CSN - Dec 2014

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VIEWPOINT By Don Longo, Editorial Director

Top Memories From a Busy Year A few personal recollections of 2014


ach year, our Convenience Store News Daily digital newsletter provides readers with an annual review of the top news stories of the past year. This year, we are taking this Year in Review concept to a higher level. Each regular edition of the CSNews Daily newsletter during holiday week (Dec. 24 to Jan. 2) will feature an in-depth look at the top stories of the year, organized around various topics such as “Most-Read Stories” of the year, “Top M&A Deals” of the year, “Top Retailer News” of the year, “Top Supplier News” of the year, and so forth. I think you’ll agree that 2014 was a busy year for convenience retailing, with increased merger and acquisition activity, a steep decline in gasoline prices, and advances in foodservice menu development and mobile marketing and payments, as well as the growth of entirely new product categories like vaping. But let me wrap up the year with some of my fondest personal recollections of 2014: The inaugural CSNews Top Women in Convenience awards breakfast. Thirty of the most outstanding female leaders in the c-store industry, including five Women of the Year, were honored by CSNews at the NACS Show in Las Vegas. Sponsored by Kraft Foods and Altria Group Distribution Co., and presented in partnership with the Network of Executive Women, the event was the first of its kind for the c-store industry, and I was so proud to be part of it. The 28th annual CSNews Hall of Fame ceremony. It was the eighth induction that I’ve presided over,

CSNews has been recognized with more editorial awards, including the prestigious Jesse H. Neal Award for business journalism, in the past six years than any other industry publication. 2013 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award Best Single Issue, October 2012 2013 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award Finalist, Best Profile, August 2012 2008 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award Best Single Issue, October 2007

starting in 2006 in Montréal for Alain Bouchard of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. to the last two years in Hershey, Pa., for Stan Sheetz of Sheetz Inc. and Scott Hartman of Rutter’s Holdings. The addition of our first Retailer Executive of the Year award, which went to CST Brands Inc.’s Chairman, CEO and President Kim Lubel, just made the evening more memorable. The groundbreaking CSNews live studio webcast. This online event For comments, please contact detailed how consumers Don Longo, Editorial Director, view their various foodserat (201) 855-7606 or vice channel options, and dlongo@stagnitomail.com. what strategies will be effective for convenience retailers to secure their share of the American food dollar. Presented by Tyson Foods, the webcast featured an engaging live discussion with leading retailers. And finally, I’m proud of the CSNews editorial staff, which was named a finalist for two Folio: magazine editorial awards for Best Full Issue and Best Single Article in the Retail category. I am so appreciative to work with a group of such gifted and hardworking editors here at CSNews, as well as all the retailers, suppliers, consultants, researchers and others that make convenience retailing such a dynamic and fun industry to cover. CSN

2013 Eddie Award Honorable Mention, Folio: magazine Business to Business, Retail, Full Issue, October 2012 2011 Silver Eddie Award, Folio: magazine Business to Business, Retail, Full Issue, October 2010 2011 Silver Eddie Award, Folio: magazine Business to Business, Retail, Best Single Article, October 2010 2009 Gold Ozzie Award, Folio: magazine Best Use of Illustration, October 2008 2009 Silver Eddie Award, Folio: magazine Business to Business, Retail, Full Issue, October 2008 2009 Bronze Eddie Award, Folio: magazine Business to Business, Retail, Website 2007 Silver Ozzie Award, Folio: magazine Best Use of Typography, November 2006

2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors, Midwest Regional Bronze Azbee Award Best Editorial/Commentary, July 2012 2010 American Society of Business Publication Editors, Northeast Regional Silver Azbee Award Feature Article Design, November 2010 2010 Trade Association Business Publications Intl. Tabbie Awards Honorable Mention, Front Cover Illustration, October 2009 2009 Trade Association Business Publications Intl. Tabbie Awards Gold, Front Cover Illustration, February 2008 Honorable Mention, Best Single Issue, October 2008

WWW.CSNEWS.COM | DECEMBER 2014 | Convenience Store News 3



28 | COVER STORY Hometown Hero

Rutter’s CEO Scott Hartman’s feet are firmly planted in the family business as he pushes the c-store industry toward the future.

36 | A People Person

McLane veteran Steve Brady stays motivated by cultivating relationships.

40 | A Company on the Move

Retailer Executive of the Year Kim Lubel is leading CST Brands’charge across the nation.

INDUSTRY ROUNDUP 12 | CSNews Presents Retailer Innovator Award to Sheetz 14 | CSNews Named Double Finalist in Eddie Awards 14 | MCX’s CurrentC Coming to a Wallet Near You


16 | Eye on Growth 17 | Supplier Tidbits

48 | How to Create a Foodservice Culture

18 | Retailer Tidbits

48 | Call to Action: Foodservice 101

20 | Legislative Corner

49 | The Steps to Creating a Foodservice Culture

20 | Marketing Moves

50 | Call to Action: Foodservice 201

22 | Consumer Tidbits

52 | Call to Action: Foodservice 301

22 | In Memoriam

Convenience Store News (ISSN 0194-8733; USPS 515-950) is published 12 times per year, monthly, by Stagnito Business Information, 570 Lake Cook Rd. Deerfield, IL 60015. Copyright © 2014 by Stagnito Business Information. All rights reserved. Subscriptions: One year, $93; two years, $152. One year, Canada, $110; two years, Canada, $175. One year, foreign, $150. Payable in advance with a bank draft drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. funds. Single copies, $10, except foreign, where postage will be added. Printed in U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at Deerfield, IL, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Convenience Store News, P.O. Box 1842, Lowell, MA 01853.

4 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM



CONTENTS 111 Town Square Place, Suite 400, Jersey City, NJ 07310 (201) 855-7600 Fax: (201) 855-7373 www.csnews.com



Chief Brand Officer (224) 632-8171



44 | Committed to Community Kum & Go and Enmark Stations are this year’s CSNews Spirit Awards honorees.

Editorial Director (201) 855-7606 Editor-in-Chief (201) 855-7608 Managing Editor (201) 855-7614 Senior Editor (201) 855-7618 Field Editor (201) 855-7619 Contributing Editor (303) 741-3377 Contributing Editor (201) 280-2614 Art Director (224) 632-8245 Director of Market Research (201) 855-7605


54 | Raising the Bar on Coffee There are hot opportunities for c-store operators that upgrade their offerings. CANDY & SNACKS

58 | Protein Powered Consumer demand for meat snacks and nutrition bars is rising, and so is the demand for quality. COLD VAULT

60 | Five Cheers for Flavored Brews Flavored malt beverages are on the upswing, outpacing even craft beer in percent growth. TOBACCO

64 | Changing the Scene VUSE and MarkTen stake their claims nationally in the e-vapor category.


3 | Top Memories From a Busy Year A few personal recollections of 2014.

