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Proper Merchandising Encourages Sales

Dealing with a host of primary wholesalers, multiple DSD vendors and local foodservice providers, convenience store chains are learning to grow more efficient without sacrificing goods and services. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Like millions of Americans, Matt Paduano was traveling this summer, but he didn’t return home with a sun tan and postcards from

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USA Today Deflates Banks’ Swipe Fee Myths

Makes strong case for credit-card reform. In a news story today, USA Today exposed some of the myths banks propagate about hidden, exorbitant “swipe” fees the banks charge retailers when customers buy with credit or debit cards, the Merchants Payments Coalition reported. The article also makes a strong case for reforming the way Visa and

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Lawmakers Targeting Electronic Cigarettes

As their popularity soars in convenience stores, e-cigs are becoming the target of new smoking bans and tax regulations. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Once speculated to be a passing fad, e-cigarettes are increasing in sales and popularity and pushing their way toward becoming a mainstream product. Celebrities from Leonardo DiCaprio to Britney Spears have

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Nice N Easy Celebrates New Brewerton Location

Santa Claus, Elmo, Cookie Monster and the Nestle Quik Bunny are among the attendees at Nice N Easy ribbon cutting event. Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, a convenience store chain in upstate New York, held an official ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration at its newest store located at 5565 Bartell Road in Brewerton. The

James Thornton, (left) founder of Thorntons Inc., and Matt Thornton, (right) president and CEO of Thorntons accept the Chain of the Year award from CSD Editor John Lofstock.

Thorntons Earns Top Chain Honors

Kentucky operator presented the industry’s most prestigious retail award at a gala in Chicago. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Convenience Store Decisions honored Louisville, Ky.-based Thorntons Inc. as its 22nd annual Convenience Store Chain of the Year at an exclusive dinner at Café Spiaggia in Chicago last month during the NACS Show. More than 200

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Nice N Easy Debuts New Prototype

A bigger grocery section and conveyor belts at the checkout are just some of the features the new location provides. Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes debuted its newest and largest prototype location in Brewerton, N.Y., this week, Syracuse.com reported. The new 6,700-square-foot store at 5565 Bartell Road comes as local residents, who were without a

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Nice N Easy Recognizes Long-Term Employees

At an awards banquet, the Nice N Easy team celebrates employees who have worked with the company for five to 30 years. Canastota, N.Y. –based Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes recently recognized several employees who achieved very important milestones at a Service Awards Banquet held at The Rusty Rail in Canastota. President and CEO John

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Boosting Fresh Food Sales

Americans are more amenable to buying meals at convenience stores, but won’t budge when it comes to quality, price or convenience factors like portability and packaging. By Howard Riell, Contributing Editor. Takeout food was invented for on-the-go consumers. But a takeout program has to do more than travel at high speeds. Today’s consumers want quality

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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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Healthy Options for All Income Levels

As the wellness market matures, consumers across all demographics are looking to manage any number of specific health concerns. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. When Bob Sickles was growing up on his family’s New Jersey farm, he ate plenty of homegrown produce and acquired an affinity for non-processed foods. “Of course, we had Pop Tarts

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Energy-Efficient Tips for Controlling Costs

Choosing the right equipment  and honing maintenance procedures will help to significantly reduce energy expenses. By: Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Convenience stores looking to save money on operating costs should start examining their cooler and lighting expenses, in addition to the lighting inside the coolers—for simple ways to save big bucks. Canastota, N.Y.-based Nice N

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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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Technology Driving Cash Management

Retailers are using smart safes and strict corporate policies to protect store employees against robbery attempts. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. While theft attempts are inevitable for convenience stores, especially those operating 24 hours, losing  hard-earned cash shouldn’t have to be. Since retail safes were introduced and combined with smarter money-handling practices, store owners have

Nice N Easy’s Duskiewicz Honored

Fran Duskiewicz, the senior executive vice president at Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes and a 25-year veteran employee of the company, has been honored twice by the convenience store industry this past month. Duskiewicz, who has been a member of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Research Committee for five years, has now been

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

Nice N Easy Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, which operates 80 stores throughout New York State and was named CSD‘s Chain of the Year in 2009, recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary at Utica-Rome Speedway with bands, a kids zone, a classic car and bike show, food and fun. “It was a great day and one that many will

Rutter’s Farm Stores Named CSD’s Chain of the Year

Exceptional leadership, great stores and unsurpassed customer service are the hallmarks of the convenience store industry’s extraordinary chains. Following these guiding principles, Convenience Store Decisions is proud to announce Rutter’s Farm Stores as the 2010 Convenience Store Chain of the Year. At a time when many industry marketers are struggling with exorbitant credit card fees

Rutter’s Farm Stores Named CSD’s Chain Of The Year

Exceptional leadership, great stores and unsurpassed customer service are the hallmarks of the convenience store industry’s extraordinary chains. Following these guiding principles, Convenience Store Decisions is proud to announce Rutter’s Farm Stores as the 2010 Convenience Store Chain of the Year. At a time when many industry marketers are struggling with exorbitant credit card fees

Rutter’s Rises as Chain of the Year

Outstanding leadership, great stores and unsurpassed customer service are the hallmarks of the convenience store industry’s exceptional chains. Following these guiding principles, Convenience Store Decisions is proud to announce Rutter’s Farm Stores as the 2010 Convenience Store Chain of the Year. Rutter’s, which supplants Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes as Chain of the Year, is

Working to Make a Difference

An introspective look at life through the fading eyes of a genius. As our 28 year old daughter lay ill in Emory University Hospital, a wonderful second-generation Spanish surgeon knelt down and held my wife’s hands to share words of wisdom he learned from his father. He imparted to us what a great privilege it

Welcome Back NAG

As the industry continues its rapid evolution, CSD is stepping up its efforts to provide convenience store operators with the tools they need to be successful. To that end, CSD is proud to announce two premiere events in the coming months. First and foremost, the National Advisory Group (NAG) begins its rise back to prominence

Would You Like Wi-Fi With That?

Wi-Fi is a trendy offering customers are clamoring for, and it’s starting to appear at more c-store locations, including BP, Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes and Rutter’s Farm Stores, especially as chains expand their foodservice programs and look for new ways to pull foot traffic into the store. Coffee shops, such as Starbucks have long

Marketing the Beverage Bar

While frozen dispensed beverages are not a huge portion of the typical store’s overall sales, the product is proving to be quite profitable, thanks to a gross margin north of 50%. Although the slush-style drink was a c-store original, other retailers recognized its potential, and today, frozen beverages with a variety of names and logos

Efficient Exit Strategies Sweeten Candy Profits

Developing an effective exit strategy for candy and reviewing product performance regularly can boost profits in the candy segment. “On a basic level you want to discontinue the slow moving items that rank in the bottom of the category to bring in something new that is going to contribute sales and margins to the category,”

Competitive Pricing Key to Water Sales

Operators hoping to do well with bottled and flavored waters in 2010 need to understand what both water and bottles mean to today’s consumers. Following a decade of steady growth, bottled water sales in c-stores declined last year as consumer spending lagged due to higher fuel prices and the economic recession. But many retailers and

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