seeking something new

Dozens of retailers made their way to the WPMA trade show in Las Vegas for three days of golf, grub and business. By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor Cruising the trade show floor at the Las Vegas Mirage Events Center on a recent February afternoon, Larry Clinkenbeard was on the prowl for a new food

Decision Makers – March, 2006

Decision Makers Kyle Krause, CEO of Kum & Go announces the promotion of Brian Thompson as chief acquisitions officer. Thompson will be responsible for developing the company’s Grow Business department, an area responsible for all convenience store acquisitions and alternative business developments.He has been with Kum & Go since 2003, and was previouslyits chief financial

wrapped to perfection

Sheetz increases efficiency 13% at its Pa. distribution center using stretch wrappers. Sheetz Inc. understands that speed and innovation are differentiators in the convenience industry. The family-owned Altoona, Pa.-based chain proved it by being one of the first retailers to integrate touchscreen ordering into its Made-to-Order (MTO) food offer. It followed that up by creating

a touch of controversy

A growing profit center for c-stores, Iowa’s TouchPlay machines have triggered a statewide clash that might mean the program’s removal. The controversial TouchPlay machine, which has sparked a lottery vs. casino debate throughout Iowa, is smacking the convenience store owner where it hurts most—the pocketbook. Consider Larry Bentler, president of Houghton, Iowa-based Jet Gas Corp.,

news brief

Irving Oil fights backIrving Oil Ltd. (Saint John, New Brunswick) said it "will vigorouslydefend" a class-action lawsuit alleging that the chain overcharged consumerson fuel taxes in 2004. The suit was filed in February by Option Consommateurs,a Canadian nonprofit group. "We have received the legal papers and we are inthe process of reviewing them," Irving Oil

desion makers

Kum & Go has promoted Dennis Folden, who has been with the chain since1976, to chief operating officer. Folden's previous position was executive vicepresident. In his 30 years with the company, Folden has held roles as storemanager, retail supervisor and vice president of marketing, among others. AsCOO, Folden will manage the day-to-day activities of the

retailer spotlight

Rutter's Holdings Inc. (York, PA), parent company of Rutter's Farm Stores andRutter's Dairy, was named 2005 "Business of the Year" by the Central PennBusiness Journal . The award honors Rutter's contribution to the centralPennsylvania business community, which includes leadership, innovation and growth."This award really means we have great employees who go the extra mile everyday

high gas prices impacting cstore profitability

With credit card fees eating away at fuel margins, NACS is promoting an alternative. While in-store sales are flat, retailers’ biggest concern is profit margin erosion triggered by escalating credit-and debit-card processing fees. Beset by record-high gas prices over the past two quarters, convenience store and petroleum marketers are struggling to maintain profitability. In addition

marketers urged to get up to date on otc pharmaceuticals

ACRC working overtime on legislative agenda, retailer recruitment. The federal government is poised to enact legislation substantially affecting over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals. Do you know what they are? If not, the American Council on Regulatory Compliance (ACRC) says your business is at risk of losing a potentially high margin, high profit category. ACRC, a Falls Church,

in brief

McLane: K&G, Brewer Oil re-up K & G Stores (Lone Tree, CO) has extended its service agreement withMcLane Co. Inc. (www.mclaneco.com).Michael Hayes, K & G vice president of sales and operations, said his company'srelationship with McLane has helped grow the business with good merchandisingand solid overall service. K & G has been a marketing leader

marked for growth

Independent marketers with a thirst for alternative fuels find value and stability with GROWMARK’s FAST STOP brand. Doug Finkbeiner thought the sky might fall when a couple of big boxesopened up in Lapeer, a small town north of Detroit, last year. To counter thepresence of a new Meijer supermarket/fuel center and a Wal-Mart Supercenterwith a

dinner and a movie

By the end of the year, Redbox intends to have more than 1,000 of its DVD-dispensing kiosks in the U.S., most of them in McDonald

splash time

Rutter

chevron goes the extramile

Chevron Corp. (San Ramon, CA) has opened 43 ExtraMile Convenience Stores in the Seattle market. The stores feature a fresh look, healthier snacks and premium coffee, as well as easy access to chilled waters, energy drinks and more appetizing to-go food options. The ExtraMile stores opened throughout the city this summer to develop a potential

