

Every small business owner faces the same issue—managing their expenses. While most small businesses keep a keen eye on growing the top line—revenues—many small businesses fail to address their expense line items on an ongoing basis. Granted, once the business started, all line item expenses were carefully reviewed. But, now that your company is established,

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Integrating Acquisitions

Growing your enterprise can usually be accomplished following two paths: a) organic growth—the process of building your overall portfolio of stores through the development of ground-up store build outs; or b) expanding your portfolio through acquiring other locations. In most cases, the strategy of a growing an organization is generally accomplished with a combination of

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Developing Your Financial Acumen

The art of understanding your business from a financial perspective is a critical step for any entrepreneur. Knowing your business—financially—will provide the business owner the avenue for achieving both their short and long term goals. Today’s cash flows are met, and solid financial acumen positions tomorrows potential exit more effectively. While we would all like

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Growing Gum and Mint Sales

While sales dollars are down, study shows customers continue to purchase gum for numerous reasons, from breath freshening to stress relief. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The gum category has faced an ongoing sales decline since 2010. In 2012, gum saw monthly sales of $954 at convenience stores, with a monthly gross profit of $460,

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Chevron, Safeway Expand Loyalty Partnership

Grocery purchases lead to fuel discounts for customers in three new markets. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. To capture an increased number of fuel customers, Chevron and Safeway have expanded their joint loyalty program to Las Vegas, Northern California and Hawaii.  Customers in these regions can now earn gas rewards when they shop using their

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Understanding Consumers Key to Salty Snacks

Whether it’s embracing healthy snacks or sticking with tried-and-true brands, convenience stores must closely monitor sales data to track what their customers are buying in this important core category. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Recent consumer research seems to suggest that many convenience store customers looking to buy salty snacks leave the store empty-handed. Knowing

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The Affordable Care Act: What You Need to Know Now

Beginning in 2014, health insurance will be available to individuals and small businesses through state-run “exchanges.”  These will require insurance companies to compete for business in the marketplace. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Now is the time for employers to prepare to meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Obama administration’s healthcare law

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Heatable Eatables

Mama Cola’s is a third generation Italian gourmet pasta sauce, originating in Naples Italy. Its rich flavor is a combination of quality ground beef, plump tomatoes, and fresh herbs and spices. And now, Mama Cola’s Sauce has introduced Heatable Eatables. The easy-to-merchandise, microwaveable, gourmet quality single serve meals are available in an array of choices,

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Nice N Easy Recognizes Top Employees

Duskiewicz honored with Sharon Jordan Memorial True Spirit Award. Recently, Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes recognized several excelling employees that demonstrated outstanding service during 2012. The evening began with the recognition of Joan Seifried, who has been a part of the Nice N Easy Family since the 1980’s.  She started many years ago as the

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Chevron ExtraMile Launches Warp Speed Instant Win Game

Contest celebrates new Star Trek Into Darkness film. Chevron ExtraMile has announced its new Warp Speed Instant Win Game in support of the upcoming film Star Trek Into Darkness opening May 17, 2013. Now through June 30, or while supplies last, eligible visitors to participating ExtraMile locations in California, Oregon and Washington can request a

NCSA Announces 2013 Candy Hall of Fame Inductees

In October, 12 individuals will be inducted to the prestigious list of industry leaders. On behalf of the Board of Directors of the National Confectionery Sales Association (NCSA), Teresa Tarantino, executive director of NCSA, announced in a letter the names of the 2013 Candy Hall of Fame inductees. The following 12 individuals will be inducted

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KickBack Rewards Systems to Exhibit at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show

Restaurant operators and fast-food retailers looking to drive loyalty can learn all about KickBack’s innovative loyalty solutions by visiting the KickBack team at Booth 9524 at The National Restaurant (NRA) Show from May 18-21 in Chicago. KickBack Rewards Systems, an Idaho-based rewards and loyalty solutions provider, is pleased to announce that it will makes its

