Couche-Tard Takes Hostile Bid to Casey’s Shareholders

By John Lofstock, Editor Under CEO Alain Bouchard, Alimentation Couche-Tard has grown to be one of the largest convenience store operators in world. The Laval, Quebec-based chain today took its boldest step to date when it commenced an all-cash offer to acquire Casey’s General Stores, the Iowa chain currently operating 1,513 stores throughout the Midwest.

Casey’s Uses Poison Pill Defense

Canadian c-store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard is calling on Casey’s General Stores to discuss its bid, as the Iowa-based chain moves to instead thwart the hostile acquisition, the Globe and Mail reported. “A meeting would be more productive than putting roadblocks, like a poison pill, in the path of our compelling proposal,” Couche-Tard said in a statement.

Couche-Tard Quarterly Profit Down 23%

Alimentation Couche-Tard announced today that despite rising revenue, its quarterly profit dropped 23% due to lower U.S. gasoline margins, Reuters reported. Couche-Tard, North America’s second-biggest convenience store chain, operates more than 5,400 convenience stores, with some 3,600 of those also selling gasoline. The company earned $54.8 million, or 29 cents a share, in its third-quarter,

Quiznos Looks To Grow Within C-store Channel

Quiznos sandwich chain has plans to increase its presence within convenience stores in 2010. In the recession, customers are busier and thriftier and have been increasing their visits to convenience stores while reducing their visits to restaurants. Restaurant visits began slowing in 2007 and then fell 3% last year while trips to convenience stores to

Colorado C-stores Take Step Toward Full-Strength Beer

Colorado’s convenience-store owners won a victory this week when the state’s House Business Affairs and Labor Committee approved a measure Wednesday that would allow c-stores of under 5,000 feet to sell products with a higher alcoholic content than the reduced-strength beer that they now are limited to selling, Denver Business Journal. The proposal won by a

Many Indiana C-stores To Card All Customers For Alcohol

The Indiana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association announced Tuesday that 13 chains covering 458 Indiana locations will begin requiring their clerks to check the IDs of all customers purchasing alcohol, starting in the next few weeks, the Indiana Star reported. The announcement coincides with the state legislature’s review of several alcohol bills, including one

Circle K Acquires Eight Stores in North Carolina

Laval, Que.-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. through its Circle K Stores Inc. unit, is acquiring eight stores in central North Carolina from Accel Marketing LLC, The Wall Street Journal reported. The stores, which operate under the Accel banner, are company-operated and offer proprietary fuel. Once the purchase is complete, the stores will be operate under the

7-Eleven No. 3 on Franchise 500

7-Eleven Inc. has earned the No. 3 spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s annual Franchise 500, which ranks top franchise opportunities in the U.S., Franchising.com reported.   This is the chain’s 17th year to secure a spot on the Top 10 of the Franchise 500.   7-Eleven opened more than 1,800 stores around the world last year,

Fighting Credit Card Costs

Is there relief ahead for exorbitant credit card fees? The answer is yes. But first, there’s a fight to be fought. According to NACS in Alexandria, Va., credit card payments have grown from 21% of transactions in 1995 to 49% today, with the trend expected to grow to more than 50% by next year. The

Couche-Tard Pushes U.S. Expansion

When Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. was presented with CSD’s Chain of the Year honors in 2007, the company’s smart, strong growth was cited as the foundation for the honor. A little more than two years later and not much has changed. The company is still regarded as one of the savviest marketers in two countries, and

Changes Abound at ExxonMobil

Since winning CSD’s Chain of the Year award in 2003, Exxon Mobil Corp. has been busy, beefing up it’s foodservice program at On the Run stores, then forming a new strategy that moves away from direct-store operations and beating out Wal-Mart for the top spot on the Fortune 500 list. But it’s the changes at

Creating Supply Chain Efficiencies

Getting products to stores more efficiently is now a major focus for all major retailers and distributors. Better distribution means lower costs and higher margins—both items high on c-store owners’ agendas these days—when customers are clutching their wallets more tightly than they have in years. “There are two ways to make money: increase prices or

Names to Remember

August is always one of my favorite issues of the year. It’s the month we get to profile convenience store “Chains to Watch” for the next 12 months. This year we’ve focused in on two outstanding chains, Stripes, a division of Susser Holdings in Corpus Christi, Texas, and EZ Energy, a rapidly growing operator based

Changing its Stripes

Susser Holdings Corp. at a glance A dynamic marketer Based in Corpus Christi, Texas, Susser Holdings is the largest non-refiner, convenience store operator in Texas, with additional stores in Oklahoma and New Mexico. It operates 516 convenience stores through its Stripes LLC division and is the 19th largest c-store chain in the U.S. Convenience Store

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.

A Shot of Energy

Did You Know? Energy shot sales have doubled to $423 million, according to a report released last month by Zenith International. Other key findings from the “2009 Zenith Energy Shot Drinks” report include: • Energy shot drinks present traditional energy drinks with new distribution channel opportunities, such as the health and nutrition sector. • Living

Light Boost to Beer

Despite tough economic times, sales of beer and wine remain constant even though many consumers continue to “trade down the box,” according to Dan Roane, category manager of alcoholic beverages for Circle K’s Southeastern stores. “The below premium beer segment is doing much better than it has in years,” Roane said. “We actually are seeing

Light Beers Poised for A Big Year

Think the U.S. leads the world in beer consumption? Think again. Though America has a larger population than beer-drinking countries like Germany or Britain, the winner in this year’s beer sales sweepstakes is a brew many Americans have probably never heard of: A Chinese beer named Snow. “SAB-Miller was going to roll Snow beer into

Bursting With Energy

Sultry Sales One new energy-shot sales trend WSCO’s general retail manager Darrell Looney sees is that some shots are being touted as aphrodisiacs. “The last NACS show was the first time I really noticed the presence of products that specifically spoke to potency and endurance,” Looney said, adding that it’s probably too soon to tell

Two-Ounce Energy Shots

TOP PERFORMERS Living Essential 5-Hour Energy NVE Stacker Upshot (Drinks That Work) HONORABLE MENTIONS BDI Mini Thin Rush NRG Make room for the new kid on the block: Energy shots, those concentrated versions of energy drinks that are beginning to mirror the high sales figures of their parent product.  Energy shots have as big a

Energizing Beverage Sales

Energy Drinks are still growing in double-digit figures, but some retailers feel a little edgy these days because the category isn’t growing at the same exponential rate it has during the past few years. “Don’t get me wrong, energy is a very big category that puts a lot of money into the bottom line,” said

Top 10 Beer Brands by Sales

TOP 10 BEER BRANDS Dollar Sales Case Sales Average Case Price Bud Light $3,823,988,000 196,964,800 $19.41 Budweiser $1,665,968,000 86,153,840 $19.34 Miller Lite $1,058,876,000 54,739,080 $19.34 Coors Light $1,032,452,000 53,347,550 $19.35 Natural Light $731,114,600 53,353,600 $13.70 Busch Light $425,441,900 31,412,000 $13.54 Busch $420,969,600 30,295,220 $13.90 Miller High Life $283,124,300 19,965,860 $14.18 Michelob Ultra Light $244,068,600 10,588,680

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