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Managing Network Security

To maintain the trust of your customers and to protect your business against liability issues, convenience stores must maintain the integrity of their credit and debit card networks. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Think you can’t find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit for a credit card breach? Think again. Multiple class-action lawsuits have

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Creating Foodservice Theatre

With fresh foodservice taking center stage at many c-stores, packaging is playing an increasingly important role in creating an appetizing presentation. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. In foodservice, packaging used to be an afterthought, simply a vehicle to get the product from here to there. However, today’s food packaging does more than just hold product.

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A Pleasing Pizza Experience

A full 41% of respondents in a recent survey said they now eat pizza at least once a week, up from 26% two years ago, making pizza a $33.5-billion business, according to foodservice research firm Technomic. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Pizza is such a popular item at Casey’s General Store that, in August, the

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Getting Serious About Foodservice Equipment

Space limitations used to be the bane of c-store operators who wanted a professional foodservice program. But now manufacturers are stepping up to the plate with equipment that serves multiple purposes and still fits nicely within the c-store footprint. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Scott Zaremba has three Zarco 66 c-stores that sell made-to-order food,

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PAPCO Expands in the Mid-Atlantic

An acquisition of the Tidewater retail assets of SMO Inc. boosts PAPCO’s store count in southeastern Virginia. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. It’s been a busy fall for petroleum marketer PAPCO Inc., which acquired the Tidewater, Va. retail assets of SMO Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Wills Group in August, and remains poised for

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Recovering from Hurricane Sandy

7-Eleven franchisee Tom El-Dalati lost his flagship store in last year’s superstorm. One year later the struggle to rebuild his business continues . By Dave Hochman, Contributing Editor. Nearly one year ago, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states leaving a stream of destruction and chaos for homes and businesses. Extreme winds, devastating

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Enmark Celebrates 50 Years

With a strong commitment to foodservice and customer service, the Savannah, Ga. convenience store chain is preparing to debut its larger-format prototype locations. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Enmark Stations Inc. is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and preparing its business for the next 50, with new larger format stores, remodeled retail graphics and

Cumberland Farms Awards Scholarships

More than 900 students have earned financial awards from the convenience store chain since it launched the Believe and Achieve program seven years ago. Cumberland Farms is awarding a total of $130,000 in Believe and Achieve Scholarships to 130 high school seniors from 11 states to assist them with college fees this fall.  Now in

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Bobby & Steve’s Comes of Age

Fresh off the introduction of its World Class rewards program, the Minnesota chain is expanding its foodservice offering, investing in employee training and bolstering its operations to drive profitability. By John Lofstock, Editor.In an industry where more than 145,000 stores all sell the same items, differentiating your brand and your offering is a challenge. But

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Smokeless Tobacco Earning Extra Display Space

While electronic cigarettes are gaining a lot of attention in c-stores, sales of moist smokeless are chugging along. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Convenience stores have a significant opportunity to target consumers in overlapping tobacco segments, such as converting cigarette smokers over to moist snuff or cigars. Experts expect this group to increase moist smokeless

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The Rise of Craft Beer at Retail

Craft beer sales have doubled in the past six years and are set to triple by 2017, according to a Mintel report.  By John Lofstock, Editor. While the economic downturn has affected consumer spending across many sectors, craft and craft-style beers are defying recessionary trends with an impressive upward trajectory. Indeed, latest research by Mintel

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Driving Frozen Beverage Sales

Convenience store operators who are cashing in on frozen dispensed sales are combining new and exciting flavors with popular promotions, good equipment maintenance and a strong foodservice offering. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Frozen beverages are widely regarded as a high-growth category, and convenience store operators looking for more of a good thing are complementing

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Chicken Takes Flight at C-Stores

Overall poultry sales continue to experience strong growth as retailers look to boost their menus with healthy items that offer flexibility and value.By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. What’s not to like about chicken? Americans love it for its taste, variety, healthfulness and price, and c-store operators like that it is versatile—think sandwiches, wraps, salads, tenders

