Protecting Against Theft

RETAIL THEFT 2009 Employee theft accounted for 35.2% of shrink dollars. 41.2% of retailers worldwide experienced a significant increase in shoplifting in 2009, attributable to the economic downturn. Shoplifting and employee theft in the U.S. cost retailers $42.2 billion from June 2008 to June 2009. Every American family was forced to pay an additional $435

Cigarettes Still King

State Tax Grab During 2009, cigarette tax increases were defeated in 19 states and passed into law in 12 states. States where cigarette tax increases were not enacted include: STATE Failed TAX Increase in 2009 Alabama 32.5 cents per pack Connecticut 50 cents per pack Georgia $1 per pack Kansas 95 cents per pack over

RYO Rolls Into 2010

RYO Pounds Sold Per Year Roll your own (RYO) cigarettes is a growing trend. Sales have climbed during the past five years, yet took a dive in 2009 as customers started using pipe tobacco to roll cigarettes as a result of increased taxes. On the other hand, customers used 10.6 million pounds of pipe tobacco

Cigarette Excise Tax, Ohio Cigarette Tax Changes Bring Higher Prices

An Ohio coalition refutes the findings of a recent report claiming that increasing Ohio’s cigarette tax by $1 per pack would bring the state $299.7 million per year. The report released yesterday, entitled, Tobacco Taxes: A Win-Win-Win for Cash-Strapped States is based on national and state surveys of registered voters. “Any economist will tell you

Electronic Cigarettes

Convenience store retailers are all too aware of the many problems related to selling cigarettes. Ever-increasing taxes equal lower profit margins, smoking prohibitions reduce retail sales, not to mention fire hazards, odor, and of course, health problems. NJOY changes the old paradigm for the better. It is a rechargeable electronic cigarette used by more than

Aztex Buzzing Over Beer Sales

When beer sales were made legal last August in formerly dry Clay County, N.C., Aztex Fuel & Food Centers’ Hayesville location was ready to pounce, becoming the first c-store in the market to supply cold suds. Aztex, an experienced c-store marketer, knew from its other stores that alcohol sales can drive foot traffic and increase

Protecting Cigarette Sales

TOP PERFORMERS Altria Sales & Distribution (Philip Morris USA) R. J. Reynolds Lorillard HONORABLE MENTIONS Liggett Vector Natural American Spirit/Santa Fe (Reynolds American) Commonwealth Brands Despite the wild nine-month ride that saw a large federal tax increase and the Food & Drug Administration gain control over the category, cigarettes continue to dominate in-store sales, accounting

Opportunities Exist for Cigars

TOP PERFORMERS Altria Sales & Distribution (John Middleton) Swisher Swedish Match HONORABLE MENTIONS Altadis USA Republic Tobacco The SCHIP tobacco tax rates that hit in April 2009 are costing cigar smokers more, but sales continue to persevere. As of April, the federal taxes on large cigars rose from 20.719% of the wholesale price with a

New Regulations on Tobacco from the FDA

Over the past six months since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began wielding its new powers to regulate cigarettes, smokeless and roll-your-own tobacco, the implementation of the law has been anything but smooth. Even though Dr. Lawrence Deyton, the FDA’s new head of the Center for Tobacco Products, announced several times during “Listening

Nice & Envied

Mission accomplished. When John MacDougall challenged his team at Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes to come up with a company mission statement, he left pretty simple instructions. “Keep it short, keep it focused and let’s be true to ourselves,” he said. The result was a concise proclamation of the chain’s commitment to the customers it

FDA Looks at Future of Tobacco Products

Confusion Reigns Supreme C-store operators aren’t the only ones left scratching their heads by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) first foray into tobacco regulation.During the FDA’s teleconference, Catherine Lorraine, a lawyer for the administration, said, “I just want to draw your attention to the portion of the definition of a cigarette, which specifically refers

FDA Clarifies Tobacco Ban

Flavored products including cigarettes, RYO and loose tobaccos and rolling papers are no longer legal in U.S. stores; administration said it would look at “little cigars” and similar products on a “case-by-case basis.” The smoking lamp on the majority of flavored tobacco products sold in convenience stores has been extinguished, but the ruling has ignited

