tortilla

Keeping Breakfast Sales Rolling

Convenience store customers are looking for roller grill items in the morning. Are you meeting the demand? By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. One person’s lunch or dinner is another person’s breakfast, so the roller grills at Rutter’s Farm Stores run all day, every day, said Jerry Weiner, the York, Pa.-based chain’s vice president of foodservice.

safe

Plan to Stay Safe

Cash control programs and effective employee training will help minimize theft and ensure the well being of your employees. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Keeping theft at bay has always been a major concern for c-store retailers. While technology has come to the rescue in the form of safe and cash-management systems, the best way

DiscountTobacco

Kocolene Shifts with the Times

As the tobacco industry evolves, the convenience store and tobacco shop operator continues to grow to meet its customers’ needs.    By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Kocolene Marketing LLC maintains a booming tobacco business at its  Fast Max convenience stores and Smokers Host Discount tobacco stores, and is implementing a number of IT initiatives to keep

Gum

Growing Gum and Mint Sales

While sales dollars are down, study shows customers continue to purchase gum for numerous reasons, from breath freshening to stress relief. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The gum category has faced an ongoing sales decline since 2010. In 2012, gum saw monthly sales of $954 at convenience stores, with a monthly gross profit of $460,

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Chevron, Safeway Expand Loyalty Partnership

Grocery purchases lead to fuel discounts for customers in three new markets. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. To capture an increased number of fuel customers, Chevron and Safeway have expanded their joint loyalty program to Las Vegas, Northern California and Hawaii.  Customers in these regions can now earn gas rewards when they shop using their

chips

Understanding Consumers Key to Salty Snacks

Whether it’s embracing healthy snacks or sticking with tried-and-true brands, convenience stores must closely monitor sales data to track what their customers are buying in this important core category. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Recent consumer research seems to suggest that many convenience store customers looking to buy salty snacks leave the store empty-handed. Knowing

employee

The Affordable Care Act: What You Need to Know Now

Beginning in 2014, health insurance will be available to individuals and small businesses through state-run “exchanges.”  These will require insurance companies to compete for business in the marketplace. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Now is the time for employers to prepare to meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Obama administration’s healthcare law

chocolate

Chocolate Remains Recession Proof

The National Confectioners Association (NCA) is predicting that 2013 will be a strong year for chocolate in convenience stores. Sales were up 3.3% for the last 52 weeks ended March 24, according to SymphonyIRI. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. In 2012, c-store was the only channel to gain in dollars (2.4%) and units (1.2%) in

Chicken

Diversifying the Foodservice Menu

With beef prices continuing to rise, poultry remains the protein of choice for many Americans. And, with the flexibility of chicken, this means ample opportunity for daypart-spanning sales. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Since introducing the Charley Bigg’s Chicken and Sauce program into two Friendship Food Stores six years ago and four more two years

prepaid

Prepaid Profitability Soars

Today’s card capabilities surpass the features offered by many checking accounts. These features include managing prepaid purchases through mobile devices and social media accounts and the ability to make person-to-person transfers. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Prepaid cards can be tied to financial services such as remittance and bill payments, but that may mean competing

TOPSsupermarket

Fifty Shades of Green

Even small, sustainable initiatives can resonate with customers and improve a convenience store’s bottom line. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The verdict is in: A growing number of customers are becoming environmentally-conscious and they prefer to spend their money at stores doing their part to grow sustainability. Retailers across all channels are beginning to cash

mobilepay

Make Room for Big Data

The increasing volume and detail of information captured by business, the rise of multimedia, social media and the Internet will fuel exponential growth in data for the foreseeable future. By Barbara Brynko, Contributing Editor Big data. If you think data is something that only big retailers such as Amazon or Netflix deal with, think again.•