COFFEE

Connecting With Coffee Customers Gets Personal

While some c-stores are adding barista-staffed bars to compete in the coffee arena, most are finding simpler ways to make brew buying a more personalized experience for their customers. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. With about 11,000 chain and 14,000 independent cafes in the U.S., according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), consumers

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Finding Supply Chain Success

Building a strong relationship with your vendors can ease the negotiation process and take unnecessary costs out of the distribution system. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Cutting costs along the supply chain remains a challenge for convenience stores, but strong negotiation and communication skills can go a long way toward scoring the best possible deal

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Surviving the Next Superstorm

Do you have a contingency plan in place in case disaster strikes one or more of your convenience store locations? By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Being prepared for major storms and disasters is vital to any convenience store, especially those in areas most susceptible to hurricanes, as Superstorm Sandy taught us just last year. The

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Delivering the Goods

There’s no one-solution-fits-all when it comes to distribution. Focus and timing can make all the difference in the world. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. After working with a single distributor for 40 years, York, Pa.-based Rutter’s Farm Stores last month signed three-year agreements with Core-Mark and US Foods. Robert Perkins, Rutter’s vice president of marketing,

Visa and Mastercard logos on credit cards.

Maintaining Data Security Standards

While many retailers are breathing a sigh of relief in regard to PCI compliance, Visa and MasterCard are constantly changing the rules, requiring stores to make costly changes and upgrades. By John Lofstock, Editor. When it comes to data security, all retailers need to be prepared for the worst scenario, but that can’t happen if

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Foodservice Brand Positioning: Focus on Clarity

Companies in growth mode are faced with an ongoing dilemma of keeping their expanding portfolio on plan with regard to their strategic branding direction. This is even more important when it comes to foodservice. By John Matthews, Contributing Editor Who are we?That is a question we hear all the time from companies that are trying

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Martin Eagle Aims to Contain Rising Operating Costs

Using a new monitoring system, the Texas chain is saving time, energy and reducing the spoilage costs that can arise from damaged cold vault compressors. By Erin Rigik, associate editor. Martin Eagle Oil Co. knows first hand the financial and general frustrations convenience store operators can feel after losing a freezer full of products due

Tom Rayburn  (center), Joel Workinger (left), and Todd Rutter.

Rutter’s Honored with Army Reserve Employer Support Award

Flexible scheduling for military personnel helps the chain’s employees serve their country and their customers. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Rutter’s Farm Stores’ Joel Workinger, a dairy transportation supervisor, and Todd Rutter, president of Rutter’s Dairy, were recognized last month with the Army Reserve Employer Support Award. Tom Rayburn, a delivery driver for Rutter’s Dairy

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Elevating Your Foodservice Strategy

Emerging competition from nontraditional operators like food trucks means c-stores must raise their game when it comes to the all-important food category. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Foodservice continues to serve as a key point of differentiation for convenience stores. Keeping the menu fresh requires innovation as well as a keen eye for new products

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Developing a Healthier Foodservice Menu

Organic, sustainable and locally-grown foods are all trends hitting the country, but are convenience store customers ready for these items? By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Numerous “healthy” foodservice trends are sweeping cities across the U.S., from sustainable to local to organic to all-natural, and of course fresh, but is the time right for convenience stores

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What Your Cigar Customers Want

Whether it’s flavored products or low-cost brands, OTP customers remain among the most loyal in the store. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. How much is too much is a fundamental question in retailing, and all the more so when it comes to cigars. With so many new products, flavors and line extensions to choose from,

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Strong Market for Candy and Confections

The numbers for gum might be somewhat glum but, overall, the more than $1.8 billion non-chocolate confections category is growing. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Danna Huskey, category manager for Texarkana, Texas-based E-Z Mart Stores uses words and phrases, such as “rocking,” “shockingly great” and even “holy cow!” to describe recent sales of non-chocolate confections.

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