Securing Payment Data

The SWAT Team   During its brief tenure, the PCATS Data Security Standards committee has proven extraordinarily active, holding biweekly conference call meetings that are regularly attended by as many as 50 members. As PCATS Executive Director Gray Taylor pointed out, “These aren’t single-site operators. These are people who are in charge of security for

Sealed-Fresh Foil Wrapping

Due to popular demand, Swisher International has introduced Sealed-Fresh foil wrapping on all of the company’s Swisher Sweets Cigarillos. First introduced on Swisher Sweets Wine Cigarillos, the new Sealed-Fresh packaging proved to be a huge success among retailers and customers. Expanding on that success, the new technology is now incorporated as the standard packaging for

Chai Tea Latte Mixes

Simple-to-prepare Oregon Chai Tea Latte Dry Mixes provide an alternative to coffee and are available in three popular flavors: Vanilla, Decadent Spice and Original flavor. The mixes are easy to use—just-add-water or steamed milk prep. For added ease, each package includes a serving scoop and comes in re-closable stand up bags, eliminating the mess of

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The Fight for Interchange Reform Continues

The long and winding road to controlling credit card fees took yet another turn on Oct. 12, 2010, when TCF National Bank, a subsidiary of TCF Financial Corp., filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Durbin Amendment, which was included in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, also known

Male Enhancement Pills

Kretek International Inc., U.S. distributor of ExtenZe, a male enhancement brand, has introduced new ExtenZe Plus fast acting pills in a five-pack value unit. The new bright red five-pack pills feature an easy-to-take pearlized coating and are being promoted at the same price as the current four-pack unit during introduction through the end of 2010.

CAT Scales

If you sell diesel fuel, then you need a CAT Scale. CAT Scale Co. is a public truck scale network, with more than 1,275 certified scales located across the U.S. and Canada. There is no start up cost to join. All equipment, maintenance and staff training is provided by CAT Scale Co. The network includes

Chevron Fuels Schools Promotion

During the month of September, Chevron’s Fuel Your School promotion, with the help of California drivers, raised $858,445 for schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. To participate, customers simply had to fill up their gas tanks at participating Chevron stations in Alameda or Contra Costa between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30. Chevron then donated

Happy Birthday Coke Zero

The Coca-Cola Co.’s most successful new sparkling beverage in a generation, Coke Zero, turns five this year. During its time on the market, Coke Zero has posted double-digit sales gains for five straight years and is showing no signs of slowing. Among more than 350 sparkling beverage brands launched since 2001, Coke Zero is one

Fusion Equipment Series

The new Fusion Series features a full line of heavy-duty equipment at affordable prices, including bottom mount solid door reach-ins, glass door merchandisers, undercounter refrigerators and freezers, and sandwich/salad prep units, including the new ‘mega top,’ featuring a deeper unit to accommodate more pans inside. Master-Bilt’s Fusion Series solid door reach-ins (refrigerators and freezers) are

Bottled Water Bouncing Back

Bottled water’s bubble may have burst the past couple of years, but retailers with private label water have done just swimmingly, and retailers are optimistic that the next 12 months will be equally strong. The packaged beverages subcategory enjoyed decades of growth, as consumers increasingly chose refreshment that fit their healthier lifestyles. From 1984 to

Specialty Tortillas

Seventy-seven percent of customers would like to see healthier items on c-store menus, according to Mintel. The Mexican Original brand from Tyson Food Service offers a full line of specialty tortillas that help meet the needs of health-conscious consumers without sacrificing flavor. Mexican Original tortillas are available in a variety of different sizes to help

New Energy Flavor

After success with its Lemon Blast, Cherry Rush and Citrus Slam Xenergy Xtreme flavors, Xyience introduced Orange Fuel to its Xenergy Xtreme lineup this year. Like other Xenergy Xtreme and Premium flavors, Orange Fuel is available in 16-ounce cans and is sugar- and calorie-free, with only two grams of carbohydrates per serving. Earlier this year,

