dream grill

The roller grill has evolved. Today’s versatile roller grills cook up and merchandise a lot more than just hot dogs. Roller grills are a great way to prepare and merchandise a growing number of foods in convenience stores. In fact, operators are finding that roller grills are much more versatile than once thought. Not long

fewer gallons

Reclaiming water helps car wash operators cut costs substantially and reinforce their reputation as being good neighbors. By Bill Donahue, Editor Last summer, as a cameraman was setting up his tripod at a car wash/convenience store in the Las Vegas area, Jon Athey knew it probably wasn’t a positive development. There, an associate producer for

refreshing sales

New products, new segments and new approaches to merchandising help Alabama’s Shop-A-Snak boost sales and maximize variety in each area of the cooler. Shop-A-Snak Food Mart Inc. made the decision two years ago to wrap its arms firmly around the beer customer. The Birmingham, AL-based chain of 37 convenience stores expanded its mix by increasing

cleaning up at the coffee bar

A new addition to 7-Eleven’s coffee bar targets the road warrior: spill-protection wipes. There’s nothing more frustrating for a “road warrior” than to stain a freshly-pressed shirt or suit coat with a splash of hot coffee. And 7-Eleven Inc. knows it. The retailer that began offering hot-to-go coffee in convenience stores almost 40 years ago

if the safety shoe fits

Outfit your employees with stylish, comfortable shoes that can prevent slip-and-falls. One of the leading causes of employee injuries is slip-and-fall accidents. All the safety procedures in the world can’t protect a company from a momentary lapse that results in an employee taking a spill on a slippery floor, but a simple footwear program can

cobranded credit

Building Fanatics at Retail

A decade ago, RJ Reynolds took a journey to the center of its Doral brand, located its DNA, and began rebuilding it from the inside out. For convenience retailers, there is much to be learned from the example. Flash back to that infamous Friday in 1993, when Philip Morris took swift and dramatic action to

loss leaders

New technology convinces Town & Country and WESCO Inc. that slashing losses can be just as profitable as growing sales. About three years ago, WESCO Inc. (Muskegon, MI) implemented its "Churn Busters" program as a means of slashing turnover. The savings gained from the program—the company reduced its turnover by 50% in just one year—

nice n easys new face

A bold new store image helps Nice N Easy in its quest to become the ’Wegmans of convenience retailing.’ Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes has no fear of going out on a limb. In the face of dwindling cigarette sales—the chain has seen its carton sales cut in half over the past five years due

numbing the sting

Due to a zero-tolerance policy Terrible Herbst instituted about three years ago, George Philpott has had to witness the termination of an hourly employee that served the company for 18 years, as well as a store manager that worked there for seven years. He’s seen some good people leave in tears after violating the stringent

staying fresh

New technology helps retailers focus on freshness and maintain the power of their brands. It wasn’t long ago that convenience stores were stuffed with nothing but pre-packaged foods with a long shelf life. That’s not the case today, as consumers have dictated what matters most: convenient products with freshness and quality. That, after all, is

bars of gold

For these two retailers, chocolate bars had an exceptional year in 2004. Based on early results, they expect the segment’s performance to only sweeten in 2005. When the convenience store industry tries to breathe new life into a sluggish category, one of the first suggestions often made is to reduce price. But when it came

upgrading the bean

C-store retailers expect enhancements to the coffee bar new blends, cups and designs—to foster dramatic growth. Less than six months ago, the coffee presentation at Heritage’s Dairy Stores looked pretty basic. It took up 8 ft. to 10 ft. of space, featuring just a few brewers selling dark roast, decaf and a proprietary blend. Today,

cool

A new digital badge could help increase sales, improve the execution of in-store promotions and raise awareness of your brand. Seems like you just might need some ’stinkin’ badges’ after all. Picture this: It’s Super Bowl weekend and an adult customer comes to the register with a sixpack of Bud Light. He places the package

a holy grail for tobacco

Seeking better ways to manage the cigarette category as a means of securing more gross profit dollars? A ’six-step’ analysis may help uncover hidden profits. Even though the “same firms” database of CStoreXchange (CSX) shows that 2004 cigarette dollar sales may approximate 1% more per store versus 2003, when you factor in tax and price

is krispy kremed

Key changes in the rungs of Krispy Kreme’s corporate ladder raise both optimism and doubt regarding the once-infallible brand’s long-term prospects for the c-store channel. For one-time Wall Street darling Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., the dough may yet rise again. The board of directors for the North Carolina-based donut maker, which had been making headlines

meat marketing

In search of a truly unique foodservice offering, NOCO Express found a hometown partnership that really ’beefed up’ store sales. There’s a delicacy that originated in Buffalo, NY, called a Roast Beef on Weck sandwich. It’s a hot roast beef sandwich where the meat is aged three to four weeks in a cooler and hand-carved

paying a premium

Healthcare costs are on the rise nationwide. Self-insured Sheetz takes a committee-based approach to curtailing healthcare expenses. During the past five years, businesses across the country have seen health benefits costs jump an average of 14% per year. As a result, companies are making tactical moves to help stop the bleeding, so to speak. Whether

pod people

The hot dispensed beverage category represents 32.8% of all food sales in the convenience channel

speedyrecovery

Darker days behind it, Fas Mart stands poised to reap a bountiful harvest When Brad Chivington joined Fas Mart Convenience Stores Inc., he had a sobering realization just a few months into his tenure as senior vice president of sales and marketing: "What have I gotten myself into?" In early 2000, Chivington came to the

spoons and toons

Cereal ain’t just for breakfast anymore. A new concept called Cereality caters to all customers and all dayparts by recreating a cherished childhood experience. Starbucks may soon have competition for consumers’ "third place," after home and the office. Near the University of Pennsylvania campus in downtown Philadelphia stands the Cereality Cereal Bar & Caf, an

walmarts small mart

Might the world’s largest retailer take a run at operating convenience stores? Absolutely. By Michael Bergdahl Imade a presentation at the National Association of Convenience Stores’ 2004 annual conference in Las Vegas last October. My speech centered around my book, What I Learned from Sam Walton: How to Compete and Thrive in a Wal-Mart World.

flavor boost

Cigars and moist smokeless tobacco items bearing exotic aromas and tastes account for much of the non-cigarette tobacco category’s recent sales growth. ‘Who would have guessed that apple would be such a strong flavor?" asks Kent Raphael, vice president of merchandising for Village Pantry LLC (Indianapolis, IN). He’s not asking about a hot-selling juice drink

hot doggin

Hot dogs have long been a staple on convenience store roller grills, but new items help spice up sales. For as long as Jeff Beal can remember, foodservice has always set apart Johnny Quik Food Stores, Inc. (Fresno, CA). Eight years ago the 20-store chain tried its first Subway, which has yielded three more franchises

ice ice baby

Are you producing the right type of ice for your customers’ dispensed beverages? If so, are you producing enough of it? Having the right type of ice and producing the right amount of ice in a costeffective way are critical to maintaining profitability at the beverage center. There are two basic types of ice made

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