BP’s ampm Makes Entrepreneur’s List of Top 10 Franchises

BP’s ampm convenience store business has landed on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2010 list of Top 10 franchises. The 10th place ranking represents a jump from 2009 when ampm came in 35th on the magazine’s Franchise 500 list. The BP convenience store brand also rose in the magazine’s rankings of fastest-growing franchises. Entrepreneur ranked ampm 14th on

Going Green to Reduce Costs

Wanting to help save the world is admirable, but unless a real cost-savings can be realized convenience store operators seem to agree this economy is not the best time to be experimenting with “green” investments. The key to sustainability issues, then, is finding that balance, and that’s where several c-store chains are differentiating themselves. Scott

Nice N Easy Celebrates in Style

In a gala befitting the industry’s oldest and most prestigious retail award, Convenience Store Decisions and more than 150 industry retailers and suppliers honored Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes as the 2009 Convenience Store Chain of the Year at the Wynn Hotel’s venerable Daniel Boulud restaurant in Las Vegas. Nice N Easy, the Canastota, N.Y.

Controlling Operating Costs

From escalating utility costs and credit card fees to labor and looming PCI deadlines, retailers have their hands full with a host of issues that are impacting their businesses. No issue is as complex and timely as PCI compliance. The stakes in the PCI game are high and, as 2010 approaches, c-store operators need to

Employees Fuel QuikTrip’s Success

QuikTrip Corp.,  the Oklahoma-based convenience retailer, opened for business in 1958 with a single store and second-hand furnishings. Today, the chain is made up of 532 convenience stores across nine states, all of them open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The privately-held, family-owned business has approximately 10,000 employees, who reportedly enjoy their

MAPCO’s New Direction

Great stores, outstanding service and a commitment to its people helped MAPCO Express garner Chain of the Year honors in 1996. The company has changed quite a bit since then, but the focus on convenience store operations remains stronger than ever. MAPCO Express, as it exists today, was formed with Delek US Holdings’ acquisition of

7-Eleven Continues Reinventing Convenience

7-Eleven Inc., the world’s largest operator, franchisor and licensor of convenience stores, was named Chain of the Year in 2005. The stores got their iconic name in the 1940s because they were open from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., which was considered extended hours in those days. By the ‘60s, lifestyles were changing, and consumers

Meeting the Demand for Fresh Foods

Americans are more amenable to buying meals at convenience stores, but won’t budge when it comes to quality, price or convenience factors like portability and packaging. That means there’s the potential for some real money in home meal replacement (HMR), but it has to be done well, and in just the right locations. Then there’s

Are Your Underground Storage Tanks Safe?

Convenience store operators who don’t know state regulations concerning underground storage tanks (USTs) from a hole in the ground had better learn more about what’s in those holes and what the government is both offering and expecting from them. Federal mandates requiring a significant increase in biofuels production, for example, have spurred an increase in

Variety Spicing Up Salty Snacks

In the midst of the recession, more consumers are opting for at-home entertainment, which is good news for the salty snacks category. This trend may account for a jump in sales of chips and popcorn, the quintessential counterparts for an at-home movie.  Last year, salty snack sales totaled $4,962 with a profit of $1,867, a

Acquisitions Fuel EZ Energy’s Growth

EZ Energy USA At a Glance Headquarters: Mansfield, Ohio Stores: 92 (68 company-operated and 24 dealer-operated sites) Total Estimated Sales: $480 million Markets of Operation: northeast and central Ohio, Pittsburgh Retail Brands: ampm, Easy Trip Fuel Brands: BP, Marathon Fuel Volume: 160 million gallons annually While many marketers are struggling to ride out this economic

The Rise of the Aztec Empire

San Diego State University At a Glance San Diego State University (SDSU), founded in 1897, is the fifth-largest university in California with a student body of approximately 38,000 full- and part-time students. Its retail arm, Aztec Shops Ltd., was founded in 1932 as a not-for-profit corporation that functions primarily as an auxiliary of the university.

Cultivating Loyal Customers

Savvy c-store operators are using customer loyalty/scan-data-analysis programs to improve merchandise planning, forecasting and point-of-sale (POS) data management, and to provide a technology platform for long-term growth. When done well, the inevitable result is to empower store personnel to react quickly, make more informed decisions and improve cost effectiveness, so they can simplify customers’ lives.

Construction Investments Slowing

It’s costing more than ever to build new convenience stores, according to the NACS’ 2009 State of the Industry report. This news comes at a time when the economy is dragging down sales and profits. As a result, operators face a crucial challenge as they try to grow business organically: build or renovate? The answer

Variety Spicing Up Salty Snacks

Salty Statistics According to a study by The Nielsen Co. that outlined c-store trends, pretzels and popcorn sales saw strong growth during the 52 weeks ended March 21, 2009, with sales for pretzels up $164 million, a 10.1% increase. Popcorn sales totaled $119 million, a 14.3% increase from the previous year. Potato chips lead the

Role of Technology Expanding

Whether it’s PCI compliance, overcoming high credit card fees or getting more out of a current point-of-sale (POS) system, investing in technology has never been more important for c-stores. With PCI compliance deadlines looming, many operators are still not up to speed on what they need to do, or how to do it. The Payment

The Coffee Battle Brews

Convenience store operators need to focus on meeting consumer demand for a quality cup of coffee as McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks and Caribou all announced plans to step up their brew programs to reel in consumers during a tough economy. About 54% of the adult population in the U.S. classify themselves as coffee consumers, according

C-stores Poised for Huge Growth Through 2013

In the midst of a cavalcade of negative news about the down economy, RNCOS Inc., a research firm, offers some positive news for c-store operators. The firm found that with help from increasing motor fuel and in-store sales, the U.S. c-store industry is expected to skyrocket in growth between 2009 and 2013. In it’s newly

What’s Your Solution?

SKU SLEUTH … Rick Cosmer, vice president of retail sales and operations at Mansfield Oil Co. in Georgia, has found cutting-edge back-office systems can offer huge payoffs in terms of data analysis and sales tracking. Cosmer said the most powerful piece of his system allows him to drill down J.D. to individual products to determine

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