cigars

Regulators Chew on Cigars

While federal officials weigh new standards for the tobacco industry, retailers hope cigar sales don’t go up in smoke. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a big step towards regulating other tobacco products (OTP), including cigars, by proposing to assert deeming regulations under the 2009 Family Smoking

Charles Robinson

Employing a Special Workforce

In following through with its unique hiring policy, VERC Enterprises has positively impacted surrounding communities. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Most convenience stores strive diligently to create a working environment where employees feel wanted and useful. VERC Enterprises Inc. has taken that page and written its own book, which began more than a dozen years

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Wawa Celebrates 50 Years of Retail Excellence

From loyal customers to prominent politicians, the community joined together in Philadelphia last month to commemorate the landmark anniversary for one of the convenience store industry’s most iconic brands. By John Lofstock and Erin Rigik While many retail brands these days tend to focus solely on the bottom line, Wawa serves as a reminder that

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New Rules For Repair Costs

Convenience store operators could be in line for tax deductions for building repairs and property depreciation. By Mark Battersby, Contributing Editor Since the inception of the Internal Revenue Code, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and convenience store businesses have been at odds over whether expenditures made are currently deductible or whether they must be capitalized

FoodTruck

Are C-Store Customers Ready For Ethnic Foods?

As the “foodie” culture skyrockets in the U.S., convenience stores are looking for innovative ways to implement new retail trends. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Ethnic foods and flavors are booming in popularity, but are your convenience store customers ready for these exotic and trendy tastes? According to the market research firm Mintel Group, some

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Getting Gum Back on Track

While it’s still an important category in convenience stores, the bubble has burst on gum sales over the past two years. The good news is manufacturers are doubling down on their efforts to grow the category with new products and better pricing. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Gum continues to prove something of an enigma

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Snacks Remain A Mainstay

Salty snacks again are grabbing a lion’s share of c-store snack sales, but healthier offerings are making noise. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Convenience stores represent five times their fair share when it comes to grab-and-go snacking occasions, beating out grocery stores and even discount stores, according to a 2013 study by market research firm

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Disaster Preparedness Spares Business Losses

From power outages to natural disasters, stores with a disaster preparation plan, including generators to keep the lights on and the fuel flowing, fare much better than those who are unprepared. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor At Dion’s Quik Marts in south Florida, May marks the beginning of annual hurricane preparation month, where all 12

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Weighing Financial Services

Whether it’s check cashing or the latest mobile wallet technology, providing customers with useful financial offerings can help your bottom line. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Cash makes up nearly 29% of U.S. consumer transactions per year, or about $1.2 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. Among those transactions last year were a lot of

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Aligning Loyalty Programs

There’s a simplified approach to loyalty that offers a good fit for today’s convenience customer. By David Bishop, Contributing Editor. Retail loyalty programs take various forms, ranging from the simple paper punch card to sophisticated shopper cards linked to purchases. While technology has evolved over the years, customer loyalty strategies continue to focus on engaging,

Candy

Chocolate: Sweet Returns

Finding out what confectionery products your customers will gobble up in 2014 can be a recipe for more sales. By David Bennett, Senior Editor You don’t need to be Willy Wonka to know that chocolate candy is a sweet product in terms of generating impulse sales. The National Confectioners Association (NCA) recently reported that the

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Battle for Breakfast Heats Up

The competition for the $46.5 billion breakfast business is at a fever pitch with retail giants from McDonald’s and Taco Bell to Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts rolling out sandwich interpretations to steal new morning business. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Quick-service restaurants are hitting all of today’s consumers’ hot buttons with their latest breakfast offerings.

