loyalty program

Cultivating a Loyal Audience

Loyalty programs were once value-added perks. Today, consumers not only expect them, but they also demand good deals. Indeed, an attractive loyalty program can sway a consumer away from a competitor with lower gas prices. “Over the last 10 years, particularly the last three, loyalty programs are playing a large role,” said Pat Lewis, president

POS

Expanding Point-of-Sale Potential

Increasingly, a good point-of-sale (POS) system must play well with others. Not only should it integrate well with other software platforms, such as business intelligence software, but it must also be easy to deploy, easy to use and easy to enhance. Many POS platforms are embracing standardization that allows them to integrate with existing software

tobacco assessories lighters

Lighters Lead Tobacco Accessories

As turbulent as the tobacco business has been in recent years, accessories, such as lighters, have remained calm and consistent, if not a bright spot on the front counter for most convenience store chains. “This is one of the most profitable parts of the business,” said Tariq Khan, CEO of Sentar Oil Inc., a four-store

meat snacks

Strong Outlook for Meat Snacks

Estimates from Chicago-based Mintel Group, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey and other data, project solid growth for meat snacks all the way through at least 2015, when they should top $1.3 billion While regular-flavored meat and beef jerky products are the most popular based on usage, the research showed, teriyaki

Oscar Mayer P3 Portable Protein Pack

Protein Packed Snack

The Oscar Mayer brand has introduced P3 Portable Protein Pack, packs of meat, cheese and nuts, designed for active consumers looking for a snack to help keep them going throughout the day. Supported by a major national marketing effort, P3 Portable Protein Pack is poised to become a major force in the growing $19 billion

Last Chance to Take the 2014 CSD/Kleiman HR Human Resources Benchmarking Survey

In order to support the convenience store industry’s forecasting and planning responsibilities for the new year, Convenience Store Decisions and Kleiman HR are collaborating for the 6th consecutive year to provide insight into the industry’s human resources practices. Convenience Store Decisions, in partnership with human resources expert Mel Kleiman is launching a confidential online survey

Denimlighters

Old Denim Lighters

Kretek International Inc. has introduced DjEEP’s Old Denim collection, available to ship May 10. The worn Denim series of lighters features photo-images of the most comfortable jeans on the planet from the most dependable and durable lighter on the planet. Rather than imprinting the DJEEP logo on the lighters, the lighters themselves are part of

wow-vapor-web

Disposable E-Cigs

Electronic cigarette manufacturer, Vapor4Life, unveiled its new WOW Vapor King disposable e-cigarettes at the Tobacco Plus Convenience Expo in Las Vegas on Jan. 29, 2014. After four years in development and over 200 hours of taste testing, the Vapor4Life company has leveraged its experience and expertise in vaping products to create a disposable e-cig unlike

Skyline

Speedy Q Markets Chooses PriceAdvantage

“We needed a solution that would allow us to remain competitive in markets where prices are changing multiple times a day,” notes Speedy Q president. Speedy Q Markets is now using PriceAdvantage SMART Fuel Pricing as its fuels price management solution. Speedy Q Markets uses PriceAdvantage SNAP Analytics to analyze store and market performance, including

cigars

Proposed Flavored Cigar Ban Defeated in Maryland

Bills in the House and Senate both aimed to ban flavored cigar sales. A Maryland bill that aimed to prohibit the sale of flavored cigars and limit the sale and distribution of single cigars has been defeated, according to the Cigar Association of America (CAA), which lobbied extensively to prevent the bill from becoming law.

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Hardware Solution

VRX Company Inc. has announced the kit form solution of the VR2004 Text Inserter, configured for parallel printer data to both pass data through and also to convert to serial data. This solution allows you to maintain your connection to, for instance, a parallel printer while also transferring the data to the serial COM port

sandwiches

Sandwiches Made Their Way

In 2014, sandwiches continue to be in high demand among convenience store consumers. Whole grain breads—as well as flatbreads, wraps and all kinds of artisan breads—and specialty cheeses and meats are among options grabbing customer attention. Rutter’s Farm Stores, with 59 locations in York, Pa., has seen success with a number of sandwich items. “Grilled

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NRA Announces 2014 FABI Award Recipients

