food for thought

Patience doesn't come easy, but it can haveits rewards. Nowhere is that more evident thanby observing the foodservice programs at Exxon Mobil Corp. and Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes. Bothchains have refined their food segments over severalyears to come up with the right menu to meet the needsof core customers, and that's why Convenience StoreDecisions

battle of the bulge

While manufacturers race to remove trans-fats from snacks, c-store staples with a twist are earning some retailers robust sales. The salty snack category, with its fat-laddened chips and processed flavors, has never conjured ideas of healthy eating. The category took a hit when the Atkins diet burst on the scene, but consumers have since returned

a family company

E-Z Mart Inc. has a long historyof being an innovator in convenienceretailing. When conveniencestores in the early 1970s onlystayed open until 6 p.m., founder JimYates kept his doors open until 11p.m. That kind of forward thinkinghelped the Texarkana, Texas-basedoperator grow operations to morethan 500 stores in the late 1990s.But the company suffered heartbreakingadversity in 1998

protecting tobacco

The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement continues toimpact tobacco sales. Since the agreement went intoeffect almost a decade ago, tobacco retailers continue to be shackled by heavy regulations and constantly increasingtaxes. While taxation is hurting convenience store retailers andtobacco manufacturers by making products more expensive topurchase, regulation is the force that is really bringingheadaches to an

on the road with kwik trip

In her continued quest to speakwith retailers excelling in their markets of operations, CSD publisher Shahla Hebets traveled to La Crosse,Wis., to meet with Steve Loehr, vicepresident of operations support forKwik Trip Inc. Loehr is a savvy industry veteranwith many years of service to Kwik Tripand the convenience store industry.His efforts through the years were

valero celebrates in style

CSD honors the San Antonio marketer as its 2006 Chain of the Year. In this age of cut-throat competition, fewchains are able to rise above theacrimony to stand out as a model corporate citizen. Valero Energy Corp. isat the top of that list, and that’s why itwas no surprise that more than 300retailers and suppliers

decisionmakers

VeraSun Energy Corp., the nation's second-largest ethanol producer, announced two additions to its management team. Bob Antoine willmove into his new role as senior vice president ofhuman resources, bringing more than 25 years ofexperience to the position. Peter Atkins alsojoins VeraSun as the new vice president of mergers and acquisitions. He will be responsible for

hot stuff snaps up lettieris

Hot Stuff Foods (www.hotstufffoods.com) has acquired Lettieri'sInc. (www.lettieris.com ), a manufacturer of ready-made food products. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the companies said the acquisition is being funded by Hot Stuff management, Lettieri's management and Allied Capital Corp. The addition of Lettieri's extends the company's reach to more than 40,000 additional

southeast petrofood show slated for march

The Southeast Petro-Food Marketing Exposition will be holding its 26th regional show March 7-8, 2007, at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The expo, started by the North Carolina Petroleum MarketersAssociation in 1981, is the largest regional c-store/petroleum show in the nation, and is sponsored by the following five associations: North Carolina

credit relief is past due

The cost some retailers are paying on credit card fees is crippling, but a panel of retailers and industry experts said relief may be on the way. Convenience Store Decisions, with the help of ISD Corp. and the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), hosted a Webcast Sept. 19 to discuss the ever-increasing credit card

ultralow sulfur diesel what you need to know

The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association/Illinois Association of Convenience Stores (IPMA) addresses common misconceptions about ultra-low sulfur diesel. Oct. 15 was a significant milestone in the nation’s transition to Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) 15-ppm sulfur fuel. Prior to Oct. 15, petroleum terminals were permitted to downgrade (to 500-ppm sulfur LSD) as much ULSD as they wanted.