Gift cards for various restaraunts

The Prepaid Category Continues to Evolve

Whether open and closed loop prepaid cards are a significant profit generator or just an important convenience customers expect to find in their c-store, virtual gift cards are changing the category for retailers. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor The prepaid category is changing. Of the amount of gift cards sold in terms of dollars loaded,

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Tobacco Trends and Insights from the NATO Show

Electronic tobacco sales continue to grow at an impressive clip, positioning convenience stores as a top destination for e-cigarettes and accessories. By John Lofstock, Editor The decline in cigarette volume is ongoing, c-stores continue to take tobacco share from other retail channels, and e-vapor consumption could surpass that of combustible cigarettes in the next decade,

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Filling Station Rises in Buffalo

A transportation museum in the Queen City is putting the final touches on Frank Lloyd Wright’s first service station design, providing a glimpse of how modern service stations evolved. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Before Route 66 was designated Historic Route 66, and well before convenience stores offered the first Gas Station TV monitors above

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Managing Today’s Workforce

Convenience Store Decisions and Humetrics collaborated on their sixth annual human resources survey, providing industry-wide insights into emerging employment trends. By Mel Kleiman, President, Humetrics Convenience Store Decisions and Humetrics recently collaborated on our sixth annual HR survey. The following results, based on respondents’ recent experiences and expectations, offer industry-wide insights as well as useful

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Grow Your Business By Word of Mouth

Inspiring your customers to share information on your chain comes from keeping your brand top of mind and tip of tongue with shoppers. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Jonah Berger, author of “Contagious, Why Things Catch On,” has some important advice for retailers and advertisers alike on how to make your brand resonate with customers.

Macs

Keeping Your Customers and Employees Safe

Security experts weigh in on how to solve crime problems and potentially dangerous situations before they start. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Problem: Crime in your markets of operation is becoming a concern. Solution: Institute best practices in store security, from adding surveillance cameras, smart safe equipment and training all your employees on how to

Cleaning House - Scrubbing Tile

Boosting Sales With Store Cleanliness

Customers are more likely to make food purchases at an establishment they view as clean—and that goes double for the restrooms. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Problem: Food sales are dropping despite having a world-class menu. Solution: Inspect store cleanliness. Its sanitation and bathrooms are as important to food sales as the food itself. Developing

Image: Shelves lay empty at a Wonder Bread Hostess Bakery Outlet in Glendale

Monitor, Measure and Manage to Prevent Store Out-of-Stocks

The competitive retail business dictates that retailers must keep their shelves stocked to drive new sales and repeat business. By Pate Pape, Contributing Editor Problem: Controlling out-of-stock situations. Solution: Using smarter technology systems can keep items on the shelves. Back before the widespread use of POS technology, managers of Flash Foods convenience stores would regularly

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Embracing a Healthier Menu

For convenience stores, healthy food offerings are creating a convergence of nutrition, foodservice solutions and profitability. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Problem: Customers want healthy,grab-and go-meal options.Solution: Add fresh cut fruits, yogurts and salads to the  menu. They’re quick, easy and appeal to a wide variety of customers. Also consider more wholesome ingredients like baked

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MST Offers Hope for Traditional Tobacco

MST sales remain strong, and analysts are calling for another solid year in 2014 despite regulatory efforts. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor While moist smokeless tobacco (MST) sales are projected to enjoy a strong 2014, possible government legislation and public health campaigns could converge to slow its momentum. To maximize sales now, industry proponents insist

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Growing the Dispensed Beverage Business

Whether it’s partnering with a buying group or negotiating a better contract on your own, fountain sales offer unprecedented profit potential. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Getting the best price possible at the soda fountain can be crucial to a convenience store operator’s profitability. That is what executives at Phillips 66 had in mind recently

kitchen

Equipped for Foodservice Success

Green, clean and seen are three of the biggest innovations when it comes to preparing fresh foods fast and merchandising them to capture shoppers’ attention wherever they are in the store. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Gas pumps Today are far from the one-dimensional fuel systems used in 1955. So why do so many convenience

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C-Stores Face New SNAP Mandates

New federal rules could force some retailers to abandon the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program altogether. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor The recently enacted Federal Farm Bill is requiring new “depth of stock” mandates for convenience stores involved in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly referred to as food stamps. With the Farm Bill

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