Korry Stagnito korrystagnito@stagnitomail.com

Don Longo dlongo@stagnitomail.com Linda Lisanti llisanti@stagnitomail.com Brian Berk bberk@stagnitomail.com Melissa Kress mkress@stagnitomail.com Angela Hanson ahanson@stagnitomail.com Renée M. Covino reneek@aol.com Tammy Mastroberte tmastroberte@gmail.com Michael Escobedo mescobedo@stagnitomail.com Debra Chanil dchanil@stagnitomail.com

MARKETING & PROMOTION Audience Development Manager Shelly Patton (646) 217-1045 spatton@stagnitomail.com List Rental The Information Refinery (800) 529-9020 Brian Clotworthy Reprints & Licensing Wright’s Media (877) 652-5295 sales@wrightsmedia.com Subscriber Services/Single-Copy Purchases (978) 671-0449 Stagnito@e-circ.net

President & CEO Harry Stagnito Chief Information Officer Kollin Stagnito Vice President & CFO Kyle Stagnito Senior Vice President, Partner Ned Bardic Chief Brand Officer Korry Stagnito Vice President/Custom Media Division Pierce Hollingsworth (224) 632-8229 phollingsworth@stagnitomail.com Production Manager Anngail Norris Human Resources Manager Sandy Berndt Strategic Marketing Director Bruce Hendrickson (224) 632-8214 bhendrickson@stagnitomail.com Vice President, Events John Failla (914) 574-5709 jfailla@stagnitomail.com Director, Conferences & eLearning Amy Walsh (781) 856-8381 awalsh@stagnitomail.com Director of Digital Media John Callanan (203) 295-7058 jcallanan@stagnitomail.com

8 | CSNews Online CONVENIENCE STORE NEWS AFFILIATIONS Premier Trade Press Exhibitor

26 | New Products STORE SPOTLIGHT


66 | Where West Meets East Pacific West General Store sports a nautical theme from the opposite coast.

Edward Davidson ER Davidson & Associates (7-Eleven Inc., retired) Kyle McKeen Alon Brands Inc.


70 | The Shifting Fuels Environment Fewer gas stations, declining U.S. gasoline demand expected in the future, said SIGMA 2014 Annual Meeting speakers.

6 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

Richard Mione GPM Southeast Rick Crawford Green Valley Grocery

Ian Johnstone Cenex Zip Trip

Matt Paduano Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes

Jon Urbanik CST Brands Inc.

Jonathan Polonsky Plaid Pantries Inc.

Roy Strasburger Convenience Management Services Inc. Joe Hamza Tedeschi Food Shops Jack Lewis Village Pantry LLC

The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for product claims and representations.


TOP 5 Daily News Headlines The most viewed articles online.

What is Location Worth?

1 | Speedway Ready to Introduce Its Brand to Former Hess Stores Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s Speedway LLC division is excited to introduce its “focused merchandise approach” to the 1,245 convenience stores on the eastern seaboard it acquired from Hess Corp., said CEO Gary R. Heminger. Although Speedway has only been operating Hess’ former retail division since Oct. 1, it already identified in-store operations as the primary way to raise profits at the newly acquired assets.

For a convenience store, the answer can be measured in millions of dollars. Location is probably more important to a convenience store than any other type of retail business, and few other land uses have such demanding location requirements. The success or failure of a convenience store depends on visibility, access and traffic count. Earnings determine the value of a convenience store enterprise. Real estate is part of the assets of the enterprise, usually comprising 90 percent of the overall value. The value of the real estate is also determined by earnings. Stores in better locations earn more and, consequently, have higher real-estate values. For more exclusive stories, visit the Special Features section of www.csnews.com.

2 | Cigarette Prices to Rise, as Vapor Takes Sales Industry cigarette volume for the third quarter is expected to be down 5 percent, according to Wells Fargo Securities LLC’s Tobacco Talk survey. The main culprit for declining tobacco shipments is an inability by wholesalers and retailers to offset the impact from the vapor category. 3 | Four Consumer Trends That Will Define 2015 Mintel trend analysts identified four key U.S. consumer trends that will have the most impact in 2015: smart technology; the blending of digital and brick-and-mortar retail; a growing awareness of consumer rights; and the rejection of gender stereotypes. 4 | Chevron to Accept Apple Pay at 3,000 Stores Chevron USA Inc. will integrate Apple Pay at more than 3,000 Chevron and Texaco ExtraMile locations before the holiday season. The company is also working toward making Apple Pay available at the remaining Chevron and Texaco convenience stores and gas stations by early 2015.


5 | CITGO Bidding Continues Despite Called-Off Sale At least three oil companies continue to actively bid for CITGO Petroleum Corp. even after its owner, Venezuelan state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., called off the sale in October, according to insiders. Initial bids reportedly came in below the $10-billion asking price.

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M&M’S Crispy

Mars Chocolate North America is bringing M&M’S Crispy back nationwide in January following a 10-year hiatus. The candies feature a crispy center covered in milk chocolate and a candy shell. The crispy, crunchy and delicious treat is slightly larger than the original milk chocolate variety of M&M’S and will be featured in an eye-catching, bright green bag, the company said. M&M’S Crispy will be available in singles (1.35 ounces), sharing size (2.83 ounces) and medium laydown bags (9.9 ounces.) Its return marks the biggest M&M’S product launch since the introduction of M&M’S Pretzel in 2010. Mars Chocolate North America Hackettstown, N.J. (908) 852-1000 www.mars.com

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CSNews Presents Retailer Innovator Award to Sheetz Approximately 35 percent of consumers say their beverage preferences change depending on the season, which should influence convenience store operators’ decision to expand their coffee varieties to include popular seasonal flavors. Source: Technomic 2014 Beverage Consumer Trend Report (page 54)


“There are a lot of states we haven’t touched yet. I could see us doing a third-party acquisition and then a few years later, doing new builds in that area. A little Pac-Man strategy — buy and build around it, buy and build around it.” — Kim Lubel, CST Brands Inc. (page 40)

Being “restless” works well for the Altoona, Pa.-based chain


n front of a crowd of associates at the company’s corporate offices in Altoona, Pa., on Nov. 13, Sheetz Inc. President and CEO Joe Sheetz accepted the Convenience Store News 2014 Retailer Innovator of the Year award on behalf of his team. CSNews Editorial Director Don Longo, who was on hand to make the presentation, explained that the Retailer Innovator of the Year award goes to a retailer that, through its innovation, is playing a leadership role in CSNews Editorial Director Don Longo (left) presents commemorative Page shaping the future of the con- One plaque to Sheetz CEO Joe Sheetz. venience store industry. ing its people to be the best.” As Retailer Innovator of Upon accepting the award, Joe Sheetz the Year, Sheetz was recognized in the told the assembled group: “We pride cover story of Convenience Store News’ ourselves on being innovators, and being October issue for its innovative leadership recognized by one of the top magazines in in empowering its employees, giving back the convenience industry is a great honor. to the community, store growth and forAs you know, every day we come to work mat innovation. with the vision of creating the Sheetz that “Sheetz has stood out for its new will put the Sheetz as we know it today out state-of-the-art store format, including of business.” the development of drive-thrus and its He went on to say: “We have a culture foodservice program. But perhaps the of being a little restless. I think this keeps most important area in which the comus relevant to be an innovator, especially pany stands out is in the way it treats its in attracting the younger consumers who people,” Longo said during the presentation ceremony. “The company consistently have different needs from the parents and wins best employer awards in the states in grandparents. And being innovative makes it fun.” which it operates, and is always challeng-

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© 2015 CSC Brands LP




CSNews Named Double Finalist in Eddie Awards Editorial staff recognized for Best Full Issue and Best Single Article Convenience Store News, the leading media brand of the convenience store industry, has been selected as a finalist for two awards in the 2014 Folio: Eddie and Ozzie Awards. The annual Eddie and Ozzie Awards program, the largest program of its kind, recognizes the best in editorial and design across all corners of the magazine publishing industry. Convenience Store News is a finalist in two businessto-business categories: Retail/Full Issue for its October 2013 issue and Retail/Single Article for “7-Eleven’s Journey to Change” in its February 2014 issue. Convenience Store News is the only publication serving the convenience store industry nominated this

year for an Eddie or Ozzie Award. “We don’t do this to win awards, but it is gratifying when our peers in the media industry recognize the hard work and excellent reporting and writing that went into these issues,” said Don Longo, editorial director. “Both finalists are examples of the kind of team reporting that makes Convenience Store News the most valuable information provider in the convenience store industry.” The honorees will be celebrated Thursday, Dec. 11 at the Yale Club in New York. Convenience Store News is owned by Stagnito Business Information, America’s fastest-growing integrated business-to-business information resource serving consumer packaged goods retailers.