publishers qa chairman of the board

Bill Greehey discusses the moves that helped put Valero at the head of the refining industry. CSD: In 1997, Valero became focused on acquiring refineries. What made you come to this decision? Greehey: That was always our goal, but it was in 1997 when we changed strategies by selling our pipeline and liquid operations to

smokeless tobacco review and outlook

Over the last few years, moist smokeless tobacco (MST) has increased in importance to convenience retailers as witnessed by its growing contribution to both in-store dollar sales and gross profits. During the same time period, the Sub-Price/Value (S-P/V) segment rapidly grew, changing the dynamics and strategies associated with MST. As the S-P/V segment began to

pcats pushes loyalty standards

Initiative would streamline access to rewards data for convenience store and petroleum marketers. The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards(PCATS) is developing a domestic standard for loyalty cardprograms to allow them to be integrated into the multiple point-ofsale and back-office systems now servicing in the industry.Working through PCATS’ Retail Financial TransactionsCommittee, the initiative aims to

ethanol fuels tank concerns

New oxygenates could cause clogged filters, phase separation without proper preparation. Ethanol may be good for the environment and it may reduce U.S dependence on foreign oil, but it’s murder on underground storage tanks. With ethanol-blended fuel on its way to gas stations and convenience stores across the country, petroleum marketers are beginning to realize

technically speaking

Scott Hartman, president of Rutter's Farm Stores, said the relationship between retailers and suppliers is integral to the implementation of new technologies. By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor Nearly 40 years after York, Pa.-based Rutter's Farm Stores opened its first unit, the chain's current president plays as big a role as anyone in the convenience

convenience driving natural foods resurgence

Cross-channel marketers report strong sales gains in organic, bottled water segments. By Laurie Budgar, Contributing Editor Everything old is new again. Some long established categories in natural foods are growing at rates usually reserved for products that are just starting to get distribution. Produce does the natural foods industry particularly proud this year. Even though

in brief

Chevron Invests in Biodiesel FacilityChevron Corp., which operates 2,800 convenience stores, has invested through a subsidiary, Chevron Technology Ventures LLC (CTV), in a Houston-based company that is building one of the first large-scale biodiesel plants in the U.S. The facility will have the potential to produce 100 million gallons per year of this clean-burning renewable

food for thought

By Ross Markman Retail Relations Editor Highlighted by a theme dinner that mimicked the Food Network’s popular Iron Chef television program, the National Convenience Store Advisory Group (NCSAG) foodservice conference was a success, particularly for the more than 300 retailers and suppliers in attendance. The three-day event, held in Atlanta, was the first NCSAG show

broadening its range

Road Ranger, a chain of 50 c-stores and travel plazas, expects to nearly double in size by year’s end. By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor This promises to be a busy year for Road Ranger. Following an expansion two years ago from about 30 convenience stores and travel centers to 50, the Rockford, Ill.-based chain

decisionmakers

RetailerSpotlightAndrea Jackson, president and COO of Jacksons Food Stores, was chosen by Idaho Business Review as one of Idaho's "Women of the Year." She was honored because of her professional accomplishments, willingness to serve in volunteer organizations and to mentor other women. Jackson has risen from clerk to president and COO of Jacksons Food Stores,

caring for cars in vegas

Thousands of carwash operators, equipment manufacturers and vendors filled the cavernous Las Vegas Convention Center to “clean up.” By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor Cruising the show floor at the annual Car Care Expo in Las Vegas, dozens of current and would-be carwash operators perused new products that caught their eye, considered the future of

industry sales hit new highs in 2005

Higher fuel prices, strong in-store sales spur record growth. By John Lofstock, Editor Convenience store sales climbed 20.2% to reach a record $474.3 billion in 2005, the third straight year of revenue growth of at least 16%, according to National Association of Convenience Stores’ State of the Industry (SOI) report. The results were announced last

food for thought

Growing up in New York City few things are as natural to me as eating out. Even now with my second child on the way, a minimum of two meals a day are eaten at a restaurant or convenience store near wherever the day's business takes me. The kitchen table is more of a convenient

faceoff

Foodservice: Branded vs. Unbranded BrandedKent Cummings, President, Cummings Oil Co. After looking at several foodservice options and trying our own proprietary concepts, we decided to partner with Hot Stuff Foods. We chose a national brand for a number of reasons,including: National brands have proven systems. When we implemented our Hot Stuff program we didn’t have

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