financing for the future

When examining short- and long-term funding options, experts stress the importance of due diligence. In the summer of 2005, Meridian, Miss.-based DeweeseEnterprises Inc., owner-operator of the Super Stop! convenience store chain, completed a $30 million deal that significantly improved the company’s bottom line. Deweese sold 24Super Stop locations in Mississippi to Realty Income Corp., aNew

mclane delivers the goods

Sam Anderson operates in one of the most competitivemarkets in the country. Rather than fret about thedaunting task of outselling the likes of Sheetz, Wawa and GetGo, he is focused on utilizing the tools at his disposalto put Pump n Pantry in a position to trump the competition. Anderson, vice president of store operations for

standing out in the crowd

Aided by its partnership with Valero, Fas Mart and Shore Stop stores are thriving in a tough East Coast market. Just a few years ago, Fas Mart was facing financial uncertainty. With 170 stores, the Mechanicsville, Va.-based chain, which also operates Shore Stop stores, was forced into Chapter 11. But what was a difficult period

onsite triage savings are no accident

There’s a clear need for keeping workers’ compensation costs down, but simply reducing benefits is not a practical answer. Human resources, safety and risk managers in the convenience store industry need to consider innovative approaches to improving employee health and safety while containing workers’ compensation costs for the employer. The industry needs healthy employees in

a culture of caring

Ask any retailer in the industry what sets them apart—what’s their most valuable asset—and almost everyone will say “our people.” But for San Antonio-based-Valero Energy Corp., it’s more than just lip service. Led by Chairman Bill Greehey, Valero has created a corporate culture that permeates its rank-and-file and makes employees feel like they’re doing more

what type of marketer are you

Dealer volume has never been more attractive and times have never been better for wholesale marketers considering exiting the industry. I was sitting in my office the other day ruminating that with the recent letter of intent we had just received, I was about to be a man without a jobbership to sell. Fortunately, the

hopping around with valero

It’s no surprise that Valero has made its own dent in the industry. Convenience Store Decisions‘ 2006 Chain of the Year recipient is an American success story. What started as a small company—armed only with some ambition and business savvy—has grown to unfathomable proportions over the past six years. With 18 refineries, a throughput of

the rise of a retail powerhouse

In less than a decade, Valero has grown into the largest refiner in North America and assembled one of the most recognized retail brands in the industry. In retail circles, ask anyone to name the leading fuel distributors in their markets. In previous years, you would have heard names like Citgo and Texaco. Not so

standing out in the crowd

Aided by its partnership with Valero, Fas Mart and Shore Stop stores are thriving in a tough East Coast market. Just a few years ago, Fas Mart was facing financial uncertainty. With 170 stores, the Mechanicsville, Va.-based chain, which also operates Shore Stop stores, was forced into Chapter 11. But what was a difficult period

turning around turnover

Hiring the right employees from the get-go. By David Hyatt, Contributing Editor When turnover is reduced and retention is the norm, retail businesses thrive.If an operator can find a sure-fire way to identify job applicants who are ableto do the job and actually be happy on the job, many later attempts at increasingstaff retention will

fuel discounts simply irresistible

Loyalty programs are cultivating a new breed of price-conscious consumers. As long as gasoline prices remain high, consumers will be attracted to fuel discounts. That’s the common sense that led retailers to create customer loyalty programs in which fuel discounts are the prize, instead of the more customary prizes like airline travel or cash back.

grassroots marketing for convenience retailers

Local marketing programs can boost store traffic without adding any operational costs. One of the most overlooked promotional opportunities for convenience retailersis a well-planned grassroots marketing program. It’s easy to get excited abouta new trade area in the early stages of your grand opening, but it’s anotherthing to instill this excitement some two years later.

