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What Do Your Floors Say About Your Store?

Convenience store operators pushing a foodservice program must be committed to store cleanliness and sanitation. By Michael Schaffer, Contributing Editor If there is anything retailers and convenience store owners have learned from the economic downturn, it’s that they must do everything they can to welcome their customers and keep them loyal. And it can all

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Combating C-Store Theft

Typically, convenience stores can experience a few gasoline thefts a week. But when prices increase, some stores see several gas thefts a day. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor When times get hard, thieves get industrious and innovative. The response by convenience store operators must be twofold: extensive background checks on potential employees to weed out

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The Customer Service Saboteur

Washington State University student analyzes ways customers get on each other’s nerves. By Eric Sorensen, Contributing Editor There are Some jerks, and then there are jerks. Joel Anaya has given them a fair amount of study, focusing on that very special jerk who can take a routine service experience—dining out, paying at a cash register, air

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College Convenience Competes Locally

Kent State’s Eastway Market & Deli offers students the products they need at affordable prices to keep shopping occasions on campus. By Megan Wilkinson and John Lofstock. Getting to know your core customers is an ongoing challenge. But when your customers are a transient group of students, staying on top of their needs is virtually

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Leveling The RYO Playing Field

In recent years, roll-your-own tobacco machines have surfaced at various retail locations putting convenience stores at a competitive disadvantage on price. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor America, and in particular its lawmakers, remains caught in a love-hate relationship with tobacco. That push-pull has resulted in very well-publicized attempts to dissuade Americans from using tobacco, or

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E-Tobacco Shows No Signs of Slowing

Although the electronic cigarette category in the U.S. is barely five years old, a dizzying number of brands are vying for the attention of retailers—and more are entering the fray just about every day. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor In a report released in May, UBS Investment Research likened the chaotic e-cigarette category to the e-commerce

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POS in Your Palm

Mobile technology is changing the retail landscape, offering a bevy of options for retailers to consider. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In today’s ever-evolving world of mobile payment technology, anyone with a mobile phone can take credit card payments, from a neighbor running a garage sale to an entrepreneur building a small business. Now, this

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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

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Maverik Launching Smartphone Payments

Maverik convenience stores is one of 30 merchants that plans to use the NFC payment system this summer. This summer, customers in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas will be able to buy products at convenience stores with a wave of their smartphones instead of handing over cash or a credit card to a

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Quick and Complete

Roadrunner Markets refines its retail operations with the addition of a c-store prototype, a renewed commitment to foodservice and a firm emphasis on customer service. By John Lofstock, Editor. At a time when customers demand fast service, quality foods and convenient locations, Roadrunner Markets is pushing ahead with a retail strategy that would make even

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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

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Carving Out a Sandwich Strategy

While branded and proprietary foodservice programs get a lot of attention at retail, prepared sandwiches have quietly—and profitably—filled a valuable niche for retailers. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Sandwiches and wraps are a $2.7 billion category and sales are expected to remain strong through 2014, according to a 2011 report from foodservice research and marketing

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CCRRC Study Unveils Growth Opportunities for C-Stores

Study by the NACS/ Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council (CCRRC) identifies five new platforms that can drive convenience retail growth. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. A newly released report from the NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council (NACS/CCRRC) is providing insights into what motivates shoppers to spend more of their hard-earned dollars inside convenience stores. “We began the

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Tax Credits To Help Small Businesses Provide Health Coverage

Affordable Care Act Program helps small businesses offer benefits. More than 19 million U.S. workers are employed by the 3.2 million small businesses eligible for $15 billion in tax credits in the federal healthcare reform, according to a new report titled “Good Business Sense,” released today by Small Business Majority and the consumer group Families

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Cultivating Loyal Customers

Savvy c-store operators are using loyalty programs to improve merchandise planning and forecasting to spur long-term growth. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Loyalty programs, when administered well, offer c-store retailers solid benefits—the ability to react to trends quickly, make more informed decisions, improve cost effectiveness and aid in merchandise planning and sales forecasting. “Loyalty programs

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Data Security Spurs Advancements In Loyalty

As loyalty programs evolve, ensuring customers that their private information is secure and being used appropriately is essential in gaining their trust. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The secret to succeeding with a loyalty program in 2012 is to make sure you’re offering customers value on their terms, while also ensuring them that their information

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Dispelling the Myths of Tobacco Control

A response to the recent misleading “Deadly Alliance” report implicating convenience stores. By Seth A. Mailhot, Special Counsel, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. This is the first of what will be a continuing series on the regulation of tobacco retailing. In future articles, I will address the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) regulation

Inspiring Leadership in Those Around You

Master Chief Petty Officer David A. Lindenberger. He is the toughest man I’ve ever met. As the senior enlisted man aboard the submarine USS Providence during my time in the Navy, he was known simply as Chief of the Boat or the COB. He wasn’t a particularly big man, maybe an iron fist taller than

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Servicing Customers in a Jiffy

Jiffy Trip is preparing to unveil a convenience store prototype in Oklahoma and has its sights set on acquisition opportunities. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor Jiffy Trip is gearing up for a busy year. The 28-store chain  based in Enid, Okla. is scouring the market for acquisition targets to fulfill its lofty plans to grow

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Service to the Fleet

With fuel costs again on the rise, a fleet card network can attract new business while offering fleet managers the safety, security and reporting tools they need to be successful. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Fleet cards are a nice piece of business for c-store operators. But the key to keeping that business growing is

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Gum Gets a Fresh Start

Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. After years of  tremendous growth, gum sales have struggled as new products and line extensions crowd the category. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Innovation is a great thing, especially in the fickle gum category. But Danna Huskey, category manager for Texarkana, Texas-based E-Z Mart stores

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Healthy Options Driving Foodservice Demand

Many convenience store retailers are cognizant of the trend toward healthier foods and are adding better-for-you items to their menus. By John Lofstock, Editor. More salads, fruits and vegetables are finding their way onto convenience store shelves—often for purchase in the morning, or as a late afternoon snack—much to the delight of an increasing number

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Sweeten the Deal for Chocolate

Market researchers report that between 82% and 92% of Americans admit to indulging in chocolate candy. Even more important is the revelation that the majority of them do it at least once a month. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Americans aren’t eating out as much as they used to, but they are eating more chocolate,

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A Gift for All Seasons

The prepaid market is booming as retailers begin to capitalize on seasonal opportunities and serving the underbanked. By John Lofstock, Editor. The gift card market is rosy and analysts are poised for another strong year in 2012. In 2011, 80% of consumers planned on buying gift cards for the holiday season, up from 2010, and

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LED Enlightenment Aids Efficiency Options

With so many choices now available, retailers must make sure they select wisely when upgrading canopy and interior lighting. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Lighting technology is undergoing a rapid expansion, with more energy-efficient options appearing in the marketplace. Many retailers seeking cost savings on their electric and maintenance bills are flocking to their utility

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