the king of all duckies

Elvis is in the building! Elvis Presley is as American as apple pieand baseball, and if early results are any indication, a new rubber duckie castin the mold of “The King” could reap a hunk-ahunkof-burnin’ sales for conveniencestores. Elvis represents the biggest new addition to the lineup from the company thatmade rubber duckies cool again,

moe speeds to market

Running a convenience store business comes with its share of benefits.For Brian Bach, co-owner of More of Everything, the perks include a companycar…or van, to be more precise. The van features the logo and addresses of More of Everything's two locations,as well as logos of key vendors who helped Bach and business partner Cory Churchillpay

putting a finger onbiometrics

Some retailers now accept a new form of customer payment: the human body (or at least part of it). Most people would develop an eating disorder or some other form of neurosis if people continually gave them the finger. But not Colorado’s Bob Zenner. The more people flash him their “digits,” the wider his smile.

wheelindealin

Oregon retailer More of Everything caters to captive audiences in area shopping malls. It also attracts droves of race fans with exclusive and collectible items. Brian C. Bach’s passion for all things NASCAR came gift-wrapped with his DNA. His father, a photographer, freelanced for the Los Angeles Times and covered NASCAR and Indy races at

a bitter taste

’Old Salt’ remains the snack category’s strongest draw, but pre-priced items leave an unpleasant taste in the mouths of many retailers. One Arkansas-based merchant opted to take a leading manufacturer’s brands off its shelves over an inflexible pricing policy. No one is irreplaceable. That’s essentially the message Terry Taylorsent one of the packaged snack category’s

rubber meets the cstore

Customers pulling in to one of Jerry Dorminey's NASCAR-themed convenience storesor travel centers are immediately drawn to the Nextel Cup car on display (above).Thanks to his racing connections (he owned his own race team in the 1960s and'70s), he's able to put an actual racecar on each property, like a shiny metalcalling card beckoning the

portion potions

America is a nation of dashboard diners. But Americans are taking a more sensible approach to eating on the go, realizing the need to balance convenience with healthy eating, according to On-The-Go Eating: Consumer Mindsets, Menu Trends and Product/Packaging Innovations, a new report from market researcher Packaged Facts. Key trends covered in the report include

a revolution in portability

Looking for a unique foodservice offer that requires minimal labor and comes with its own edible package? A new company founded by food designer and consultant Nir Adar offers "the first real food innovation since sliced bread." While living in New York, Adar saw how people wrestled with enormous pizza slices and wondered if there

coffee better than sex

Some people would sooner swear off "nookie" than give up their morning cup of coffee, according to new research commissioned by Dunkin' Donuts. The donut and coffee chain surveyed close to 1,200 customers (ages 18 to 49) across the country to find that 42% of coffee drinkers say that coffee is a more important or

visionary

Jim Fiene started his c-store career as a thirdshift worker at a Speedway SuperAmerica store while studying cinematography at a Milwaukee technical college. He dreamed of one day making movies as a big-time Holywood director, but he soon realized the convenience retailing industry provided all the drama and excitement he could ever want. "I thrive

centralized production

Central Ohio Energy (Mansfield, OH) opened its commissary about threeyears ago. Company executives saw a need for a fresh and consistent productand couldn't pinpoint a vendor that could provide the quality it needed andbe flexible about returns. The Ohio chain operates nine locations: eight In-n-Out Marts and one Easy TripStore. The Easy Trip, which is

are you flushing profits down the toilet

Restrooms aren’t just another convenience for customers, especially as foodservice When VERC Enterprises (Duxbury, MA) first started offering restrooms, all the facilities had exterior entrances. It wasn’t the most convenient set-up, but the 20-store chain felt they would work just fine—until a customer brought something unusual to the attention of the manager of one of

clicking for bargains

Looking to rediscover a long-lost childhood toy and pick up a new roller grill at half the cost? Point your mouse to eBay.com Only five weeks elapsed from the day Raymond Hall decided to open his own restaurant to the day he had all the equipment he needed to operate his Riverside Deli in in

restroom riches

Everything in the restroom is a cost center

outfoxing the competition

Inventive car wash operators find faithful ’companions’ in pet owners wanting to pamper their pups. Most dog owners would associate the word “loyal” with their furry, four-legged friends. And retailers—specifically those with car washes—are hoping they can make the same association with all types of pet owners. While dog washes came into vogue in 2003

mopping upwithout the mop

They say the minute a robot can do a job is the minute a person is no longer required to do that job. Employees might not want to hear that unless it is to perform an unpleasant task like cleaning the restroom. iRobot (www.irobot.com) partnered with The Clorox Co. to develop the Scooba Robotic Floor

cold hard cash

Indiana’s Circle A Food Stores jolts awake its packaged beverage sales with Water is vital to sustain any life, whether it be that of a human, ananimal or a beverage category. Despite a furious wave of new item introductionsin every beverage subcategory, consumers always seem to return to their colorless,odorless and tasteless master. “Our total

coffee talk

Espresso and cappuccino machines can elevate convenience stores to the same level as gourmet coffeehouses. Espresso and cappuccino are hot in more ways than one these days. Espressois an Italian-style coffee, usually made by the cup, using high-pressure hotwater forced through finely roasted coffee to create the distinct potency andflavor. Cappuccino is espresso mixed with

dailys grind

A commitment to compliance and community powers Daily’s in its quest to be Rick Hamilton had seen just about everything by the time he decided to enter the convenience retailing business. After returning home from a tour of duty in Operation Desert Storm in the early1990s, he settled in Nashville and went to work as

the most unlikely real estate

Forgive me if this note gets too personal. About 12 years ago, my then-girlfriend (now wife) Donna and I were traveling the Garden State Parkway to pursue some R&R down the Jersey Shore. Ninety minutes into our trip, we pulled off at the Frank S. Farley travel plaza to load up on provisions and to

new recruits

BP enlists a third-party ’matchmaker’ for help in recruiting African-American Executive leadership at BP West Coast Products LLC (La Palma, CA) hasbeen faced with the difficult challenge of attracting African-American franchiseesto its ampm store brand. The stores, which market ARCObranded gasoline, arenot being viewed as an attractive option by African-American entrepreneurs,according to Tony Padulo, director

phat threads for mickey ds

To make its uniforms more appealing to employees, QSR king McDonald's is preparingto invest $80 million in new duds that could put employees on People magazine'sBest-Dressed List. A report in Advertising Age says the chain has had serious discussionswith design moguls Russell Simmons, P. Diddy and Tommy Hilfiger, among others,to develop uniforms that riff on

valeros got a brand new bag

Valero expects customers to munch as many as 1.5 million bags of its new Fresh For years Valero Energy Corp. has offered a proprietary line of sandwichesunder several brand names. Two years ago it took a step into the bottled watercategory with three packages of spring water under its Fresh Choices label.Its most recent proprietary

deliverance

Pizza delivery didn’t work out as expected for this small Carolina chain. Mike and Brad Woodie were probably the type of kids who weren’t afraidto fall off their bicycles. The two—president and vice president, respectively,of Woodie’s (Charlotte, NC)—looked at the neighborhood around their newestWoodie’s store in uptown Charlotte and saw loads of high-rise apartments, condosand

dealmaker

Rick Klyczek is what you'd call a NOCO "lifer." He started working for New York's NOCO Energy Corp. right out of school as an assistant manager in the company's NOCO Express retail division. He quickly moved up through the ranks to become store manager and then district manager before moving into various executive-level positions at

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