New type of pepper, beef bacon, gluten-free flour and vegan fishless filets are among food and beverage innovations to be showcased at National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. The National Restaurant Association (NRA)  announced the recipients of the Food and Beverage Innovations (FABI) Awards, which recognize progressive food and beverage innovations that will make a

checkstand

Vaporin Partners With C-Store Distributors

National distribution agreement through Checkstand Program brings Vaporin products to convenience stores. Vaporin Inc., a manufacturer, distributor and marketer of electronic cigarettes, vaporizers and e-liquids used for the delivery of nicotine, non-nicotine and cannabis-based products, announced an agreement with C-Store Distributors (C-Store) through their Checkstand Program for national distribution of the company’s electronic cigarettes, vaporizers

phillips66

Online Calculator Shows Instant Fountain Savings

Convenience Store Alliance now offers complete fountain package to help independent retailers save money. Phillips 66’s branded retailer buying program, Convenience Store Alliance (CSA), released an online calculator that shows savings potential on CSA’s Fountain Freedom program, a package offering independent operators chain store pricing on soda fountain syrup, carbonation solutions, equipment and financing. While

yogurt

Equipped for Foodservice Success

After the recession-fueled hesitancy of the last couple of years, some retailers are once again investing in new foodservice equipment to add new items, boost sales of existing ones and streamline operations. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor When FriendShip Food Stores, based in Fremont, Ohio, decided to add frozen yogurt to the foodservice offerings at

food-healthy

Winning Over Foodservice Customers

Fresh ingredients, a great presentation and knowledgeable employees will help convenience store retailers grow their foodservice sales.  By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Competition is getting tougher in the foodservice arena. Convenience stores and QSRs now go after the same targeted demographic: households with incomes below $50,000, according to Bloomberg Industries, a business research organization. That

IrishCreme

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

General Foods International (GFI) introduces Irish Creme cappuccino. With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to update your hot beverage offerings and energize your sales with this exciting limited time flavor. GFI Irish Creme cappuccino has a refreshing flavor that evokes the mists of Ireland. Seasonality plays a part in consumers’ flavor

Hucks

Huck’s Opens New C-Store in Kentucky

Huck’s develops an existing property in Owesboro. Huck’s newest c-store opened for business at Southtown Blvd. in Owensboro, Ky. last Tuesday, Feb. 11 and celebrated with a ribbon cutting, SurfKY News reported. The new location marks number 114 for Huck’s, which is owned by Martin and Bayley Inc. The store was constructed over the holidays

coffeeLARGE

Testing Your Hot Dispensed Beverage IQ

With convenience stores putting so much focus on the coffee category, consumers stop to buy coffee at c-stores more than they fill up their cars. Can your stores compete with industry leaders? By David Bishop, Managing Partner, Balvor LLC Most convenience store retailers appreciate the value that hot dispensed beverages provide. Retailers also recognize the

foodemployeeLARGE

Sidestepping Foodservice Mistakes

Mastering the basics and knowing what to expect can help you avoid a foodservice disaster. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor Foodservice continues to be a shining star in convenience stores, so expanding your food options should be on the menu in 2014—if you have the traffic. Lunch and dinner solutions can be added to c-stores

7-ELEVEN, INC. LOGO

7-Eleven Selling 72 Convenience Stores

Properties in Texas, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and six other states. 7-Eleven Inc. has retained NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC to coordinate the sale of 72 gasoline stations and/or convenience stores. The sale includes 22 locations in Texas, 17 in South Carolina, 12 in Pennsylvania, nine in Ohio, four in Michigan, three in Indiana, three

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Motivating Today’s C-Store Employees

Recognizing your frontline staff, gaining their feedback and helping them see the meaning in their work is the key for fueling engagement. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor The most important attribute a convenience store has to offer is its customer facing employees. Especially when touting a foodservice program, image is everything from store cleanliness to

SHEETZ

The 2014 Social Media Awards

Convenience Store Decisions’ second annual look at the convenience store chains doing a superior job of connecting with their customers through social media. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor Convenience Store Decisions, with help from Wildfire by Google, examined the nearly 60 convenience store and petroleum chains that are most active on social media, specifically examining

kickback fantasy football

KickBack Cardholder Makes a Super Gesture with Fantasy Football Grand Prize

The winner of KickBack’s Fantasy Football contest, which includes two tickets to the NFL’s Big Game in New Jersey, round trip airfare for two and a hotel stay in Times Square, graciously donates her Grand Prize to 16-year-old Austin Lange, a local Idaho boy stricken with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Austin Lange has fought many battles over

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