MCX’s CurrentC Coming to a Wallet Near You Despite hack, the retailer-developed mobile payment platform will launch in early 2015 Merchant Customer Exchange’s (MCX) CurrentC mobile wallet payment platform will launch as planned in early 2015 despite a hack attack this fall. According to CEO Dekkers Davidson, hackers only stole email information from customers, as opposed to more personal information, such as credit card numbers. The hack attack did not take place in the cloud, where more important information is held, he noted, and CurrentC’s mobile app was unaffected. “It’s unfortunate that some people think it’s cool to hack a system,” Davidson said in late October. “But we built the CurrentC platform expecting attacks. This will not impact the rollout of CurrentC. … We will learn from it. It will not slow us down.” CurrentC allows consumers to pay for retail goods from their smartphones. It does not require near-field

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communications technology and can be used on both Android and iOS phones, both much different than Apple Pay, which launched publicly on Oct. 20. Dallas-based MCX is a consortium created by many retailers, including 7-Eleven Inc. According to Davidson, CurrentC is currently being tested in several retail locations throughout the country, but he would not reveal the names of the retailers or the locations, citing competitive reasons. Davidson also debunked several media reports that stated retail members of the MCX consortium face fines if they accept Apple Pay. “Merchants can do as they see fit. They can choose to offer Apple Pay if they choose,” he relayed. “It’s simply not true. There are no fines.”


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eye on growth n CST Brands Inc. plans

n Empire Petroleum Partners LLC closed on the acquisition

to build up to 55 newto-industry stores in 2015. As of November, CST had opened 25 new stores in 2014 and planned to open another 13 before the end of the year. n TravelCenters of America LLC is acquiring three

travel centers and seven convenience stores. The locations will likely require some rebranding, but not major repositioning. n Town Star Holding LLC, an affiliate of Junonia

Capital LLC, acquired the entire portfolio of TimeSaver Food Stores Co. The deal includes 13 TimeSaver convenience stores in Florida, 11 of which are co-branded with Subway. Three freestanding Subways are also included.

of 11 former Corner Store locations from CST Brands. The locations are in the Lubbock region and expand Empire’s market presence in the Texas panhandle. n Wawa Inc. is extending its reach in

Florida with three convenience stores in Lee County, which will be open by spring. Another six stores are planned for southwest Florida by 2017. n Holtzman Oil Corp. will acquire Cline Energy, opera-

tor of Valley’s convenience stores, in early 2015. The terms were not disclosed. The deal includes 18 gas stations and truck stops. n QuickChek Corp. opened its first Long Island, N.Y.,

store in late October. The Lake Grove location operates 24 hours a day and includes a training center.


16 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

supplier tidbits n Imperial Tobacco Group has branded its new U.S. busi-

n Got milk?, the trademark of the California Milk

ness as ITG Brands LLC. The newly named company will consist of Commonweath-Altadis, and the brands that Imperial is acquiring as part of the expected merger of Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc. n Vapor Corp. and Vaporin

Processor Board, is expanding its licensing program with the U.S. launch of branded packaged snacks. The product rollout will begin at major retailers in early 2015. n Redbox launched its first

Inc. agreed to join forces. Vapor Corp. will be the surviving entity of the merger, and Vaporin stockholders will collectively own 45 percent of the issued and outstanding capital stock of the combined company.

national loyalty program called Play Pass. Members earn 10 points for each movie or game they rent. They will receive a credit for a one-day movie rental when they accrue 100 points. n Broaster Co. added 162 locations in September. These

n Godfather’s Pizza opened the first Godfather’s Pizza

Express location to offer fried chicken along with pizza. The dual-concept site opened at a Cenex convenience store/gas station in Sioux Center, Iowa.


foodservice operators — a combination of convenience stores and restaurants — join the 5,000 branded-operator locations that serve Genuine Broaster Chicken and Broaster Express products.

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WWW.CSNEWS.COM | DECEMBER 2014 | Convenience Store News 17



retailer tidbits n GPM

Investments LLC is selling 16 sites in five states: 12 convenience stores with gasoline, one c-store with a Subway franchise, two former c-stores and one vacant land parcel. n Kum & Go LC settled a 2013

class-action lawsuit with an agreement to make changes at its more than 400 stores in 11 states in order to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. n Cumberland Farms Inc. now

accepts mobile payment via Apple Pay across its nearly 600 conve-

and a $100-million investment in facility upgrades. n 7-Eleven Inc. is suing 7-Even

convenience store in Baltimore

alleging the store infringes on its trademark by using a similar name and logo. n Gate Petroleum

Co. expanded the food offerings in some of its convenience stores by adding Beaver Street Fisheries’ Sea Best frozen single-serve seafood dinners. n Leiszler Oil Co. is undertaking a

major forecourt renovation that includes adding Wayne Ovation fuel dispensers to its Short Stop convenience stores.

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n Getty Realty Corp. has sold 34

nience stores and gas stations. Chevron USA Inc. will also integrate Apple Pay at more than 3,000 Chevron and Texaco ExtraMile locations before the holiday season.

locations since July 1 for $15.4 million, and put an additional 46 sites up for sale. The assets do not meet its long-term growth criteria. n Tedeschi Food Shops added new

n Pilot Flying J is launching a

seasonal items for the fall, includ-

fresh brand identity. The initiative includes offering a variety of healthy food selections, a highquality collection of hot beverages

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ing apple cider, taffy apples and Vermont orchard apples. The chain’s floral department also offered painted pumpkins, mini pumpkins and fall-colored flowers.

18 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM




legislative corner n NACS, the Association for ®


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Convenience & Fuel Retailing, likes the attention Apply Pay has brought to mobile payments, but said Apple Pay falls short because it is built on the flawed credit-card payment system. NACS contends electronic payments should be the cheaper option. n The Westminster, Mass., Board

of Health dropped its proposal to ban the sale of all tobacco products within municipal limits — a move that would have been a first in the country. In a 2-to-1 vote, board members Ed Simoncini and Peter Munro voted to kill the pro-

posal, while board chairwoman Andrea Crete voted to keep it under consideration. n Massachusetts voters repealed a

2013 automatic gas-tax increase that raised the state’s gasoline tax every year by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index. The state’s gas tax is currently 24 cents per gallon, higher than the national average of 20.5 cents per gallon.

marketing moves n 7-Eleven Inc.

kicked off Operation: Take Command, the company’s first franchise giveaway contest. The winner will receive a waiver of the franchise fee to franchise any of its stores available in the continental United States. n Pump N Pantry Inc. teamed up

with OpenStore by GasBuddy to launch a branded mobile app, individual store web pages, mobile coupons and social media. n PepsiCo Inc. and New York Jets

center Nick Mangold surprised customers at a New Jersey Hess Express store as part of Pepsi’s Snap Fridge campaign. F1100 | ©2014 Nu Mark LLC. For Trade purposes . MarkTen, FourDraw and related design marks are trademarks of Nu Mark LLC.

n RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. is seeking

customer feedback on the rebrand-

20 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

ing of its Numb Skull frozen drink offering. A recent email survey asked customers their opinions on five new frozen beverage logos. n Stewart’s Shops took an additional

10 cents off per gallon on all grades of gasoline on Nov. 7 to celebrate Oil Independence Day. n Circle K renewed its title

sponsorship of the NHRA Winternationals. The Circle K NHRA Winternationals is the season-opening event for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, scheduled for Feb. 5-8. n Stripes Convenience Stores,

Rutter’s Farm Stores, Sheetz Inc., QuikTrip Corp., Kangaroo Express, TravelCenters of America, Wawa Inc. and Pilot Flying J honored military service members with food and beverage promotions on Veterans Day.


consumer tidbits n Culinary Visions

Panel found that consumers are more likely to choose restaurants that treat their employees well and support the community. The research and trend forecasting firm expects the “mindful dining” movement to continue growing in 2015. n Gasoline is expected to lose mar-

ket share in the coming decade with diesel poised to be the most likely beneficiary, according to Consumers and Diesel:

Potential Conflict Between Fuel Economy and Cost, a new report from the Fuels Institute. Forty-one percent of the 2,007 gas consumers surveyed said they would consider purchasing a diesel vehicle. n Americans purchased 191 meals

per person for the year ended August 2014, the slowest pace of eating out since 1993, according to The NPD Group’s Eating Patterns in America report. n Mintel identified four key U.S.

consumer trends that will have the most impact in 2015: smart technology; the blending of digital and brick-and-mortar retail; a growing

awareness of consumer rights; and the rejection of gender stereotypes. n More men are taking

an active role in grocery shopping, but many of them don’t enjoy the experience, according to research from The NPD Group. Men currently represent 41 percent of all primary grocery shoppers. Males who are single, never married and aged 18 to 34, though, are the most likely to feel that grocery shopping is a chore.

in memoriam

ph: 800-776-8834 | fax: 920-432-1918 | www.cdlatm.com 22 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

For the second time this year, Canastota, N.Y.-based Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes mourned the loss of one of its co-founders. Richard G. “Dick” Clark, of Manlius, N.Y., passed away Nov. 11. Clark was born in Canastota. He graduated from Cornell University with an electrical engineering degree in 1951 and went on to serve two years in the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant. After serving in the military, Clark returned to his hometown to work with his father. Eventually, he and his younger brother, Don (who died in 2010) took over the reins of the family business and grew it to become Clarks Petroleum Service. In the 1980s, the brothers cofounded Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes with the late John MacDougall, who passed away this June. Clark retired from Nice N Easy in 1994.

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NEWPRODUCTS Newcastle Scotch Ale

Hunt Brothers Pizza Cheesebread

Newcastle kicked off a new series of “collaboration edition” beers made in partnership with some of Europe’s finest and oldest breweries. The first offering in the Newcastle Collaboration Series is Newcastle Scotch Ale, a collaboration with Edinburgh, Scotland-based sister brewery Caledonian. Released in mid-November and available for a limited time only, Newcastle Scotch Ale is a rich, full-flavored and fulfilling Scottish ale with toffee notes, at a 6.4-percent ABV. It is a bold yet balanced beer that will please lifelong Newcastle fans, as well as more adventurous drinkers, the company stated. Scotch Ale is available nationally in six- and 12-packs through February. The Newcastle Collaboration Series will continue new rollouts throughout 2015.

Hunt Brothers Pizza added cheesebread with marinara dipping sauce as a permanent menu item. With a thick crust, freshly grated 100-percent mozzarella cheese, Hunt Brothers’ signature Just Rite Spice and a buttery garlic sauce, it is perfect for snacking and dipping, the company said. Cheesebread comes in a snack size consisting of two dipping strips and marinara dipping sauce, as well as in a family size with six dipping strips and two servings of marinara dipping sauce. Cheesebread will launch nationwide in March.

Newcastle Brown Ale White Plains, N.Y. (877) 522-4577 www.newcastlebrown.com

ZERO Carbon Neutral Gasoline Former Procter & Gamble executive Peter Davis and convenience store industry veteran Doug Kruep joined forces to found GreenPrint LLC, creator of ZERO Carbon Neutral Gasoline. The new fuel is designed to allow consumers to drive their cars without leaving a carbon footprint. The product fills an unmet need and consumers are expected to go out of their way to purchase the environmentally friendly fuel, according to the company. GreenPrint LLC Atlanta (678) 956-1131 info@greenprintcorp.com www.greenprintcorp.com

Hunt Brothers Pizza Nashville, Tenn. (800) 453-3675 marketing@hbpizza.com www.huntbrotherspizza.com

Wayne Cloud Solutions Wayne Cloud Solutions is a suite of forecourt technologies and services from Wayne Fueling Systems that operates with the company’s Fusion forecourt system, and incorporates the expertise of partners Intel Corp., Wincor Nixdorf and Gas Station TV. These cloudbased services benefit the fuel retailer by simplifying PCI and EMV payment compliance; providing integration with mobile payment and loyalty systems; enhancing the customer experience with media content delivery; and improving operational efficiencies. Wayne Fueling Systems Austin, Texas (512) 388-8401 alicia.high@wayne.com www.wayne.com

Red Bull Editions The Red Bull Editions line will expand with Red Bull Yellow, Red Bull Orange and Red Bull Cherry, launching nationwide Feb. 16. These new Red Bull Editions offer the tastes of tropical fruit, orange and cherry with the “wings of Red Bull,” the maker said. In addition, the complete Red Bull Editions line will be moving to an exclusive 12-ounce, single-serve size with the availability of 8.4-ounce cans in four-packs. The expansion will be supported by an expansive marketing campaign in 2015, including advertising, public relations, in-store point-of-sale, digital and social activations, and a national sampling program by the Red Bull Wings Team. Red Bull North America Santa Monica, Calif. (310) 393-4647 info@redbull.com www.redbullusa.com 26 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM



Hometown Hero Rutter’s CEO Scott Hartman’s feet are firmly planted in the family business as he pushes the c-store industry toward the future

induction. “I’ve admired all the inductees in terms of their business sense. I’ve tried to learn from many of them and served on boards and committees at NACS with many of them. They were my peers and friends. Some were what I would call my industry elders who would give me advice over the years and who I could learn so much from.” He likened the honor to serving as chairman of NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, from 2005 to 2006 — a role he lists as another career highlight. “To think I could be part of a group of industry leaders and people who have shown success over the years was very nice, very complimentary,” he explained. Hartman is also a member of the convenience store industry’s Technology Hall of Fame, making him the first CEO to be inducted into both Halls of Fame. “I hope this encourages the next generation of industry CEOs to embrace technology and change at their companies,” he said. “It is a wonderful industry to be part of and overall, this recognition is another part of our team’s year of celebration.” In Hartman’s eyes, it truly is a team effort. He points to the number of long-term people on Rutter’s team who have been a part of the company’s success through the years. “We have people who have been with us since before I returned to the family business, 35-plus years. The fact that they have been with us a long time is such a reward, to see them enjoying and participating in our successes. It’s always been a team approach at Rutter’s,” he said.

