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Coffee Driving Bakery Sales

To capture a greater share of the breakfast business, retailers are developing fresh bakery programs extensive enough to make their products destination-worthy in the morning and throughout the day. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Few, if any, local supermarkets or mom-and-pops in the Iowa, Minnesota or Wisconsin market areas where Kwik Trip has its 358

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Food Sales Make Up For High Gas Prices In Today’s C-Store Market

“Food is the future of (the c-store) industry,” says Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president to The Gazette, an Eastern Iowa newspaper. Food sales accounted for 16.9% of a record $195 billion of in-store sales at convenience stores in 2011, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), which means many c-store chains have been

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Political Debate Set For NACS Show Closing Session

Democrat Howard Dean and Republican Rick Santorum to debate issues impacting the industry. A political debate between Republican Rick Santorum and Democrat Howard Dean is set for part of the NACS Show closing general session on Oct. 10. “NACS Show attendees will get an insider’s perspective into the political process and what to look for

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Seizing Smokeless Opportunities

Convenience store operators are enjoying the growing popularity of smokeless tobacco products, but they are also being forced to keep a wary eye on federal and local regulations. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Is the smokeless tobacco product category, which includes moist snuff, snus and dissolvables, the lifeboat that convenience store retailers hope it will

kwiktrip

Kwik Trip Touts Bit9 Benefits In Webcast

On Wed., June 13, Bit9 presented a Webinar titled “Protecting POS Systems: Kwik Trip Inc. Shares Their Experience.” Bit9 stops advanced persistent threats by combining real-time sensors, cloud-based software reputation services, continuous monitoring and trust-based application control and whitelisting—eliminating the risk caused by malicious, illegal and unauthorized software. Managing Data Threats As data relevance grows,

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Limited Edition Milkshakes

C-store operators with goals to increase their selection of refreshing products this summer should consider f’real products and its new Caramel Chocolate Crunch Milkshake. f’real’s new Caramel Chocolate Crunch taste will only be available through the 2012 year, so this limited edition milkshake might be more appreciated by c-store consumers. The milkshake is currently offered

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Surging Demand for Pizza

With so many national brands already well established in the marketplace, c-store retailers have to create a niche of their own by combining quality products and personal service. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Before the CENEX convenience store opened in Killdeer, N.D., the only pizzas readily available to the town’s residents were the ones in

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Bit9, Kwik Trip Webinar Addresses How To Secure Your POS System

Bit9 and Kwik Trip are offering a Webcast to help retailers better protect their businesses from breaches. Some 85% of the breaches that occurred in 2011 involved POS terminals and servers, according to a 2012 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report. Retailers understand the growing challenges they face in securing their POS systems, but many remain

Artisan-Trio

Carving Out a Sandwich Strategy

While branded and proprietary foodservice programs get a lot of attention at retail, prepared sandwiches have quietly—and profitably—filled a valuable niche for retailers. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Sandwiches and wraps are a $2.7 billion category and sales are expected to remain strong through 2014, according to a 2011 report from foodservice research and marketing

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Healthy Options Driving Foodservice Demand

Many convenience store retailers are cognizant of the trend toward healthier foods and are adding better-for-you items to their menus. By John Lofstock, Editor. More salads, fruits and vegetables are finding their way onto convenience store shelves—often for purchase in the morning, or as a late afternoon snack—much to the delight of an increasing number

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A Gift for All Seasons

The prepaid market is booming as retailers begin to capitalize on seasonal opportunities and serving the underbanked. By John Lofstock, Editor. The gift card market is rosy and analysts are poised for another strong year in 2012. In 2011, 80% of consumers planned on buying gift cards for the holiday season, up from 2010, and

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Peter Sheahan To Speak At NACS Opening Session

Acclaimed global thought leader Peter Sheahan has been named as an Opening General Session speaker for the NACS Show, which takes place Oct. 7-10 in Las Vegas. Sheahan will speak during the NACS Show Opening General Session on Oct. 8. He is founder and CEO of ChangeLabs, a global consultancy that works with some of

kwiktrip

Kwik Trip Headquarters Gets Alternative Fuels Station

The station is set to open in May and will serve Kwik Trip’s LNG- and CNG-powered vehicles, private fleets, and vehicles using multiple or other alternative fuels. A Kwik Trip Inc. Alternative Fuels Station, featuring Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), has been constructed at Kwik Trip’s corporate headquarters in La Crosse,

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Designing a Winning OTP Strategy

Convenience stores have evolved from being a destination for cigarettes to a destination for tobacco products as a whole. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. It was inevitable that the conversation on convenience store cigar sales would shift eventually from rapid growth to supplier relations, category management and marketing. As cigarette regulations and prices and taxes

employees

Do You Have the Staff You Deserve?

