SavOn Store Photo

Customer Service Is Key

SavOn convenience stores score exceptionally high on mystery shop reviews for its customer service skills. The convenience store industry has changed its customer service standards the past couple years. Customers expect more out of convenience store employees than ever before, and want some sort of “experience” when they stop by their favorite location. More c-stores

RaceTrac

RaceTrac Hosts New Feedback System

RaceTrac learns what its customers want through its new feedback program with Mindshare Technologies. RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. teamed with Mindshare Technologies, a feedback management provider, to roll out a new guest survey program for its stores. The feedback system allows RaceTrac to continuously gather feedback and respond to the customer’s needs in real-time to make

employee3LARGE

C-Stores Missing Significant Snack Sales Opportunities

Consumer research from MSA and Paradigm Sample suggest the majority of customers looking to buy salty snacks leave the store empty-handed, a serious no-no for convenience stores. By Trish Temmerman, Management Science Associates (MSA). Nearly eight in 10 convenience store customers looking to buy salty snacks on a shopping occasion have left the store without

24_Blog

Inspiring a Solid Work Ethic

Consider this an open letter to the young men and women that work in our stores. If you want to advance, don’t let your bosses out work you. By Jim Callahan. Did you ever wonder how older co-workers keep going long after many of their younger cohorts seem to have worn down and out?  I’m

employees4

Strengthening the Leadership Chain

When it comes to attracting and maintaining repeat customers, a convenience store is only as strong as its weakest link. By Jim Callahan. In Thomas Reid’s Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man he wrote that, “in every chain of reasoning, the evidence of the last conclusion can be no greater than that of the

HESS

WilcoHess Implements Workforce Management Solution

Kronos Inc. to help WilcoHess control costs and improve employee satisfaction. WilcoHess, an operator of more than 400 convenience stores, travel plazas, and restaurants in southeastern U.S., recently selected a comprehensive workforce management solution from Kronos Inc., to further enhance customer and employee satisfaction. “Kronos has proven that technology innovation can make business applications easy

Rutters

Rutter’s Rolls Out Mac and Cheese Options

Customers can choose from more than 500 varieties. Rutter’s Farm Stores has added macaroni and cheese to the menu, and it could take customers quite a while to decide which version of it they like the best. When all of the variations of toppings and meaty additions are tallied, Rutter’s provides its customers with more

SHEETZlogo

Sheetz Debuts New Locations

New stores in West Virginia and North Carolina welcomed customers for the first time Thursday. Sheetz opened two new stores on Jan. 26. One store opened in Beckley, W.Va.—marking the second store in the area—and the other in McGee’s Crossroads near Benson, N.C., located at 13433 NC Highway 210. Doors officially open to customers Thursday

Are Customers Always Right?

As anyone even remotely associated with the service industry will tell you the customer is king. But a new book is challenging that theory and takes a critical look at the true value of disgruntled customers. For example, in a retail setting, the squeaky wheel almost always winds up getting the grease. Customers tend to

Earns ConocoPhillips

Market Force & ConocoPhillips Receive Ventana Research Leadership Awards

Ventana Research Leadership Award comes on the heels of Forbes’ America’s Most Promising Companies recognition. Market Force, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions, and its client ConocoPhillips have received the Ventana Research Leadership Award for Customer Excellence. The Ventana Research 2011 Leadership Awards recognizes innovative companies and their customers that have most effectively achieved

coldvaultLARGE

The Importance of Fully-Stocked Shelves

A survey shows lack of inventory, difficulty finding desired items and long checkout lines are top threats to retaining loyal customers. Nearly 70% of U.S. adults would avoid shopping at a retail store if they encountered empty shelves, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by Galleria Retail Technology Solutions, a provider of retail and category

Chester's

Chester’s Opens 17 New Locations

“Each opening brings Chester’s great chicken and sides to more people, and keeps the brand growing,” says Chester’s spokesperson. Chester’s International LLC continues its aggressive expansion by opening 17 more domestic locations.   With industry expectations that convenience store food sales will outperform the restaurant and food industry averages, Chester’s is well positioned for success. Chester’s

fast-food

Understand the Rules Customer Service

One unhappy shopping experience can influence the behavior of 16 customers. Can you afford to lose that business? By Jim Callahan. Great customer service is still and will always be the hallmark of any successful retail business. As convenience store operators we have high standards to compete with. For example, it is standard practice in

CIGARS

Driving OTP Sales

While cigar sales do not approach those of cigarettes, they offer convenience stores better margins. Plus, new flavors and competitive pricing are keeping customers interested in the category. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Other tobacco products (OTP) in general and cigars in particular continue to earn more shelf space in convenience stores, and the higher

LIST

What’s On Your Customer’s C-Store Shopping List?

Jeff Weghorst, director of merchandising at dunnhumbyUSA. One of the primary drivers behind a customer’s willingness to transact with a retailer is product selection. If a customer does not encounter an appealing assortment of products in-store, they are highly unlikely to engage even once with the retailer, and much less likely to become a loyal

Meeting the Demand for Meat Snacks

Meat snack manufacturers are going after the teen demographic, solidifying them as the product’s target audience, and introducing new flavors and varieties to meet the changing needs of consumers. Many retailers agree flavored meat sticks are driving the category. “Flavors products are strong right now whether it’s the hot, teriyaki or the smoked,” said Bill

Speedway SuperAmerica Presents a Unified Front

SuperAmerica won CSD’s Chain of the Year award in 1991, and Speedway was recognized with that honor six years later. In 1998, the two convenience store chains merged to form Speedway SuperAmerica LLC, which is owned by Marathon Oil Corp. Today, Speedway SuperAmerica, which is based in Enon, Ohio, is made up of more than

Here Comes the Sun

As the summer selling season hits its peak, operators must hone best practices to increase market share. Gazing through my crystal ball, I see it boldly predicts summer 2009 is going to bring some very solid sales numbers, indeed greatly increased sales for much of the country.  Moreover, as you view this issue of Convenience

New Products, Fuel Dispensed Beverages

The cold frozen dispensed category is undergoing some major changes these days, with many c-stores adding milkshakes and even energy slushees to their offerings. The additions continue to make the cold and frozen dispensed category one of the hottest in the convenience store industry. “We’ve had great success with using energy drinks like Monster, Rock

Riding Out the Economic Storm

Facing one of the most difficult financial crises in the nation’s history, convenience store operators must maximize store performance and drive efficiencies. That old axiom “fall back, spring ahead” takes on an entirely new meaning for 2009. Faced with the worst recession in more than half a century, springing ahead means fighting for survival for

How Foodservice Impacts Profits

Dennis Peters has no complaints about the proprietary fresh chicken program at two of his 24 Friendship Foods stores in Ohio. It’s popular, it’s profitable and it’s been a proven concept for the past 12 years. Well, maybe there’s one complaint. It’s a little too fresh. Not “peck-you-on-the-hand-when-you-grab-it” fresh, but certainly fresh enough to see

Operations Wake-Up Call

Tougher economic times are pushing convenience retailers to look at how they can improve operations. While cutting costs may be one common theme, savvy retailers are also looking at other avenues to help them stand out among the competition. “The economy changed and that changes how people are buying,” said Brooks Blair, owner of Bells

css.php