a touch of controversy

A growing profit center for c-stores, Iowa’s TouchPlay machines have triggered a statewide clash that might mean the program’s removal. The controversial TouchPlay machine, which has sparked a lottery vs. casino debate throughout Iowa, is smacking the convenience store owner where it hurts most—the pocketbook. Consider Larry Bentler, president of Houghton, Iowa-based Jet Gas Corp.,

big moves at nice n easy

Company president John MacDougall announces major staff changes as he turns is attention to real estate development. John MacDougall is on a first-name basis with all of his employees and a great many of his customers, too. Well, when customers see him in his Nice N Easy stores and recognize him from the chain’s radio

brewing a beer strategy

Regional marketers discuss hot trends in the cold vault. Variety and pricing are the keys to building the beer business, according to a Convenience Store Decisions survey of regional marketers. “We’re seeing strong sales in imports, as well as the flavored alcoholic beverages,” said Doreen Lewis, category manager of beer and wine for Portsmouth, N.H.-based

washing away lost margins

The carwash has matured from an ancillary service to a major profit center that could easily exist on its own. Matthew Jadali has it all figured out. Operating his third different Mobil location in the past dozen years, like most convenience store owners, he’s doggedly battling the deterioration of gas margins. His weapon of choice:

in brief

McLane: K&G, Brewer Oil re-up K & G Stores (Lone Tree, CO) has extended its service agreement withMcLane Co. Inc. (www.mclaneco.com).Michael Hayes, K & G vice president of sales and operations, said his company'srelationship with McLane has helped grow the business with good merchandisingand solid overall service. K & G has been a marketing leader

designing a retail strategy

Keeping a close eye on competitors, and an even closer eye on the changing needs of customers, is the key to becoming a destination. The late ’90s brought a lot of changes to Bill Gordy’s Delmar, DE-based convenience store business. As he witnessed the beverage category explode with the introduction of new SKUs, he saw

techfriendly

Greg Hendricks thought it was just a regular day when the vice president of Taylor Petroleum breezed into the Radio Shack where he was working in 1983. He asked Hendricks if he liked working with computers, which he did, and brought him on board the company's pump maintenance team. Twenty-three years later, Hendricks' technology roots

desion makers

Kum & Go has promoted Dennis Folden, who has been with the chain since1976, to chief operating officer. Folden's previous position was executive vicepresident. In his 30 years with the company, Folden has held roles as storemanager, retail supervisor and vice president of marketing, among others. AsCOO, Folden will manage the day-to-day activities of the

suppliers reflect on industry evolution

CSD survey finds marketing, communications and wireless technology are keys to unlocking future growth. By most accounts, 10 years really isn’t all that significant a span of time. But to suppliers of convenience stores, a decadeparticularly this past decadehas been monumental in the ongoing evolution of the c-store industry and the customers it serves. During

retailer spotlight

Rutter's Holdings Inc. (York, PA), parent company of Rutter's Farm Stores andRutter's Dairy, was named 2005 "Business of the Year" by the Central PennBusiness Journal . The award honors Rutter's contribution to the centralPennsylvania business community, which includes leadership, innovation and growth."This award really means we have great employees who go the extra mile everyday

our commitment to you

One of the key lessons I learned from one of my mentors in the publishing business is that it's not the job of a trade magazine editor to be smarter than anybody else (you can only imagine what a relief it was to hear that). Instead, our job is to know where to find the

looking back looking forward

It hardly seems appropriate for me to write about the joy of producing Convenience Store Decisions' milestone 200th issue, especially since I've been here barely long enough to figure out the voice mail system. But while my contribution to CSD encompasses all of six issues, I have had the good fortune of literally growing up

the power of one

One manager, one employee or idea can make a difference in customers’ lives. Every interaction has the potential to create positive and negative experiences. Some psychologists say that every day, more of us feel less effective than we used to feel. Even relatively minor things, such as trying to get through a voice mail system

csd brings retailers suppliers together at ecrm convenience conference

Nearly 300 attendees from 135 companies met in Los Angeles for one-on-one strategic planning sessions. Ed Roitz said he came to the Convenience Store Decisions/ECRM Convenience/Front End/Checkstand Conference with an open mind. By the end of the first day, he had an open wallet. That’s because Roitz, president and CEO of Fleming Petroleum Corp. (Pittsburg,Kan.)

saving energy means saving money

Millions of dollars in rebates are out there for convenience store and petroleum marketers that know how and when to apply. A Philadelphia business consultant has a viable solution for retailers pinched by the rising costs of electricity and heat – ask the utilities for some of the money back. It’s not as simple as

championing technology

Jenny Bullard pinpoints trends that have shaped the industry and identifies new developments leading it into the future. Jenny Bullard is a portrait of the consumate professional company’s needs to grow business, and the industry as whole is benefiting. As a foremost authority on developing c-store technology solutions, Bullard has been actively involved in many

the quest for excellence

CSD’s Chain of the Year Award may have seemed like a ’contrarian’ strategy in 1990. Now in its 17th year, the award program plays an increasingly vital industry role. The convenience store industry in 1990, to use a boxing analogy favored by us Philadelphians, looked a little like Rocky Balboa answering the bell for the

griffin brand comes to life

American Auto Wash launches a proprietary fuel offering with plans to introduce it to franchisees in the Mid-Atlantic. In Greek mythology the griffin has served many purposes including the guardian of treasures and kings. Kevin Kan hopes his Griffin will represent similar riches. Kan, president and CEO of American Auto Wash Inc., rolled out the

boosting impulse sales at the checkout counter

Higher operating costs and lower margins are forcing marketers to boost profitability in other areas of the store. The convenience industry is under constant pressure from an ever-changing retail environment. This requires the constant need for marketers to refine store practices for driving new business, and to expand the consumer purchase of products beyond cigarettes

high gas prices impacting cstore profitability

With credit card fees eating away at fuel margins, NACS is promoting an alternative. While in-store sales are flat, retailers’ biggest concern is profit margin erosion triggered by escalating credit-and debit-card processing fees. Beset by record-high gas prices over the past two quarters, convenience store and petroleum marketers are struggling to maintain profitability. In addition

back to the future

CSD examines the financial hurdles the industry faced over the past 10 years, and how retailers will compete in the future. Since the first 7-Eleven opened its doors more than 75 years ago, the industry has served as a home for entrepreneurs and family-run businesses focused on meeting the everyday needs of busy consumers. Through

marketers urged to get up to date on otc pharmaceuticals

ACRC working overtime on legislative agenda, retailer recruitment. The federal government is poised to enact legislation substantially affecting over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals. Do you know what they are? If not, the American Council on Regulatory Compliance (ACRC) says your business is at risk of losing a potentially high margin, high profit category. ACRC, a Falls Church,

design to keep in mind

Retailers big and small would be wise to seek the help of professionals whencrafting a new store. Nice N Easy couldn't have achieved the results it haswithout help from an outside design firm. "Hooking up with Group Red kept us focused and gave us a new perspective,"says Nice N Easy President and CEO John MacDougall.

committed to convenience stores

A look at the Fina brand 16 Years (200 CSD Issues) Later By Jeff Morris President and CEO, Alon USA Jeff Morris, president and CEO of Alon USA, reflects on the growth of the Finabrand since the company was profiled in the inaugural issue of ConvenienceStore Decisions 16 years ago. After reviewing the article about

open pantrys upscale creations

Years ago, communities had little voice in whether a store would be built.But as markets grew more saturated, communities felt as though they were losingtheir identities. "Today, four or five people sit on a board and make the decision whether astore will be built," says Jim Fiene, senior vice president of Open Pantry FoodMarts of

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