QC Mart comes under fire after the chain’s owner launched a contest asking employees to guess which employee would be fired next. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In October, the Iowa Des Moines Register reported on the curious plight of William Ernst, the owner of QC Mart in Bettendorf, Iowa. Faced with employees who were

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Weighing a Sandwich Strategy

Whether doing it themselves or finding a national partner, convenience store operators are developing food programs with fresh ingredients and quick service. By Heather Henstock, Contributing Editor. Convenience store strategies for sandwich programs are as customizable as the sandwiches themselves. Some opt to develop and prepare sandwich lines in their own commissaries or via made-to-order

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Climbing Gasoline Costs to Push Up U.S. Retail Average

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor, Telvent DTN Wholesale gasoline costs were mostly higher across major metropolitan markets in the United States for a second straight week, which should reverse the decline in retail prices, while fuel issues impacted drivers in Minnesota and North Dakota earlier this month. Kwik Trip said 13 of its

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ATMs and ADA: Are You Compliant?

While the new compliance standards have been on the ATM industry’s radar for many years. Fully understanding the intricacies of the new rules could be an overwhelming task for many storeowners. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. The ATM industry is currently facing the most complicated, but critical challenge it has ever encountered—managing the technical, new

kwiktrip

Kwik Trip Eyes Oshkosh Site for Acquisition

With the Planning Commission’s approval, Kwik Trip now seeks permission from the Oshkosh Common Council. This week Kwik Trip received approval from the Oshkosh Plan Commission to proceed with plans to demolish an existing Lang Oil gas station on West Ninth Avenue in Oshkosh, Wis., and replace it with a new Kwik Trip that would

Is Big Oil Losing its Drawing Power?

For many, many years the power of the Big Oil brands was indisputable. They owned the refineries, the stations and the credit card networks to boot. While my father was an Exxon dealer and jobber for more than 30 years I distinctly remember seeing Shell and Texaco credit cards lying around the house. In those

SnackPatrol

Cheese Jerky Entices Customers

Snack Patrol’s Cheese Jerky combines premium shredded beef jerky with award-winning farmstead string cheese, offering something new to the market that has never been done before. Often times, string cheese is made from powdered milk, resulting in a much cheaper, bland tasting cheese. Cheese Jerky is made with Grade A milk from Wisconsin cows. Available in

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Energy Sales Soaring

While there may have been some concerns about the growth of shots and full-size cans, analysts report the category has never been stronger. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Brent Howard isn’t just a retailer of energy drinks and shots. He’s a user. Division manager for Sun Pacific Energy in Kennewick, Wash., Howard has seen the

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Bert Jacobs Named NACS Show Opening Session Speaker

“Bert’s inspiring message is a perfect way to open our industry’s signature event and help attendees think big picture,” says NACS Convention Chairman. “Life is good” cofounder Bert Jacobs has been named as an Opening General Session speaker for the NACS Show, which takes place Oct. 1-4 in Chicago at McCormick Place. Registration for the

Food Equipment for Convenience Stores

Equipped for the Foodservice Battle

Whether operating a hot or cold food program, new equipment enhances quality, productivity and profitability. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Over the past few years, the economic climate has discouraged many foodservice operators from investing in new equipment or product offerings. But that situation may be changing. Some convenience retailers are testing new tools and

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Express Convenience Centers Eyes Franchise Growth

“Long term we can bring Express-branded services to a wider range of consumers through expanding our franchising efforts,” says Express Convenience spokesperson. Express Convenience Centers is selling two retail outlets to Kwik Trip Inc., as it eyes new opportunities in franchising. The sale of the Appleton, Wis.-based stores, located at 4735 Converters Drive and 2175

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