Thumbs Up for Biometric Check Cashing

Roughly 610,000 consumers are using Paycheck Secure (www.paychecksecure.com ), BioPay’s biometric payroll check cashing system, at more than 400 retail locations throughout California. To date, Golden State retailers have cashed more than 5.8 million checks, totaling $2.7 billion, through Paycheck Secure since its launch in 2001. An additional 57,000 individuals in Arizona, Utah and Nevada

flu shots at walmart

In-store health clinics are spreading like the common cold to a rising number of major drugstore and hypermarket chains, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., CVS Corp. and Rite Aid Corp., according to a Wall Street Journal report. These clinics offer routine medical services such as strep-throat tests, sports physicals and flu shots, charging $25 to $60

up the creek

Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin continues to pour more of itself into the gourmet coffee business. Recently, the chain put a dynamic new face on its stores by focusing on its Willow Creek Coffee offer . While the new store design has been implemented at only seven of the chain

mapping out a plan

When eyeballing the top line, retailers won’t confuse maps with tobacco or packaged beverages anytime soon. But this segment deserves the respect it might not be getting. Americans continue to amass near large cities—but they also have begun to poolin many smaller, traditionally rural towns. Take Atlanta and Asheville, NC,for example. Since 2000, the 10-county

Building Fanatics at Retail Level

Every element of the National Convenience Store Advisory Group’s Fall Conference was designed to help retailers turn customers into fanatics about their brands. How do you motivate your stores (and staff) to peak performance? How do you get to the next level of sales and profitability? The answer may lie in developing a closer connection

no contact for meijer

Meijer Stores Inc. (Grand Rapids, MI) is the first supercenter chain to adda contactless card payment option at its gas pumps. The chain’s 150 stores thatsell gas will have more than 1,850 fueling positions upgraded with a Gilbarco(www.gilbarco.com) contactless card system. Theintegrated system is currently the only product certified by all three majorcard companies for

Moving in Moving up

Retailers stir up new business by targeting “new movers.” Since opening Smith’s Service Center (Lancaster, PA) in 1979, John Smith had tried advertising in the Yellow Pages and utilizing the Welcome Wagon service to ferret out new customers, but he’d experienced limited, immeasurable results. “There were seven similar businesses to mine in the Welcome Wagon

premium pizza minimum labor

In an effort to better serve the convenience store market, Giorgio Foods Inc. (www.giorgio foods.com) has introduced a new pizza program that uses premium ingredients to provide pizzeria-quality pizza with minimal preparation required from store employees. Two styles of pizza are available: pre-baked or traditional. Depending on the style and cooking technique, fresh pizza can

gottahava new ad campaign

Wawa Inc. (Wawa, PA) has unveiled a new campaign “gottahava Wawa” for billboards, transit ads, radio and in-store promotions. Wawa hired Richards Group, which counts QSR chain Chick Fil-A and QuikTrip Inc. among its clients, to spearhead the campaign. The campaign started with billboard and transit advertising, then moved into radio and newspaper ads. Customers

A recruiting advantage for convenience stores

Deploy Solutions has developed a recruiting and talent management solution configured specifically for the convenience store industry called C-Store Advantage. The foundation of the program directs all applicants to a kiosk and/or Web solution when applying for an available position, which helps achieve consistency and compliance in the application process. Then, using assessments for traits

pumped about biofuels

Some people say the U.S. can free itself from foreign oil dependence if it buys from the Midwest rather than the Middle East. Will the industry allow that to happen? Back in February, a gasoline distributor told Karen Riley, vice president of operations for nine-store Jiffy Mini-Marts Inc. (Terre Haute, IN), about an alternative fuel

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