Gus-Olympidis

A Family Like No Other

From self-distribution and unique product development to outstanding customer service and social media investments, Gus Olympidis continues to push the boundaries of innovation at Family Express. By John Lofstock, Editor. On a frigid February Indiana morning, about a dozen prospective employees rolled into Family Express’s state-of-the-art learning center in Valparaiso, Ind., to see if they

qmart_cafe

Stepping Up to Train Loyal Employees

Convenience store operators must work on improving their training programs so that they can improve sales, customer satisfaction and employee retention. By Jim Callahan. The strained economy has been a little bit of a double-edged sword for the convenience store industry. While customers may be a little tighter with their spending, I’ve found that employee

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Earth Market Debuts with Earth Day Celebration

With a tagline of “fresh energy for life,” Atlas Oil’s latest convenience store concept features Eco-Earth Coffee, LED lighting and a host of recycling initiatives. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor Atlas Oil launched its new Earth Market c-store concept in February, rebranding its five    company-operated stores in the greater Chicago market. True to its name,

beer-wine

Millennials Driving Wine Comeback

“The Millennial generation offers the wine industry the kind of growth potential not seen in 30 years.”  C-store retailers can gain points with Millennials and Boomers alike by appealing to a growing love of wine that includes a trend toward flavorization. A breakout session on the wine category, presented by E&J Gallo Winery, at the

checklist

The 2013 Convenience Store Human Resources Study

Nearly 100 convenience store chains representing more than 12,000 stores offered insights on employee salaries, hiring trends and labor costs. By Mel Kleiman, President, Humetrics. In order to support convenience store operators as they plan and forecast their human resources investments over the next 12 months, Convenience Store Decisions and Humetrics have collaborated on our

nacs_playbookcover1

NACS/CCRC Introduces Playbook For Success

With three simple steps, retailers can learn how to grow their businesses. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The NACS/Coca Cola Retailing Research Council (NACS/CCRC) has introduced a powerful new tool for c-store retailers: “Playbook for Success: A Three-Step Guide to Growing the C-Store Business.” “Operators of any size will find this guide to be an

smartphone

Making a Connection With Your Customers

Consumers spent six times as much time in retailer apps in December compared to a year earlier, showing that shopping and commerce is finally beginning to take off on mobile platforms. By Barbara Brynko, Contributing Editor. The numbers don’t lie. The U.S. officially crossed the threshold into the Brave New Digital World as the market

cash-safe

Sustaining C-Store Security

The newest safes and interactive security systems, including those that tie neatly into a point-of-sale (POS) system, can help operators track cash and monitor employees on a shift-by-shift basis. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Follow the money is good advice when it comes to unraveling conspiracies, but it is even more important when it comes

smokeless

Smokeless Tobacco Snuffs Out The Competition

Surging demand and the ongoing assault on cigarettes have MST positioned for a profitable 2013. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The smokeless tobacco category showed strong growth in 2012, with help from promotions and a growing customer interest in alternative tobacco products to supplement their smoking habits. Manufacturers are capitalizing on the strong sales demand

coffeeiced

Seasonal Surge Drives Dispensed Beverages

Cold and frozen dispensed beverages are undergoing some major changes these days that continue to make the category one of the hottest in the convenience store industry. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Spring has sprung and with it comes a renewed focus on cold, frosty and refreshing beverages. For Pat Kelly, purchasing director for Hanover,

Krispy-Chicken-Sandwich-Combo

The Convenience of Co-Branding

Partnering with an established brand can help your chain leap into the foodservice business with a widely-recognized and trusted menu offering. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Foodservice demand is on the rise and competition is fierce for share of stomach sales not only from QSRs, but from grocery stores, other c-stores and even Walgreens. As

Grab&Go

Grab-and-Go Continues to Grow

Consumers are looking for fast service, fresh ingredients and value pricing when choosing a foodservice solution and convenience stores are answering the call with innovative programs that meet the latest food trends. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. The number of consumers purchasing grab-and-go sandwiches and other foods is continuing to rise. Retailers have to be

RollerGrill

Rolling Right Along

Emphasizing quality and a dynamic product assortment has had positive effects on food sales at the roller grill. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Rollers grills can do a lot, but they do not sell for themselves. Managing roller grill food sales is no different from other foodservice categories in that convenience store operators need to

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