By Melissa Kress


rowing up, some people dream about going away to college and breaking out of their hometown. Others dream of planting their own roots where their parents planted theirs. A few lucky ones combine the two into reality. Scott Hartman, president and CEO of Rutter’s Farm Stores, is one of the lucky ones. And it was his dream of planting his own roots in the family business while striving to grow that business — and the convenience store industry as a whole — that led him to take this year’s honor as the retailer inductee into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame. “It was a wonderful feeling, both for me and my team. I view it as an accolade that was personal in the sense that I know so many of the inductees over the years and attended inductions,” Hartman said of his

Photos by Nick Gould Photography.


“It’s a broad group of people that makes a company successful,” Hartman said as he toasted those who supported him throughout his career.

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Hartman is part of the third generation to run the family business, Rutter’s Holdings Inc., which is comprised of Rutter’s Farm Stores, Rutter’s Dairy Inc. and M&G Realty. The family farm, which dates back 10 generations, has been located in York, Pa., since 1747 and Rutter’s Holdings has been headquartered in the central Pennsylvania town — two hours west of Philadelphia — since its inception in 1921. Raised in York, Hartman chose to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After earning an accounting degree, he moved on to Duke

University in Durham, N.C., where he earned a master’s degree in business administration. Upon entering the working world, Hartman chose to work as a consultant at Pricewaterhouse in Baltimore. Still, he was never really far away from the retail scene. At Pricewaterhouse, he consulted with grocery retailers, grocery wholesalers, restaurant companies, convenience stores and petroleum companies, as well as other industries like banks and investment firms. “I always had my fingers somewhere around retail and service industries. That was my background growing up, so it was kind of natural,” he said. rutter’s generates more than $700 million in annual sales from just 60 stores. Seven years into his career, he was faced with a critical decision: continue to climb the corporate ladder or enter the family fourth-grade teacher in Brooklyn, N.Y., and son Chris, business. With Rutter’s literally in his blood, you would a food broker for Crossmark in Plano, Texas. think assuming a role in the company was a foregone Because of his last name, people don’t immediately conclusion, but that wasn’t the case, said Hartman. recognize Hartman as a member of the Rutter’s clan. “When I went to graduate school, I had a passion As he explains, his mother is a Rutter. Her father was for consulting and that’s really what I enjoyed doing George Rutter. for seven years,” he said. “I got to the point where I “People always have a hard time understanding was promoted to a senior manager at Pricewaterhouse the family tree and wonder where Hartman comes and when you get that promotion, you have to make into play. My mother is a Rutter and my father is the a career decision. Do you want to become a partner son-in-law that came into the family business,” he in the firm or are you thinking about other things you explained. “My grandfather George Rutter and his want to do?” brother Bud were the founders of our dairy back in Through the years with Pricewaterhouse, Hartman 1921. They sold eight quarts of milk by a horse-drawn had gotten quite a few different job offers but didn’t carriage their first day in business. My father’s generabite on any of them. This time, though, he decided he tion started the convenience stores in 1968.” owed it to himself to give the family business a try and It was just a few years later that Hartman began his see how it would work vs. going to other places. career in the c-store business. In 1972, at the age of “That’s what I did and here I am 25 years later,” 12, he started in the stores doing all the grunt work, as he said. he calls it, and was paid 5 cents an hour for every year In 1990, Hartman returned to York to take a posiold he was. “I was making a whopping 60 cents an tion with Rutter’s. The rest is history. He remains hour,” he recalled. in York today with his wife Cathy, whom he met while she was also studying accounting at George early adopter Washington University. Together they raised their two Just as retail never really left him, Hartman still children in his hometown — daughter Sara, now a embraces his passion for consulting.

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“It’s one of the things that got me involved with NACS and the technology side of the industry. It was a pseudo-consulting thing in terms of working with other industry people trying to achieve common goals,” he noted. According to Hartman, the convenience industry as a whole has been slow to adopt technological changes. Of course, technology-wise, the convenience channel is the most complicated industry in the world, so change is naturally slow, he acknowledged. “That’s been one of my common themes through the years. Technology has never been a huge comfort zone with a lot of CEOs, and I’ve tried to encourage CEOs to embrace it for a lot of years to see how technology could be a tool to run a better business and improve customer touchpoints,” he said. “It’s always been my vision that technology and marketing go hand in hand.” Hartman was fortunate to be on the forefront of many technology changes throughout his education and early career — call it being at the right place at the right time. This advantage made him more comfortable than others, perhaps. “From the time I was in college at George Washington University, I was taking programming classes using mainframes and card decks. Long before floppy disks, there were card decks and if you dropped your cards on the floor, it was literally 52-card pickup. You were done,” he recounted Hartman celebrates with his daughter with a laugh. Sara, wife Cathy and son Chris. By the time Hartman reached graduate school, mini computers and personal computers were entering the scene. In fact, he was the first to have a Macintosh in his office at Pricewaterhouse. “All those things were just the right timing at the right place. I was on the curve of how technology was rolling out. I was doing technology and systems consulting, so it was part of my business acumen,” he added. He didn’t check that acumen at the door when he returned to York in 1990. Instead, he tried to change

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words of wisdom Scott Hartman has a lifetime of experience in the convenience store industry — from a young boy changing price stickers to his current role as CEO and president of Rutter’s Farm Stores. That makes him a perfect person to offer advice to up-and-coming retailers. First, he said, you have to have the ability to hear lots of opinions, from team members and customers alike. Being able to sort through them and accept advice and criticism are important skills for anyone in the c-store business, he believes. “What can be negative criticism can be turned into positive thoughts in how to improve your business,” Hartman said. “Customers are very frank at times. I read every single piece of customer feedback we get. You read some and you are so proud, then you read others and you’re not so proud. You have to soak that in and try to make a better company.” Hartman also urges his fellow retailers to establish both corporate and personal goals early on. These goals should typically be a reach, not an easy one to attain, he cautioned. “It’s a wonderful industry of entrepreneurs where people can find success in so many different ways. You don’t have to think like all the rest. You can have your own way of doing things. I have seen so many people in the business find success doing it their way,” he noted. His final piece of advice: make it a family thing if you can. His children have, in some way, been involved in the industry from the time they were young — from visiting the stores, meeting his friends within the industry, to working in the stores. Not unlike his experience growing up, according to Hartman. “All of that has made it a lot more fun through the years. When you’re at home as your children are growing up, they can talk about the business, learn about the business. They can enjoy the business with you and the fruits of the labor and the challenges,” he continued. “My daughter has chosen the education field, but she has enjoyed NACS Shows through the years and we still talk about the business today. My son has done the same and here he is in the food industry,” Hartman added. “You never know where that will take your children, but I think ours will say they had a lot of fun through the years with it.”



