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Succession Planning for Family Business

For most family and closely held businesses, planning for succession is the toughest and most critical challenge they face. Yet succession planning can also be a great opportunity to maximize opportunities and create a multi-generational institution. By Mark E. Battersby, Contributing Editor. Everyone who has invested a great deal of time, money and energy into

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Demand Grows for HBC

From single-serve cold medicines to hair care products, the health and beauty category is attracting new customers of all ages. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. With healthcare capturing so many headlines these days, the health and beauty category (HBC) has taken on added importance in the c-store set. Fueling much of the growth: smaller package

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Mixed Smoke Signals for C-Stores

By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor.Tobacco customers and products are changing. Convenience store retailers must adapt to maintain category sales. It’s no secret that traditional cigarette use is declining. According to Gallup research, about 20% of Americans smoke at least one cigarette each week, which is down from the all-time high of 45% in 1955. Since

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The Convenience Store Decisions Group Acquires Convenience Directions

Deal combines two distinct high-caliber, talented and creative teams to better serve the convenience store and petroleum industry. Harbor Communications, the parent company of The Convenience Store Decisions Group, today announces that it has completed the acquisition of Convenience Directions, an information exchange group headed by venerable convenience store industry experts Joe Leonardo and Randy

Tobacco Legislative Update

Tom Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, discusses the state of e-cigarettes and the local issues affecting tobacco retailing.   By John Lofstock, Editor. Of all the different tobacco legislative bills introduced this year in Congress and state legislatures, two issues stand out, namely higher tobacco taxes and electronic cigarettes. Both issues

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Creating a Rewarding Retail Experience

Paper punch cards are a thing of the past. Today’s loyalty programs incorporate a variety of innovative strategies to persuade customers to spend more time—and money—in your stores. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Sometimes you think you know what your customers want, but you really don’t know until you ask…and listen. That’s what Salt Lake

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Navigating Your Lighting Upgrade

As technology improves, more businesses are making the switch to cost-effective LED fixtures. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In these days of tight margins and intense retail competition, convenience store owners are doing everything they can to boost revenues and reduce operating costs. Something as simple as investing in upgraded lighting can significantly reduce monthly

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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

ENMARK

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

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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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