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Northern Exposure

By combining the rich experience of Shell Oil with family-owned ingenuity, truenorth convenience stores is poised for a breakout year. By: John Lofstock. There aren’t too many 93-year-old oil companies that have enjoyed decades of success, but have managed to keep a low profile. But the winds of change are blowing at Truenorth Energy LLC

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The Growing Popularity of Growler Beer

Craft on draft is showing up in more and more convenience stores as consumers drive the demand for this niche brew program. Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Despite restrictions on where and how it can be sold, growler beer is a rapidly growing segment of the beer category, and convenience store operators are getting in on

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Parker’s Convenience Stores Garnering National Attention

Georgia chain debuts on Inc. magazine’s celebrated list of fastest growing companies. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The Parker Cos. Inc., with 27 convenience stores throughout southeast Georgia and coastal South Carolina, has scored the No. 3006 spot on the annual Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies list. It’s the first time the c-store chain has

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Reinventing the Neighborhood Market

Kyle’s Kwik Stop Corner Markets in east Texas is testing a new business model by emphasizing the local community. By Megan Wilkinson, Assistant Editor. On the outside, Kyle’s Kwik Stop’s latest store looks like a simple c-store. Yet, step inside the Longview, Texas unit and customers get a taste of the neighborhood from its breakfast

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The Economics of Energy Efficiency

Convenience stores and many other retail segments have been able to slash operating costs with LED lighting and other equipment upgrades. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Convenience store chains big and small are finding ways to save money while improving the store experience for customers with energy efficient technologies. When Wawa Inc. was searching for

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Spice Up Sandwiches to Spike Sales

Technomic’s 2012 Sandwich Consumer Trend Report found that more than half (55%) of Americans are now purchasing grab-and-go sandwiches. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Just two years ago, the top-selling sandwiches at Famima convenience stores were tuna salad, turkey and cheese and egg salad, all on white bread. Today, the same proteins lead the pack,

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Freezing Out the Competition

Establishing an effective frozen beverage offering helps drive customers across all demographics. Megan Wilkinson, Assistant Editor. Frozen beverages have been helping convenience store operators create stronger relationships with younger consumers, but there is an opportunity in this category with all age groups. According to Mintel’s 2012 Convenience Store Foodservice report, frozen beverages ranked as the

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Learning from Wyndham’s Data Breach

How you respond before, during and after your credit card data has been compromised will have a major impact on your chain’s ability to survive a security fiasco. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In today’s high tech world, no one is immune to a breach. This June, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued hotel dynasty

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Coffee Driving Bakery Sales

To capture a greater share of the breakfast business, retailers are developing fresh bakery programs extensive enough to make their products destination-worthy in the morning and throughout the day. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Few, if any, local supermarkets or mom-and-pops in the Iowa, Minnesota or Wisconsin market areas where Kwik Trip has its 358

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Poultry Powers Prepared Food Sales

Whether it’s sandwiches, wraps or wings, chicken’s versatility is driving the foodservice category. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Chicken comes about as close as food can to a can’t-miss opportunity for convenience store operators. Chicken’s flexibility—and healthier perception—makes it one of the most popular products in the foodservice industry. And short of handling it unsafely,

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Seizing Control of Smokeless Tobacco

With new flavors, brand extensions and increased promotional activity, MST sales continue to post strong gains at convenience stores. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. The smokeless tobacco category remains strong, and not just because legislators have chased consumers away from cigarettes. New products and flavors combined with competitive pricing, increased promotional activity and effective merchandising

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Casey’s Takes Charge

With an aggressive expansion and remodeling plan underway, Casey’s General Stores is in firm control of its future and sits atop the list of Chains to Watch in 2013. By: Erin Rigik, associate editor. Casey’s General Stores has come a long way in two years. The convenience store chain is branching into new territory, pushing

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Tracking Changes In Confections