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Chocolate Remains Recession Proof

The National Confectioners Association (NCA) is predicting that 2013 will be a strong year for chocolate in convenience stores. Sales were up 3.3% for the last 52 weeks ended March 24, according to SymphonyIRI. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. In 2012, c-store was the only channel to gain in dollars (2.4%) and units (1.2%) in

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Diversifying the Foodservice Menu

With beef prices continuing to rise, poultry remains the protein of choice for many Americans. And, with the flexibility of chicken, this means ample opportunity for daypart-spanning sales. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Since introducing the Charley Bigg’s Chicken and Sauce program into two Friendship Food Stores six years ago and four more two years

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Prepaid Profitability Soars

Today’s card capabilities surpass the features offered by many checking accounts. These features include managing prepaid purchases through mobile devices and social media accounts and the ability to make person-to-person transfers. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Prepaid cards can be tied to financial services such as remittance and bill payments, but that may mean competing

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Fifty Shades of Green

Even small, sustainable initiatives can resonate with customers and improve a convenience store’s bottom line. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The verdict is in: A growing number of customers are becoming environmentally-conscious and they prefer to spend their money at stores doing their part to grow sustainability. Retailers across all channels are beginning to cash

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Make Room for Big Data

The increasing volume and detail of information captured by business, the rise of multimedia, social media and the Internet will fuel exponential growth in data for the foreseeable future. By Barbara Brynko, Contributing Editor Big data. If you think data is something that only big retailers such as Amazon or Netflix deal with, think again.•

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A Family Like No Other

From self-distribution and unique product development to outstanding customer service and social media investments, Gus Olympidis continues to push the boundaries of innovation at Family Express. By John Lofstock, Editor. On a frigid February Indiana morning, about a dozen prospective employees rolled into Family Express’s state-of-the-art learning center in Valparaiso, Ind., to see if they

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Stepping Up to Train Loyal Employees

Convenience store operators must work on improving their training programs so that they can improve sales, customer satisfaction and employee retention. By Jim Callahan. The strained economy has been a little bit of a double-edged sword for the convenience store industry. While customers may be a little tighter with their spending, I’ve found that employee

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Earth Market Debuts with Earth Day Celebration

With a tagline of “fresh energy for life,” Atlas Oil’s latest convenience store concept features Eco-Earth Coffee, LED lighting and a host of recycling initiatives. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor Atlas Oil launched its new Earth Market c-store concept in February, rebranding its five    company-operated stores in the greater Chicago market. True to its name,

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Pushing the Boundaries of Innovation

By John Lofstock, Editor. In these difficult economic times it’s rewarding to meet successful businesses that are doing things right. It’s even more gratifying when these businesses are family owned and operated. Such is the case with Family Express in Valparaiso, Ind. I have known Gus Olympidis and his family for more than 15 years

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LTO Café Flavors

Insight Beverages has introduced the 2013 Limited-Time Offer (LTO) flavors in its Café Supreme line, providing operators on-trend flavors and high quality soluble cappuccino and cocoa beverages at an affordable price point. New flavor Double Mocha, is also being launched as part of Insight Beverages’ core line of products.  All products are available for order

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Rutter’s Adds Value Menu

Customers can find favorites for all dayparts priced under $2. Rutter’s Farm Stores introduced a value menu this week, reinforcing its commitment to delivering exceptional food at a great value, the chain announced this week. The new value menu consists of existing choices, more than 50 long-time customer favorites, all priced to please from 99

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M-PACT 2013 Fuels Minds, Boosts Business

Record-breaking attendance says it all–and this one’s for the history books. M-PACT 2013 brought together nearly 4,500 energy and convenience professionals from across the Midwest for three exciting days of innovation and inspiration. As the industry’s premier regional tradeshow, M-PACT combined thought-provoking educational sessions with top-notch networking opportunities so attendees left for home with ideas

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