clearing the house of credit card fees

Combining ACH networking technology with an established loyalty program can divert customers from paying with plastic. by Michael Ferrari ____________________________________________ Cash, in its green, paper form, is being phased out. Customers are relying more and more on credit cards to make most of their transactions. And why shouldn’t they? Cash can be cumbersome to have

murphy joins tempo

New loyalty program rewards customers at the pump. Murphy USA has joined Tempo Payment Inc.’s network, which is initiating a system-wide implementation of Murphy-branded PIN debit cards at more than 1,000 gas stations, with an initial rollout to 111 stores in Atlanta, Dallas and Houston. As a result of the substantially lower interchange fees it

retailers suppliers come together at ecrm

Conference showcases new products, promotional activities and highlights the collaborative buying process. “Retailers and suppliers enjoy a symbiotic relationship that grows as both sides succeed and meet their expectations. If one side isn’t communicating their message effectively, both will suffer.” That was the message delivered by David Bishop, a partner for Willard Bishop LLC at

fuel discounts simply irresistible

Loyalty programs are cultivating a new breed of price-conscious consumers. As long as gasoline prices remain high, consumers will be attracted to fuel discounts. That’s the common sense that led retailers to create customer loyalty programs in which fuel discounts are the prize, instead of the more customary prizes like airline travel or cash back.

publix sabor instores uncover broad audience

Competitive Watch: Publix Super Markets’ new store format is targeted to Hispanics, but its bakeries’ top quality products and extensive selection bring fans from beyond their niche. By narrowing its focus, Publix Super Markets (Lakeland, Fla.) found its demandactually grew. Its new Hispanic format, Publix Sabor, demonstrates that consumerpreference for fresh, quality foods, particularly in

maximizing margins

Carwash dollars compensate for shrinking gas profits. Remember when convenience stores and gas stations used to give a free carwash with the purchase of a full tank of gas? Now, shrinking fuel margins are causing an increasing number of store operators to look to carwash sales to boost the bottom line. According to the International

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

putting a finger onbiometrics

Some retailers now accept a new form of customer payment: the human body (or at least part of it). Most people would develop an eating disorder or some other form of neurosis if people continually gave them the finger. But not Colorado’s Bob Zenner. The more people flash him their “digits,” the wider his smile.

wheelindealin

Oregon retailer More of Everything caters to captive audiences in area shopping malls. It also attracts droves of race fans with exclusive and collectible items. Brian C. Bach’s passion for all things NASCAR came gift-wrapped with his DNA. His father, a photographer, freelanced for the Los Angeles Times and covered NASCAR and Indy races at

drivethru goliath

This natural descendant of the c-store intends to offer everything from lottery tickets and liquor to groceries and fast food—all in a drive-thru format. Stephen Beardsley wants to out-convenience the c-store industry. Beardsley is president of AutoCart LLC (Las Cruces, NM), a company that plans on building a $13 million to $18 million “Drive-Thru Supercenter”

a gift horse

Petro Stopping Centers’ new prepaid card programs diversify the chain’s product mix. They also boost sales in the store, at the pump and in the dining room. The rapid transformation of the telecommunications superhighway hasn’t come without its share of potholes, detours and a few roadkill carcasses. Just five years ago, after all, longdistance cards

refreshing sales

New products, new segments and new approaches to merchandising help Alabama’s Shop-A-Snak boost sales and maximize variety in each area of the cooler. Shop-A-Snak Food Mart Inc. made the decision two years ago to wrap its arms firmly around the beer customer. The Birmingham, AL-based chain of 37 convenience stores expanded its mix by increasing

wrist watchers

7-Eleven adds to trend of selling wristbands to support worthy causes. Following the enormous success of the “LIVESTRONG” bracelet from cancer survivor and champion bicyclist Lance Armstrong, 7-Eleven Inc. (Dallas, TX) has launched its own wristband for another noble cause—supporting U.S. troops. 7-Eleven is helping customers support American troops and the United Service Organizations (USO)

cashing in on credit

Rising credit card fees got you down? Some retailers have convinced many credit customers to trade down to cash. Customers using cash or a CITGO Cash Card (above) at Larry Neville’s CITGO station in Florida receive a discount on gas purchases. Some credit-card customers aren’t too pleased, but Neville says the program has been worthwhile

whats the big idea

Stuff your stocking with ideas for making more money in 2005 by Kate Buczko, Associate Editor, and Bill Donahue, Editor New ideas are the lifeblood of our industry. They give our stores the opportunity to grow and adapt to market conditions, and expand into virgin territory. The editors of CSD have compiled some of the

new retail concepts

Developing trends Approximately 40% of U.S. households will own at least one digital camera by the end of 2004, according to InfoTrends Research Group. As the technology becomes more prevalent, consumers are looking for affordable, convenient printing options, and if convenience stores are prepared, they could capture those customers. 7-Eleven Inc. (Dallas, TX) is in

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