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Developing an Effective Menu

Foodservice operators must regularly develop new products and tweak old ones to pique consumer interest and attract repeat business. By Heather Henstock, Contributing Editor. Nice N Easy Grocery SHOPPES has long offered salads and sandwich melts. But the two menu lines didn’t reach their full potential until the convenience store chain hired three trained chefs

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Coulson Oil Sets the Stage for Expansion

With a new real estate entity in place, the company is positioned to grow its chain of dealer-leased stores beyond Arkansas. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Coulson Oil Co., one of the Southwest’s largest independent distributors of motor fuels, took a big step toward continued growth in August with the formation of Coulson Real Estate

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How to Boost the Value of Your Convenience Store

By Mike Handelsman, group general manager, BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com. There’s no arguing that banks, potential investors and creditors look heavily to a company’s financial statements to determine its value. However, past financials often aren’t the whole story. Here are some additional factors to consider as you seek to maximize your company’s value – whether you

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Stacking the Cards In Your Favor

General purpose prepaid debit cards are rapidly gaining favor with consumers as an alternative to closed-loop gift cards. By John Lofstock, Editor. Sales of open-loop prepaid cards, issued by banks and credit card companies and able to be used at multiple establishments, are only going to go up as more consumers come to appreciate their

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Eliminate Cigarette Odor

Scentria Corp., innovator of GoneSmoke, the first dry aerosol odor eliminator, sports a new look: bold graphics with an image of a woman spraying GoneSmoke over her hair. The company now offers a smaller footprint with a two-tier rack. When GoneSmoke is placed on the front counter near lighter racks, stores are seeing great sell-through,

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Tom Robinson Named New NACS Chairman

“I came [to NACS] for the advocacy and stayed for the knowledge and connections,” said new NACS Chairman Tom Robinson during the Oct. 4 Closing General Session at the NACS Show.   An estimated more than 22,000 attendees from 50 countries attended the 2011 NACS Show, which featured more than 60 workshops and 1,300 exhibitors

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Fostering Better Communication Through Franchise Advisory Councils

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Establishing a Franchise Advisory Council (FAC) as a formal communications system to ensure franchisees input with regard to store marketing & operations is a natural stepping-stone for a growing franchise operation. FAC representatives are an indispensable part of the communication system in that they

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Award-Winning Rice

RiceSelect is causing consumers to think twice about which rice they buy with its unique Texmati Rice. Similar to basmati, the award-winning Texmati has a nutty flavor, delightful aroma, unique texture and easy cooking characteristics that set it apart from all other aromatics. Texmati Rice is produced by American family farmers; packed in reusable, re-sealable

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It’s Showtime!

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. It is time to create a stir.  Some excitement.  Some passion.  Go ahead, pound your chest a bit.  It is time to make yourself known.  It’s Showtime! All too often, store operators – after their grand opening—sit back and wait for the phone to

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Putting the Community to Work

With 20% of its staff now made up of challenged and disabled individuals, VERC Enterprises has earned a reputation as a top employer. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. VERC Enterprises, an independent convenience store, gasoline station and car wash operator in eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire, has reached a new milestone by including challenged/disabled individuals

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Jr. Joins Java Family

Midwest coffee roaster Paramount Coffee Co. has introduced a new eight-ounce addition to the “perfect cup of Joe” family of coffee blends: Jr. Coffee. The family of Joe Coffee Products includes Joe, Joy and Jr. Joe comes in four true-brew blends: “Wake Up Joe” medium roast, “Unleaded” medium roast decaf, “Tall, Dark and Handsome” dark

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NACS Chairman Jeff Miller Urges Advocacy

Approximately $3.2 million dollars. That’s the savings thus far to the convenience and fuels retailing industry and their customers since the Durbin amendment took effect just yesterday, said NACS Chairman Jeff Miller during the NACS Show Opening General Session. Miller, who is president of Norfolk, Va.-based Miller Oil Co., said that the swipe fee reform

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The Business of Growing

Overcoming the top nine challenges for effectively growing your retail business requires true leadership and patience. By John Lofstock, Editor. The hardest step entrepreneurs take is getting their startup off the ground once and for all. The second hardest step is growing it into the best business it can be. What today’s entrepreneurs and aspiring

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Raising the Bar on Auto Accessories

A blown head gasket can mean the end of the road for many older vehicles. With a repair ticket of $2,500 or more for car owners, fixing a head gasket often costs more than the car is worth or than its owner can afford. But now Bar’s Leaks has a solution that’s not only affordable,

Tracking the Trends in Convenience Retailing

Despite the global recession, convenience stores have thrived thanks to their ability to provide fast service, quality products and great value in strategic locations. As service and location remain the industry’s primary competitive advantage over supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers, many of whom are moving into the fuel and fresh food business, convenience stores

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Investing in a Foodservice Future

It’s time for all convenience store owners to recognize the overall value of a good deli program. By Jim Callahan. While a solid deli program is part of the convenience store industry’s present, it is destined to play an even larger and more critical part of our future. Whether you are a small chain or

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Will Tesco Turn it Around?

Fresh & Easy is rolling out a new Express store format, but can the company come out on top after nearly four years of heavy losses? By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Tesco’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market grocery chain debuted with a bang in 2007, rolling out 20 stores in rapid succession in California, Nevada

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Updating the State of the Industry

NACS Chairman Jeff Miller discusses card fees, fuel and the future of convenience stores. By John Lofstock, Editor. Jeff Miller, president of Miller Oil Co. in Virginia, wears many hats. He is an oilman, an industry advocate and a leader.   For the past year, he has also been the chairman of NACS, which could

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Building Better Beer Sales

While many trends impact the beer category, the one that will most directly influence how marketers do business is the continued demand for more choices by the consumer.  By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. It’s been two years since Walgreens jumped back into the beer and wine business, and at least three convenience store operators in

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Giving Back to the Community

The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees boosts charitable funding. By John Lofstock, Editor. As part of its ongoing commitment to charitable causes, the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) helped raise nearly $750,000 this year for two of its charitable partners, Hire Heroes USA and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Hire

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Exercise Caution on Fuel Tanks

With retailers still unsure of what the future holds for fuels in the U.S., investing in new USTs is a risky proposition. By John Lofstock, Editor. It’s been nearly four years since then-President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act into law, requiring at least 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel be

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Clean Restrooms Offer Distinct Competitive Advantages

As convenience store operators vie for foodservice customers, they need to ensure they are conveying a safe, sanitary image throughout the store. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. When David Miller, president of Chandler Oil Chevron, remodeled his 3,000–square-foot convenience store in Chandler, Ariz. last year, he had design team C7 Works give extra attention to

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Tax Savings After the Deadline

With operating costs soaring in a sluggish economy, convenience store owners have a variety of tax benefits available to them from the IRS.  By Mark E. Battersby, Contributing Editor. Earlier this year, the Internal Revenue Service advised taxpayers to cool their heels and wait until mid- to late-February 2011 before filing their returns to allow

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Preparing for PCI D-Day

As the deadline for PCI DSS 2.0 compliance approaches, chains should make sure they understand the changes— and triple check that they meet the requirements. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. On Jan. 1, 2012 all convenience store retailers must comply with PCI DSS 2.0 standards. While some chains have been ready for more than a

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Capitalizing on Coffee Trends

Hot beverages anchor the industry’s foodservice offering, but the category is also a top in-store destination and among the most profitable.   By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Numbers don’t lie–and when it comes to consumers and coffee, they show a category poised for even greater growth in the months ahead.Coffee consumption among consumers aged 18-29

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