Tackling New Challenges

During her 13-year career in the industry, Donna Perkins has come a long way. Her enthusiasm and desire to learn drive her success. As pricebook manager for Calloway Oil Co., Perkins maintains costs and retails for all items in the company’s 23 E-Z Stop Food Mart stores in Tennessee. She also handles vendor issues, cost

Shopping for POS Solutions

Convenience to customers today means one-stop shopping, short lines at the counter and the ability to get in and out of a store fast. New integrated point-of-sale (POS) solutions are speeding up service and offering customers the convenience they demand thanks to faster processing times. What’s more, they’re saving operators money, labor and time. Finding

Keys to Growing Foodservice Profitably

Why are some retailers prospering when others are struggling? What are the keys to growing the business—even during tough economic times? How are successful retailers approaching the business differently than others? These are all questions that could be applicable to any part of the retail business. However, the questions are extremely salient to foodservice programs

Processing PCI Confusion

Many retailers are breathing a sigh of relief in regard to PCI, after this summer’s deadline for software compliance was relaxed after a request by the major oil companies, giving scrambling retailers a little more time to comply. But retailers be warned: chains that face a breach could still get hit with huge fines. “Some

Meeting the Demand for Fresh Foods

Rx for Dinner   Walgreen’s drug chain recently announced that it will test market chilled foods at a dozen of its 7,500 stores this fall to determine if busy consumers are willing to stop at a drug store for a grab-and-go lunch or dinner. While full details of the test have not been made public,

Building a Proprietary Food Program

Ingredients for Success   The answer to the question, “How can c-store operators develop proprietary foodservice programs?” is, according to consultant Dan Bendall, founder and president of FoodStrategy Inc. in Rockville, Md., the same as what he would tell any would-be restaurateur. “You need the following ingredients to be successful, not just serve food.” They

Developing a Customized Foodservice Menu

Testing New Products   As new products earn their way onto your menu don’t forget about the equipment.   “Let’s say you’ve got a roller grill and you’ve been selling hot dogs forever,” explained Larry Miller, president of Miller Management & Consulting Services Inc. in Sanford, Fla. “Now somebody brings you a handheld Mexican product,

Lighting the Way to Profitability

Lighters can be an afterthought. There are relatively few manufacturers, everyone merchandises them near the front counter, liability issues have cut down on cheap products and differentiation is only skin deep. But even given the limited number of companies supplying products, lighters produce an excellent margin—between 40% and 60%—and sales have been steady for the

Outlook Strong for Salty Snacks

The recession of the past couple of years has not swayed consumers from their salty snack habits. In almost every type of data, salty snacks continue to thrive. According to NACS’ 2010 State of the Industry report, convenience store salty snack sales climbed 3.4%, while margin dollars climbed 4.8%. Since 2007, sales of salty snacks

Elevating Snack Sales

The weak economy has not taken much of a bite out of meat snack sales. Americans are loathe to sacrifice edible indulgences, even in times of financial crisis. All three NACS snacks categories—salty, packaged sweet and alternative—showed increases in average sales per store from 2008 to 2009, and showed gross-margin percentage and average gross-margin-dollar-per-store gains.

Saluting Family Businesses

I just got back from the National Advisory Group’s (NAG) 2010 Ideas Conference in Charleston, S.C., and came away with a much better understanding of the issues facing small businesses and family-owned companies. Whether it’s dealing with the massive overhaul of the U.S. medical system, costly PCI compliance investments that yield no ROI or embracing

Growing Milk and Dairy Sales

Milk’s Bumpy Ride   In Mintel International’s new “Milk in the U.S.” report, senior analyst David Browne predicted a “bumpy ride” for the $11-billion milk market. Few categories, he noted, are as volatile as milk, which is reflected in the wild dollar sales swing during 2004-09.   “Volatility may return to the market in late

Tedeschi’s Showcases Pride and Tradition

At a Glance: Tedeschi Food Stores   Headquarters: Rockland, Mass. Founded: 1923 Store Count: 189 2009 Annual Revenue: More than $600 million Employees: 2,100 Markets of Operation: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island Proprietary Brands: TD’s Deli and TD’s Express foodservice; Tedeschi Select groceries, snacks and beverages; and Tedeschi Fuel   While other chains

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