automated hourly hiring systems

Remember “Blast from the Past,” the 1999 film starring Brendan Fraser? After a nuclear war scare in the 1960s, young Brendan lives in the family bomb shelter with his mom and dad for 30 years. When he finally ventures out into Los Angeles for food and a ” nonmutant” wife, it becomes a hilarious “fish

underserved markets present growth opportunities

Convenience store operators urged to use alternative data sources to get a better estimate of true market demand. by John Weiser, Contributing Editor Underserved markets— neighborhoods with high concentrations of ethnic minorities and immigrants—are fast growing and overlooked by major retailers. There are significant profit opportunities in these neighborhoods for savvy convenience store operators. But

csds still selling

NON-CARBS GAINING GROUND Although a major shift is clearly underway in packaged beverage sales, Mark Twain’s famous quote, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated” could easily describe the current carbonated soft drink (CSD) market. “The highest volume we sell is still CSDs, and Coke and Pepsi are still at the top of the

prepaids push profits

Card Revenues Soar Looking for a way to drive fuel sales and up your overall profits? Recent research reveals that making transactions more convenient by offering and accepting a variety of prepaid cards is the way to go. Prepaid cards, also known as stored-value cards, clearly increase business, especially if the cards are reloadable. A

minimizing workplace injuries

Working with insurance companies, many convenience store chains are reducing accidents and other losses, while reaping savings on insurance costs. On days when rain or snow is forecast for the Texas panhandle region, the managers of all 66 Toot ‘n Totum convenience stores receive early-morning e-mails reminding them to put out “wet floor” signs, mop

whats selling a view from the customers part ii

CSD conducts exit polls and consumer surveys at the point of sale to find out what customers want when it comes to bottled water. Retailers concerned about slow sales growth or stagnant fuel margins can expect a boost from bottled water as analysts and consumers alike expect water sales to continue flowing for at least

retailers embrace floridas generator law

Hurricane havoc forces mandate for backup power at gas stations, and other states may adopt similar legislation. By Joe Bahnatka, Contributing Editor After a hurricane sweeps across Florida, the state wants to keep gas pumps as busy as a department store on Black Friday. Keeping nozzles in gas tanks, however, requires electricity, which often times

grabandgo dollars

From small operators with space and labor limitations to larger chains with food at the forefront, the grab-and-go segment has these retailers turning tasty profits. Food has always been a cornerstone of the overall offering at Casey’s General Stores. The made-fromscratch pizza program has become the calling card across its 1,423 stores, which has evolved

understanding the petroleum market

Opportunities exist to capture fuel acquisition cost-savings, but do you know what they are? By Brian L. Milne, Contributing Editor Downstream fuel buyers face unprecedentedchallenges in high levels of priceand supply volatility with their fuel buying Opportunities to capture acquisition cost-savings and maximize profit can be lost seconds in up-and-down markets. More than ever, the

target customer with knowledge of trends

Understanding health and wellness developments can increase sales. The health and wellness landscape has been undergoing some major changes over the past several years, spurred by various factors, including scientific discoveries, nutrient breakthroughs, changing lifestyles and demographics, rising obesity, desire for wellness personalization and demand for corporate social responsibility. All of these transformations can make

whats selling a view from the customers

CSD conducts customer surveys on isotonics and energy drinks in markets across the U.S. The growth of bottled waterhas been well documented, butdata shows energy drinks and isotonics are growing at comparable oreven faster rates. What’s even moreimpressive is that all three of these categories have wide-ranging appeal thatcross gender lines and attract customersof all

display cases run hotcold

A great display of food will stop customers in their tracks. Here’s what you need to know to buy merchandising equipment that will make your food look irresistible. Not too long ago, food-merchandising equipment was limited to a few grocery store-type cases from only a few manufacturers. Today, there is a wide range of quality

faceoff

Fuel Hedging: Aggressive or Moderate? Face-off is a regular feature in Convenience Store Decisions that gives retailers, suppliers and consultants an opportunity to debate the issues affecting the convenience store and petroleum industry. Have an idea for Face-off? Contact John Lofstock at 201-845-2468 or via email at jlofstock@penton.com. Aggressive:Philip J. Baratz, C.T.A.President, Angus Energy Inc.

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