Three Decades of Wisdom and Experience

Chief Financial Officer, Certified Oil I joined Certified Oil in 1975. As a CPA, my background was in auditing and taxation. Being in the gasoline business with Certified over the past 34 years has made me use every bit of knowledge and experience I acquired just to keep up with the fast pace and complexity

FDA Clarifies Flavored Cigarette Ban

The FDA hosted a media briefing this morning and has posted documents on the FDA Web site issuing additional information regarding the ban on flavored cigarettes, authorized by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that was signed into law in June. According to the new documents, cigarettes containing an artificial or natural flavor

Fabulous Freddy’s Fuels with Flair

Fabulous Freddy’s is wooing new customers with old tricks. Resurrecting the customer service of decades past, the seven-store chain headquartered in Las Vegas, offers its patrons full-service treatment at the pump, at self-service prices. “Our company’s mission statement is to provide fabulous service to everyone, and one of the ways we do that is to

Tracking the Trends

An otherwise tough year for convenience stores was balanced out by strong retail fuel margins from the unprecedented drop in wholesale fuels prices during the fourth quarter of 2008, according to National Association of Convenience Stores’ (NACS) 2009 State of the Industry report. However, credit card fees continue to take a toll on industry profitability.

Wild Ride Continues for Cigarettes

Once again, cigarettes dominated in-store sales, accounting for nearly one in every three dollars spent in stores, but cigarette gross margins continued to plummet, falling to 15.3%. These low cigarette margins dropped the category to third in terms of gross margin contribution (16%) behind foodservice (23.9%) and packaged beverages (16.6%) Margins promise to continue falling

New Flavors, Demand Drives OTP

Despite the SCHIP bill and mounting state taxes, smokeless tobacco products have experienced a strong year packed with innovation, new flavors and increased consumer demand. According to the NACS 2009 State of the Industry report, smokeless tobacco sales surged 6.1% to $2.96 billion last year. The average c-store totaled $1,703 per month in smokeless sales

Staying Competitive in a Tough Economy

A moribund economy is not the best time to take over as a category manager in charge of identifying what customers will spend their money on, but Pat Zelechoski is up to the challenge. Zelechoski, named category manager for NOCO Energy Corp.’s 31 NOCO Express convenience stores in the Eastern New York, will take on

The Night They Burned Tobacco Down

Increases on cigarettes have put the category’s long-term viability in jeopardy. By Jim Callahan, Convenience Store Solutions I recently saw a statistic that declared tobacco was no longer king in convenience stores. While that is not yet true for most of us, it’s about to become an indisputable fact. The entire country now gets to

The Impact of Tobacco Federal Excise Taxes

The increase of federal and state cigarette excise taxes will have a far-reaching, negative impact on the convenience store industry. With the exception of petroleum products, no other category is more vital to the industry’s success than tobacco products. Given that cigarettes represent 30-45% of c-store inside sales, the deterioration of this category will have

Cigarettes

TOP PERFORMERS Philip Morris USA R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Lorillard Tobacco Co. HONORABLE MENTIONS Commonwealth Brands Inc. Liggett Vector Since the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), tobacco taxes and sales from tax-free sources continue to plague the convenience store industry. Cigarettes continue to be the top in-store category based on sales dollars. On a monthly

Pilot Testing Electronic Smokeless Products

In an effort to boost sales in the smokeless category, Pilot convenience stores in the Knoxville, Tenn., market are testing the Vegas E-cigar, a product manufactured by Minneapolis-based Ruyan America Inc. that looks and feels like a premium cigar, but uses a microchip and nicotine-infused liquid to produce a vapor that provides its user with

Preparing for Drastic Tobacco Regulations

Not surprisingly, convenience store industry operators identified the future of tobacco as one of their top five concerns heading into 2010. And with good reason. Operators have entered a period of unprecedented challenges when it comes to selling cigarettes, which means they must find new and innovative ways to market and merchandise this essential product

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