STEVE BRADY Formerly of McClane

SCOTT HARTMAN CEO, Rutter’s Farm Stores



©2014 BIC USA Inc., Shelton, CT 06484







the family business and take Rutter’s Holdings into the new technological age. teCH & tHe C-Store InduStry

Hartman also wrote Kerley Lebeouf, then-NACS president and CEO, urging the association to think about technology and standards, and where the industry needed to go. “From my observation, from all my years consulting, our industry wasn’t current and we weren’t seeing how technology was changing the competitive landscape,” he said. His push helped initiate tech standards and the formation of NACStech in the mid-1990s. “A number of the NACS board and committee members probably thought I was a little bit of a lunatic. For the first couple of years, I would sort of beg to be invited to NACS committee and board meetings. I would try to explain what technology was doing, why the industry needed to embrace it, why they needed to fund meetings for technology, and why they needed a

tech committee,” Hartman explained. The first meeting, he said, took “about two hours of discussion to get less than $10,000 in funding.” Eventually, NACS was funding more than $3 million in technology standards initiatives, and many of those standards are being used in almost every c-store today. “I also had a tradition from the early ‘90s where I would write a letter to every incoming NACS chairman before their speech at the NACS Show telling them why they needed to make technology part of their focus,” Hartman said. “I used to enjoy doing that and hearing feedback later. That was my prod to each of them to embrace it and push it. That was fun.” In the past 25 years, Hartman has had a front-row seat as the convenience store industry continues to move beyond cash registers to scanning, self-checkout, mobile payment and marketing initiatives that dynamically interact with customers. “I remember when people used to ask if scanning was something we could do as an industry. I bet there was probably five to seven years of presentations at

Scott Hartman and Steve Brady on your inductions into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame.

32 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

NACStech asking if scanning was right for our industry, what it would do for us and why we should do it. It’s kind of crazy thinking back about how that had to be a topic of coercion for people to get into it,” he said. HIttIng tHe HIgH noteS

Hartman counts his work with NACS on the technology front as one of his career highlights. Notably, he has enjoyed watching NACS embrace technology and seeing the NACS standards take hold. He also points to the annual NACStech events, being named the first chairman of PCATS (now Conexxus), and working with all his friends in technology areas. “I’ll always remember sitting in a hotel on the MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] campus in Boston designing the vision for the connected store with about seven of my best tech friends, including the late Teri Richman and John Hervey,” he said. “It’s been a long-term highlight of mine to have been part of the industry’s technology journey.” Growing Rutter’s convenience store business also

naCS Ceo and 2004 CSNews Hall of Famer Hank armour presents the Hall of Fame award to Hartman.

Kim Lubel for being named the Convenience Store News Retailer Executive of the Year.

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ranks among Hartman’s top accomplishments. The company operated approximately 52 stores when he joined Rutter’s in 1990. The retailer opened its 60th store earlier this year. While the brick-and-mortar stores have not ballooned in number, what Rutter’s achieves with its stores has. “We haven’t added that many more stores, but we were doing roughly $60 million in sales with 50 or so stores in 1990 and today we are doing well north of $700 million out of 60 stores. It’s not the store count; it’s what you are doing with the stores,” he emphasized.

Hartman shares a laugh at last month’s Hall of Fame gala induction ceremony.

Hartman also admires the physical evolution of the stores. Rutter’s opened its first superstore — at 3,500 square feet with six gas pumps and a dedicated foodservice area — in 1995. The chain is now considering a store model that’s more than double the size. “It’s hard to believe that in 1995 we were one of the first to go that far. We had people coming in and visiting from a lot of the oil companies across the country. They wanted to see what this new concept looked like,” he said. “That was the root of us changing from a 2,800-square-foot or less convenience store with no foodservice and limited fuel offer, to a much larger store and more complex offer. That 3,500-square-foot store was considered a superstore at the time and here I am today working on a store design of 8,800 square feet that we hope to open in 2015.” Speaking of foodservice, hiring Jerry Weiner as Rutter’s first vice president of foodservice in the late 1990s, stands out as yet another bright spot, according to Hartman. “That really defined our commitment to

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foodservice and propelled us a long way. Jerry is retiring in 2015 and our foodservice evolution has been a wonderful and rewarding journey with him,” he said. out wItH tHe old

While he has a notable list of career highlights, Hartman acknowledges there have been some challenges along the way. One major challenge is that the industry is always changing. Early in his career at Rutter’s, he had to work hard at trying to get an “old company” that had been in business 70 years at the time to change. “We clearly have changed our corporate DNA and our culture today, but that was one of my earliest challenges. We had to keep changing. Our consumers were changing and everything was changing faster. We had to embrace change to be successful and to survive,” he said. “That is not going to change anytime soon.” Operating a small c-store chain also has presented challenges. From his grandfather’s and father’s generations to today, Rutter’s has never had the biggest dairy in its market nor has it ever had the largest number of stores. It’s always had much bigger competitors around it. “It’s always a challenge when you aren’t the biggest. I’ve talked to people who are bigger and they like the idea of being smaller,” Hartman said. “We recognize we will never be the biggest, so we embrace who we are, our size and what we can do with being a 60-store chain and a regional dairy.” Trying to grow in good times and bad times, and being comfortable with who you are as a company and your growth strategies, though, can be challenging, he admitted. “It’s sort of our corporate philosophy that we never get too high and we never get too low,” he said. Where Rutter’s is now, and what the company and its team have accomplished, make Hartman proud. “We have a picture on the front door of our office that has all the company’s accolades through the years — foodservice awards from Convenience Store News to being named the International Convenience Retailer of the Year at the NACS Insight Convenience SummitEurope, Best of York recognitions, awards for local charitable giving, or being the Central Pennsylvania Business of the Year,” he explained. “When I look at the door, every day I walk in, that is a proud moment. It says we are doing good things. We’ve gotten local, national and international recognitions and they all mean something to our team, and we are all really proud of it. It’s not about me; these recognitions were all earned by the team.”


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Congratulations to

Scott Hartman of Rutters Inductee into the 2014 Convenience Store Industry Hall of Fame Tank you for your valuable contribution and leadership in our industry.

A People Person McLane veteran Steve Brady stays motivated by cultivating relationships By Angela Hanson

2014 CSNews Supplier Hall of Famer Steve Brady with his wife Lori.


t would be safe to say that throughout a career that’s spanned more than a quarter of a century and involved travel from Texas to California to Illinois and back again, Steve Brady got to know a lot about sales. But along the way, he also got to know a lot about people. “When I go to call on a customer, there’s an account manager that’s responsible for the business,” said Brady, most recently the vice president of business development at McLane Co. Inc. “As a vice president of sales, I was responsible for the relationship.” The relationships and experience Brady cultivated

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during his 24 years with McLane brought him to the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame as the 2014 inductee on the supplier side. Born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in the state, Brady was always willing to work hard. “During school each summer, I worked for my father, who was a superintendent of multiple highway construction sites,” he recalled. His job involved shoveling asphalt at the height of Texas’ summer heat. One summer, just out of school, it brought him near what was then Dr Pepper North Texas Bottling. “I was sitting on a bridge on an asphalt paving machine at about 110 degrees, looking at the Dr Pepper trucks pulling out of the building, and on my break I went over and applied for a job. I went to work for them the next Monday,” he said. While his new job was more pleasant and very different than working with asphalt, it wasn’t much easier, Brady noted. As a route truck driver, he spent a lot of time on the road. The role helped reveal his aptitude for salesmanship when he broke sales records for the position. After two years, Brady became the marketing manager for north central Texas, making him responsible for the convenience store and grocery business in the region. This introduction to the c-store market eventually led to three years with Core-Mark International Inc. as a proprietary brand manager in northern California before he returned to Texas as a national account manager for McLane, with whom he would spend the next 24 years. Although he initially went to McLane because it meant coming back home, Brady’s work took him across the country and allowed him to develop in-depth knowledge of the c-store industry. “I was able to meet every retailer in the United States. That is cool,” he said. In 2000, Brady returned to Texas for good as McLane’s director of business development. With no employees under his supervision, his role involved “a huge amount of responsibility, but not a great deal of accountability.” That changed in 2008, however, when

