employee

Screen In the Best, Screen Out the Rest

Just as you should consistently ask applicants questions that get you all the information needed, so should you question yourself every time you consider hiring a new employee. By Mel Kleiman, Contributing Editor. One of the fastest growing classes of lawsuits today are employment law filings. In addition to discrimination and wage/hour actions, we’re seeing

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The Impact of Restrooms on Food Sales

Poor safety and sanitation practices will turn customers away. Going above and beyond what’s required is the key to a healthy program. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. The numbers tell an interesting story: according to a recent research study by Cintas Corp., fully 95% of people avoid patronizing a business in which they have had

baked-goods

Baked to Perfection

As c-stores enhance their coffee and foodservice programs, operators look to fresh bakery to complete the package. By Heather Henstock, Contributing Editor. Convenience stores are investing heavily in store remodels and an experienced staff to create a bigger, better fresh foods program for customers. Too often they fall short in the bakery category, but a

Union

Strategic Positive Employee Relations

Proposed changes by the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board could drastically change how employers interact with their workforce. By Jeffrey Usher, Contributing Editor. In recent months, the words “unions” and “collective bargaining” have been spoken in the media, at social gatherings and in business meetings more than they have been in

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Keeping the Menu Fresh

Foodservice customers are becoming value-conscious, a reflection of current economic conditions. Consumers are now expecting better value in terms of price, service, consistency and food quality. By John Lofstock, Editor. Bringing consumers into convenience stores to buy food requires a great offering at a good price. But with all the competition for share of stomach,

smokeless

Smokeless Sales Show No Signs of Dipping

Enhancing variety will continue to be a key for this high growth category. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Sales of smokeless tobacco products keep increasing and convenience store operators are enjoying the ride. But keeping that graph line headed north means keeping a wary eye on proposed federal regulations, keeping sets fresh, properly allocating shelf

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Train to Retain

To get and keep “A” players, retailers must become an employer of choice. This doesn’t always mean paying more money, but it does mean understanding that the way employees treat customers reflects the way their employers treat them. By Mel Kleiman, Contributing Editor. Do you ever wonder why no one ever trains us for life’s

NAG

Building Profits and Relationships

The 2011 NAG Conference in Savannah, Ga. offered timely retail solutions and outstanding networking opportunities. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Retailers and suppliers joined together at the Westin Hotel and Resort in Savannah, Ga. for four days of strategic educational sessions and networking as part of the 2011 National Advisory Group (NAG) Conference. This year’s

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Shell Bolsters Loyalty

The Fuel Rewards Network, an extension of its Grocer Rewards program, is enhancing the brand proposition for Shell marketers and wholesalers. By John Lofstock, Editor. The competition for customers has never been so furious. Consumers have more and more choices every day, and the right customer loyalty program has the power to make or break

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Retail Trends for 2012

As technology continues to change the way we do business, retailers must weigh the benefits of being ahead of the curve versus the risks, and the disadvantages of falling behind. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In a scene from the futuristic movie “Minority Report,” Tom Cruise’s character walks through a shopping mall while 3-D screens

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

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Circle K Raises $1 Million For UCP

“For more than three decades, our partnership with UCP has been one of the most important outlets for Circle K to give back to the people we serve,” says Circle K spokesperson. Circle K recently donated $332,000 to United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). The donation was raised during Circle K’s FishStix event, an annual golf and

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Hit-n-Run Food Stores Prepares for the Future

Brenton Investment Corp. is set to build a new prototype design as it sets its sights on growth through new builds. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. With 11 years under its belt and 13 successful convenience stores throughout southern Louisiana, Brenton Investment Corp. is ready to grow its fleet of Hit-n-Run Food Stores beginning with

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Taking Social Media to the Next Level

C-stores are adding Facebook pages, but to profit from social media, retailers need to also engage fans with text and email marketing campaigns. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Anyone still questioning the power of social media need only look to Japan. The country, which between earthquakes, tsunamis and radiation fears has seen tourism drop, is

NFC-payment

Preparing for Future Payment Systems

First it was PCI, now retailers have to prepare for the widespread launch of Near Field Communications, which is expected to become a widely used system for making payments by smartphone in the U.S. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. The convenience store industry is increasingly turnings its gaze outdoors to the forecourt, not only for

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Susser Reports Operating Results

“We delivered one of our strongest quarters ever in same-store merchandise sales growth during the latest quarter, and despite higher gasoline prices versus a year ago, we achieved strong growth in gallons sold,” says Susser CEO. Susser Holdings Corp. has reported strong financial and operating results for the third quarter ended Oct. 2, 2011, driven

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Perfecting Pizza

A top-notch pie and artistic appeal help differentiate the offering for this important foodservice segment. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Pizza, a perennial favorite of American culture, is grabbing headlines as some restaurateurs and retailers devise gourmet versions with a variety of innovative toppings and crusts. And while that’s all well and good, c-store shoppers

James Thornton, (left) founder of Thorntons Inc., and Matt Thornton, (right) president and CEO of Thorntons accept the Chain of the Year award from CSD Editor John Lofstock.

Thorntons Earns Top Chain Honors

Kentucky operator presented the industry’s most prestigious retail award at a gala in Chicago. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Convenience Store Decisions honored Louisville, Ky.-based Thorntons Inc. as its 22nd annual Convenience Store Chain of the Year at an exclusive dinner at Café Spiaggia in Chicago last month during the NACS Show. More than 200

HBC

A Remedy for Boosting Impulse Sales

Whether it’s aspirin or shaving cream, HBC is a growing category that deserves a renewed focus. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. HBC is making a comeback from coast to coast. The category—from shampoos and skin creams to cough drops and cold remedies—has always had its rightful place in a convenience store—providing a grab-and-go remedy for

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

Thorntons

Thorntons Honored as 2011 Convenience Store Chain of the Year

Outstanding service, a sincere dedication to its team members and an ongoing commitment to convenience retailing earn the Louisville, Ky. chain the industry’s oldest and most prestigious award. By John Lofstock, Editor. The late Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc., once said, “A lot of companies have chosen to downsize. We chose a different path.

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

beer-cave

Getting Crafty in the Cold Vault

Beer sales are hot right now and driving the push are specialty brews and imports. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Consumer interest in more flavorful food and beverages has led, among other things, to the rise of craft beers. Retailers: Start your engines. Craft beers offer more challenging tastes, authenticity and often even a quirkiness

mcdonalds

McDonald’s Under Storm

An example of why addressing customer complaints in the age of social media is vital to your business. In today’s social media driven world, customer service is key to positive word-of-mouth, no matter the size of your chain or the scope of the complaint. If you doubt the seriousness of addressing customer complaints in a

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Englefield Oil Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

Three generations of exceptional leadership and a keen focus on employees help the family business reach this distinctive milestone. By: John Lofstock, Editor. To understand the history of the convenience store and petroleum industry is to understand the individual success stories that helped build our great nation. Each company has a unique story, but their

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