understanding the petroleum market

Opportunities exist to capture fuel acquisition cost-savings, but do you know what they are? By Brian L. Milne, Contributing Editor Downstream fuel buyers face unprecedentedchallenges in high levels of priceand supply volatility with their fuel buying Opportunities to capture acquisition cost-savings and maximize profit can be lost seconds in up-and-down markets. More than ever, the

electricity name your price

Between lighting, refrigeration and heating and air conditioning, retailersuse an average of 62 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year, accordingto the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Coupled with the skyrocketingprice of natural gas and historically high summer demands, electric costs takean even larger bite of c-store owners’ operational costs. Most chains have already implemented the

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.

automated hourly hiring systems

Remember “Blast from the Past,” the 1999 film starring Brendan Fraser? After a nuclear war scare in the 1960s, young Brendan lives in the family bomb shelter with his mom and dad for 30 years. When he finally ventures out into Los Angeles for food and a ” nonmutant” wife, it becomes a hilarious “fish

prepaids push profits

Card Revenues Soar Looking for a way to drive fuel sales and up your overall profits? Recent research reveals that making transactions more convenient by offering and accepting a variety of prepaid cards is the way to go. Prepaid cards, also known as stored-value cards, clearly increase business, especially if the cards are reloadable. A

pick a card any card

Jupiter Research claims that 75% of consumers are card-carrying members of one loyalty program or another. It seems like you can’t buy anything now without bumping into anoffer to join some type of consumer loyalty club. Retailers havelong adopted loyalty programs as a method of getting more salesout of their customers. Whether they “live” offline

target customer with knowledge of trends

Understanding health and wellness developments can increase sales. The health and wellness landscape has been undergoing some major changes over the past several years, spurred by various factors, including scientific discoveries, nutrient breakthroughs, changing lifestyles and demographics, rising obesity, desire for wellness personalization and demand for corporate social responsibility. All of these transformations can make

wawa turns to merrychef

With its focus on meeting the demand for quick, quality foodservice solutions, the Pennsylvania retailer enlisted the help of Merrychef’s accelerated cooking ovens. Being one of the top foodservice providers in the convenience store industry requires more than a commitment from foodservice managers and store personnel. It demands vision, innovation and, perhaps most importantly, the

cooking at the speed of light

A new breed of supercookers promise to cook food faster than you ever imagined. Here’s what you need to know to buy a unit. When you hear the term “fast food,” most don’t think of fresh, elaborate food that’s prepared quickly. But that’s changing. Manufacturers have recently developed and continue to refine equipment for highspeed

the benefits to customers

Advances in technology enable efficiency while providing an attractive return on investment. Self-service ordering kiosks have been in use for more than four years. The reasons for their staying power are many, but the bottom-line is that kiosks please both c-stores and their customers. Can you imagine being able to take multiple orders, simultaneously? That’s

count on curtis

Wilbur Curtis blends technology with simplicity in its G3 Concept Series Primo Cappuccino machine. With fuel prices soaring and instore margins shrinking, hot beverages have emerged as one of the most profitable sections in the convenience store. With a price point usually not much more than a regular cup of coffee, cappuccino sales are helping

lighting your way to profitablilty

Marketers tend to give a lot of counter space to novelty lighters, but BIC warns that long-term profitability comes from repeat sales of traditional products. That novelty lighter that emits a powerful flame might make for an interesting conversation starter, but it’s not the best way to grow long-term profitability in the lighter category, warns

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

designing a security strategy

Regarded as an innovator in employee safety, Tesoro spares no expense when it comes to protecting the perimeter. Tesoro Corp. has undergonea transformation through theyears from a small local refinerto a multi-state marketer that’s willingto take risks to grow the business. Over the past eight years the San Antonio-based refiner has become a full-service marketer

a different world

Technological advances in Asia could have far-reaching implications on the U.S. convenience industry, from cell phone payment to RFID to the networked store. It’s one thing when your grandmother, who still favors the rotary telephone, is impressed by technology. It’s another when it’s Scott Hartman. President of Rutter’s Farm Stores, a 50-unit chain based in

actions speak louder

How you present information determines how well training works. What Employers Are Doing More careful employee selection 57% Better compensation & benefits 50% Tuition reimbursement 47% Improved training programs 45% Better orientation programs 39% Casual dress code 38% Flexible hours & schedules 33% Providing health insurance 29% Conducting exit interviews 28% Profit-sharing 17% What Employees

technically speaking

Scott Hartman, president of Rutter's Farm Stores, said the relationship between retailers and suppliers is integral to the implementation of new technologies. By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor Nearly 40 years after York, Pa.-based Rutter's Farm Stores opened its first unit, the chain's current president plays as big a role as anyone in the convenience

paradise found

How FireKing Security’s Image Vault DVR helped Minit Stop stores alleviate the weight of internal shrink and fines from underage sales stings. By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor For retailers facing sub-zero winters and summers that aren’t much warmer, it’s hard to sympathize with the plight of a Hawaii-based chain that wakes up every day to

a gift for all seasons

Convenience retailers are building incremental sales with “gift card mall” selections from a host of local and national retail chains. Convenience retailers are building incremental sales with "gift card mall" selections from a host of local and national retail chains. By John Lofstock, Editor Convenience and grocery executives are desperately looking for new growth drivers.

controlling operations costs

Kwik Trip is maximizing efficiency by combining business intelligence with energy intelligence. Kwik Trip is maximizing efficiency by combining business intelligence with energy intelligence. By Mark Kortkamp, Contributing Editor Kwik Trip Inc. was chosen "Chain of the Year" in 2004 by Convenience Store Decisions largely because people are the heart of their company, and technology

safe at work

Armor Safe is urging retailers to utilize their financial resources on cash management systems that help reduce internal theft and maximize employees’ time. A CSD Staff Report Missing deposits, shortages, security concerns and the time spent handling cash are constant problems for busy convenience store managers. Armor Safe understands the growing demands of today’s store

banking on loyalty

Data mining and basket analysis is giving retailers an edge when going to market, while strategic partnerships keep costs down. By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor They have a saying at Mirabito Fuel Group: “When you attract customers with cheap gas prices, you only buy their loyalty until the next gas fill-up.” That’s the kind of

new tools of the foodservice trade

Foodservice equipment-which once put the industry at a disadvantage when it came to speed and labor-now makes it possible for retailers to expand menus, reduce costs and increase food sales. By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor Charlie Roesch remembers his childhood in the 1950s— the town of Buffalo, N.Y., dotted with slaughterhouses, the boxes of

saluting the industrys top suppliers

Convenience Store Decisions’ Reader’s Choice Awards honor the top performers in more than 20 in-store categories. “Honesty,” “integrity” and “committed to the industry.” These were just a fewof the glowing accolades industry-retailers had for their supplier partnersin Convenience Store Decisions‘ first annual Reader’s Choice Awards. “We consider our relationships with retail and wholesale partners to

championing technology

Jenny Bullard pinpoints trends that have shaped the industry and identifies new developments leading it into the future. Jenny Bullard is a portrait of the consumate professional company’s needs to grow business, and the industry as whole is benefiting. As a foremost authority on developing c-store technology solutions, Bullard has been actively involved in many

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