he was promoted to vice president of sales for military and convenience. “I was rudely awakened in a very good way,” Brady said. “I’m the kind of guy that keeps my head down — I don’t really look to the next job, I just try to be really, really good at the one I’m at.” As part of his new job, Brady faced what he considers the single largest challenge of his career when he was handed the task of centralizing McLane’s entire sales organization. Previously, each division of the company had its own president, vice president, sales team and business incorporation, but the company had decided to restructure things so that everyone would report to its Temple, Texas, headquarters. To accomplish this, Brady and his team set out to research top-tier organizations and model McLane’s new system on the best of what they found. The Altria Group Inc. was a particular inspiration, he said. It was a difficult task not just because of the size, but because of the resistance they faced from employees who didn’t like the sound of the impending changes. “It was hard to describe the magnitude of doing it. Like 18 different companies saying ‘OK, forget everything you knew, here’s what we’re going to do now,’” he said. “We basically created it from scratch, and it was two years of hard work. In the end, after all the gnashing of teeth and people that didn’t really want to get on the bus, it finally came around and even all the division presidents said ‘Wow, we’re pretty impressed.’” A less challenging but still rewarding experience in Brady’s career is his involvement with NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing. Former vice president of customer relations for McLane and fellow CSNews Hall of Famer Jerry Rose encouraged Brady to get actively involved with NACS. His first major experience was with the association’s annual

Brady is the 12th individual to be inducted into the supplier wing of the CSNews Hall of Fame.

Day on Capitol Hill, which brings convenience industry leaders together with elected officials to discuss the issues most important to them. “I wanted to go to listen and to learn and hear about those things that are important in the legislative arena for retailers,” Brady said. “That was very cool. Great relationship building.” Since then, Brady has continued to be active with NACS and currently serves on the NACS Supplier Board and chairs the NACS Manpower Committee. While Brady has come a long way since he spent his days spreading asphalt, that early experience shaped the way he’s approached his career. Along with his “competitive nature,” it was the recognition that other McLane employees relied on him that pushed him to chase new business and retain existing partners. “Every time I sign one of those contracts, whether it’s new or keeping it, that equals teammate jobs. Those are people’s lives,” he said. “My biggest motivation was keeping people employed. I always thought about when I was the one loading the truck and delivering the Dr Pepper and doing the grunt work.” CHanging TimeS

Brady has been in the industry long enough to see quite a few changes. One of the more enjoyable ones, he said, is seeing second- and third-generation business owners grow up and take the reins. “Watching their kids grow up in the organization has been cool,” he said. “And watching them learn new methods, new technology, offerings, and really evolve their business to something bigger … and making their mom or dad proud of what they’ve done.” Whether they come from the next generation of a

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family business or a national chain, Brady views such changes as the future of the c-store industry. Already, he sees c-stores improving their level of quality in numerous ways. “The good marketers — people that understand and are impassioned about what they’re doing — they’re making innovations in the consumer experience that have never been seen before in the convenience industry,” he said. In particular, he cited Maverik Inc.’s focus on daring activities like skydiving and mountain climbing as it seeks to be “Adventure’s First Stop” as impressive when it comes to innovative marketing. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is another chain that he’ll make a point to stop at while on the road due to its welcoming atmosphere. Conversely, Brady sees room for improvement in foodservice as the industry works to change the perception that its prepared food offerings are low quality and unhealthy — but he also believes that overall category improvement is only a matter of time. “The evolution of foodservice in the c-store business is going to continue to change and get better and better and better,” he said, noting that over the last five years, every c-store operator with whom he conducted a business review was interested in ways they could improve their foodservice program. Looking BaCk, Looking Forward

Over the years, Brady learned a great deal from both his peers and those who served as mentors, but when offering advice to the next generation of industry leaders, he suggests looking within. “Trust your gut. Trust that first impression, trust

Brady cites making relationships with industry people as one of the great pleasures of his career.

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CSNews group Brand director michael Hatherill presents the Hall of Fame trophy to Brady.

that first instinct,” he said, noting that both successes and failures provide the experience that serves as a crucial guide. Additionally, he advised that people remember money isn’t the only way of compensating employees or building a supportive company culture. “It’s amazing how I can get more out of somebody by saying ‘thank you,’” he said. “They just want to be appreciated.” Finally, he noted that it’s important to know when to fight for a project or idea — but just as important is to know when to let go. “If you’re fighting too hard for something, it’s probably not meant to be. Just back off and rethink it,” he said. “I used to be a very, very intense individual in that regard, and I learned to lighten it up. Life’s too short.” Having left McLane earlier this year, Brady considers himself too young to fully retire, but the next step in his career path is still uncertain. Not the type to sit on his hands, he plans to take some time to travel with his wife Lori and then he wouldn’t be surprised if he stays involved with the c-store industry. “Leaving the job is one thing, but leaving that network of people — that’s your family,” Brady said. “Hundreds of suppliers and retailers that I’ve traveled the country with for years at all these events. I’ll probably figure out a way to stay involved just to stay in connection with all my friends.” So far, he’s done some remote consulting work, which does have one distinct advantage. “You can go to work with flip-flops on,” he joked.

Congratulations ON A DESERVED HONOR

Scott Hartman

Stephen Brady

of Rutter’s Holdings

formerly of McLane Grocery Distributors

We’re Thrilled to Celebrate Scott Hartman and Stephen Brady’s ws Hall of Fame Induction into the Convenience St

Follow Us @Tobaccovoice

A Company on the Move Retailer Executive of the Year Kim Lubel is leading CST Brands’charge across the nation By Linda Lisanti


n May 1, 2013, CST Brands Inc. spun off from Valero Energy Corp. with 1,033 U.S. convenience stores in nine states. Today, just a year and a half later, the San Antonio, Texas-based retailer has a coast-to-coast national network of assets consisting of more than 2,150 U.S. sites — more than 1,150 company-operated stores and another 1,000-plus dealer/wholesale sites — in 25 states, plus a strong presence in Canada. “We’re a company on the move,” said Kim Lubel, who has served as chairman, president and CEO of CST Brands since its inception. “I envisioned us being here eventually, but not so soon.” Last month, at the 27th annual Convenience Store News Hall of Fame gala, Lubel was honored as

Lubel is most proud of the company culture she’s helped create at CST Brands.

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CSNews’ inaugural Retailer Executive of the Year award winner. This new award recognizes a current retailer executive who exemplifies leadership, business acumen, dedication to the convenience store industry, and commitment to community service. Given how much she’s accomplished already during her tenure, it’s hard to believe that Lubel had very little retailing experience coming into her current role. She worked for Valero since 1997 as corporate counsel, but because retail only accounted for 10 percent of the company’s income pie, her involvement with that side of the business was fairly limited. She did, however, have a lot of previous experience working with people and she believes that is one of the reasons she was chosen to lead CST Brands. “The retail business is so incredibly people focused and over the years, that’s where my skills have seemed to be utilized,” she said. Other key reasons for her selection, she believes, are her ability to multitask and guide people along multiple projects at the same time, as well as her background in mergers and acquisitions. She originally joined Valero as a transaction lawyer and before that, worked at a law firm in Fort Worth, Texas, focusing predominantly on M&A work. “I call myself a ‘deal junkie’ for a reason,” Lubel said. “When we looked at the retail space and the CST growth potential [before spinning off from Valero], we saw that consolidation in the industry was going to be one of our greatest opportunities.” Lubel and the CST Brands team have wasted no time in getting “their fix” of deals. This August, the company announced its purchase of 100 percent of the membership interests of Lehigh Gas GP LLC, the general partner of Lehigh Gas Partners LP, for approximately