While a few big gum and mint brands have the cache—and steady sales—to merit prime display space, hordes of newcomers are trying to snare a share of this valuable retail real estate. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor In its “New Product Pacesetters” report, research firm SymphonyIRI Group revealed that the gum and mint sector accounted

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With Foodservice Equipment, Cheap Can Be Costly

There are few bargains when it comes to purchasing the right cooking equipment. Functionality and practicality must coincide with an affordable price tag. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Just like the latest luxury car, a shiny, new piece of foodservice equipment can be hard to resist. But Brian Tucker, foodservice director for Lake, Fla.-based S

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Fresh Foods, Fast Service

Burgers, brats and sausages continue to drive sales among core convenience store consumers. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Convenience dining is on the rise and the demand for sandwiches is jumping. Americans’ love of burgers, sausage and brats is creating plenty of opportunity for convenience stores, where lunch and dinner solutions anchor the menu. The

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Worth The ‘Hassel’

Cumberland Farms turns a unique theft problem into a marketing campaign on its social media sites. By Megan Wilkinson, Assistant Editor Cumberland Farms stores launched a promotion of its iced coffee featuring David Hasselhoff as its spokesman last month, and it garnered instant attention from its customers…maybe too much attention. The chain decided to place

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Credit Card Security And PCI: Where Do We Go From Here?

When it comes to data security, all retailers need to be prepared for the worst scenario, but that can’t happen if they aren’t aware of PCI requirements and the severe consequences that can result from a data breach. By John Lofstock, Editor When security breaches make the news, the typical victims are retailing giants, such

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Maintaining Strong Cigar Sales

Despite a demand from adult consumers, retailers are continually forced to defend their right to sell flavored cigars responsibly. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor While tobacco has long been a bread-and-butter product for convenience stores, accounting for millions in individual unit sales and boosting the profits from the average smoker’s market basket, it remains a

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Proper Merchandising Encourages Sales

Dealing with a host of primary wholesalers, multiple DSD vendors and local foodservice providers, convenience store chains are learning to grow more efficient without sacrificing goods and services. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Like millions of Americans, Matt Paduano was traveling this summer, but he didn’t return home with a sun tan and postcards from

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Customers ‘Krave’ Electronic Tobacco

E-cigarettes offer consumers an alternative to traditional cigarettes. They are also virtually odorless, allowing them to be consumed in locations where traditional smoking is commonly prohibited. By CSD Staff Vapor Corp., one of the only publicly traded companies (OTCBB: VPCO) servicing the electronic cigarette and vaporizer industry, maintains its integrity in a fiercely competitive market

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MACS Converts to Circle K

Under a unique partnership with Couche-Tard, Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores is now the exclusive developer of the Circle K brand across the mid-Atlantic. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (MACS) and Alimentation Couche-Tard forged a new partnership in July where MACS will act as the exclusive developer for the Circle K brand in Virginia,

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Weathering the Economic Storm

C-store retailers express optimism as financial conditions continue to slowly improve. by Mel Kleiman, Contributing Editor. While we were able to summarize the major findings of the 2012 CSD/Humetrics Human Resources Benchmarking Survey earlier this year, there are a few more interesting facts to share concerning the responses to our first question: “How was the

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Bursting With Energy

The energy shots and drinks market has been on an upward growth trajectory since 2010 and with the improvement in the economy is expected to continue on this growth. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Americans need all the energy they can get their hands on, which goes a long way to explaining the enduring success

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Dispensed Beverage Sales Heating Up

Fueled by new flavors and supported by high-quality equipment, the cold and frozen category shows unlimited potential. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor The cold facts go like this: with margins from tobacco and fuel still lagging headed into the summer of 2012, the booming frozen beverage segment has been a pleasant top-performing surprise for convenience

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Meat Snacks Are Getting Hot

Major manufacturers are betting on bolder flavor profiles and textures to help appeal to adventurous and sophisticated palates, and health-conscious lifestyles. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor There is nothing timid about Generations X or Y, especially when it involves their taste buds. And when it comes to flavors, the bigger, bolder, hotter and spicier the

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