$85 million. The transaction closed Oct. 1, at which point Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Gas Partners changed its name to CrossAmerica Partners LP. This partnership presents many strategic benefits for both parties, including: • CST Brands gaining access to capital through a growth-oriented master limited partnership (MLP) vehicle to execute its long-term strategic plan; • Drop-down asset sales to CrossAmerica Partners and an expanded set of CST Brands went from having assets in nine states to 25 states with its CrossAmerica partnership. external opportunities to drive cash flow growth for CST Brands; and • CrossAmerica Partners gaining access to a pipeline “Our growth today is dependent on how much can of drop-down asset acquisitions from CST Brands the organization absorb, how much can we integrate to drive future fuel distribution increases. at one time,” Lubel noted. “There are a lot of states According to Lubel, CST Brands always knew it we haven’t touched yet. I could see us doing a thirdwanted to do a MLP, but under its spinoff agreement party acquisition and then a few years later, doing new with Valero, the retailer was going to have to wait builds in that area. A little Pac-Man strategy — buy until next summer. and build around it, buy and build around it.” “We were able to find a different approach with our For 2014, CST Brands committed to opening 38 CrossAmerica partnership. It’s helped us move into a new-to-industry stores in the U.S. and Canada. By new level of activity and growth,” she said. the end of this year, the retailer will have built and For instance, the recent acquisition of Canastota, opened 60 new-to-industry stores in the last two years N.Y.-based Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, which closed alone, 11 more than the total built over the previous Nov. 3, was doable because the CrossAmerica piece was five years, Lubel reported during the company’s thirdin place. CST Brands and CrossAmerica jointly purquarter earnings call on Nov. 11. chased Nice N Easy, operator of 77 corporate and franAs for 2015, the capital budget is still a work in chise convenience stores in central New York State. progress, but Lubel anticipates building between 45 and Before CrossAmerica, Lubel said her company 55 new-to-industry sites in the U.S. and Canada. CST’s was also financially limited on how many new store new larger-format stores generate almost twice the inbuilds (Corner Store locations in the United States store and fuel sales of its core of smaller legacy stores. and Dépanneur du Coin stores in Canada) it could Further growth via acquisitions is also the intent execute; it was based on a percentage of the prior for 2015. year’s EBITDA. “It’s a pretty fragmented industry; there are very “You can’t grow fast enough that way,” she remarked. few large chains. What we have to offer as a potenNow, with CrossAmerica and the MLP structure, tial acquirer is different from other potential acquirthose financial limitations are no longer there. Under ers,” the chief executive said. “We have a great deep the arrangement, CST Brands will sell the real estate employee culture that’s focused on retail and customer and stores to CrossAmerica and then rent them back, service. We have a really tenured workforce. We’re not with CrossAmerica providing fuel to the sites. CST just in it for today; we are about retail operations and Brands will use the cash from the real estate sales to customer service. And even though we’re big, we have build more new stores. a strong entrepreneurial spirit.”

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To manage the integration of acquired sites — keeping in mind that each acquisition will be a little different in terms of strengths and weaknesses — CST Brands has put in place a dedicated team that includes representatives from CST, CrossAmerica and Nice N Easy. Spearheaded by Jeremy Bergeron, former vice president and treasurer, this team is separate from the company’s core operations team “so they can be thoughtful in identifying best practices and have the time and resources to take those learnings and integrate them back into our system,” said Lubel. This approach also allows its core stores to stay strong while integrating the new sites. Already, CST Brands is tapping into best practices from Nice N Easy. At four Corner Stores in San Antonio, a heavier grocery category mix similar to what’s offered in a Nice N Easy store is being tested. The company is also working to crack the code on the 60 percent of Corner Stores that cannot accommodate a full kitchen. A central commissary/kitchen is being considered.


Kim Lubel 2014 Retail Executive of the Year

Great People....Great Stores

…appreciates being in your “corner”

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A LiTTLe BiT of MAgiC

For Lubel, there is so much to be proud of since taking the helm of CST Brands, but if she had to choose just one thing, she’s most proud of the company culture she’s been able to foster and the level of employee engagement she sees throughout the growing organization. The CST Brands culture incorporates a focus on servant leadership; the mentality that you take your job seriously, but not yourself; a commitment by senior management to literally walk in store employees’ shoes by regularly doing “Corner Store Time” at the stores; and a laid-back dress code where employees can be comfortable at work while showing their pride in the new company (jeans can be worn every day as long as you wear a Corner Store brand shirt). “People are excited to be here. They understand how their job connects to the business drivers,” Lubel explained, acknowledging this was not the case before the spinoff when instead, the general feeling was that there was a divide between corporate and the stores. “We have improved the communication lines and it has helped us shape our company from a refining company to a retail company,” she added. “It’s not us vs. them anymore.” Today, Lubel sees a more engaged workforce from the top to the bottom, and she believes the retailer’s customers do too. A brand study in the Houston market revealed that while Corner Store still has work to do in building its brand recognition apart from Valero, the chain has a much higher degree of repeat business than its competition. “And as I told our team, that retention piece is a whole lot harder to crack. The recognition piece is within our control; we can execute programs to improve that. The retention piece, though, has magic to it,” she said. “Delight More Customers Every Day” is the mantra CST Brands lives by, and that means making existing customers happy and making more customers happy every day. Since the start of CST Brands, Lubel has championed the idea that separate they could do so much more than they could ever do under Valero. That idea has now become reality. “The spinoff has given us the chance to really break out,” she said, fondly recalling a recent employee awards dinner where the level of energy “was like a church revival.” Lubel said she looked out at the group and had one thought: “We’re going to thrive.” CSN

Committed to Community Kum & Go and Enmark Stations are this year’s CSNews Spirit Awards honorees By Linda Lisanti


or some retailers in the convenience store industry, giving back isn’t just something the company does. Rather, it is a part of who they are; an integral link in their DNA. West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go LC and Savannah, Ga.-based Enmark Stations Inc., this year’s winners of the Convenience Store News Spirit Awards for Community Outreach, are two such retailers. For them, lending a helping hand is fundamental to their business. The Spirit Awards program, now in its Convenience Store News Editor-in-Chief Linda Lisanti (left) presents Kum & Go’s sixth year, honors convenience retailers that Communications manager Traci Rodemeyer with the 2014 Grand Spirit Award. are involved in community service programs creativity of the program(s); and the accomplishments aimed at bettering the lives of the people in the of the program(s). markets they serve. Winners are selected based on the Kum & Go is this year’s winner of the Grand Spirit scope of giving; the personal involvement of company Award, the highest honor. This marks the third time management and associates; the degree to which shopthe retailer has been a Spirit Award recipient and the pers are encouraged to participate; the innovation and second time the chain has been selected the Grand Spirit Award honoree. The first time was in 2011. Enmark Stations is the winner of the 2014 Spirit Award in the Small Chain category. This operator of 60 stations in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina is a first-time honoree. Top-To-BoTTom CommiTmEnT

Enmark Stations held two “Full-Service Fridays” in may to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Company leaders pumped gas, washed windows and handed out car wash coupons in exchange for donations.

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Kum & Go’s dedication to being a good corporate citizen is a top priority as the chain steadily expands its reach nationwide. The retailer is always searching for new ways to give back to its communities and shares 10 percent of its profits with charitable causes every year. In the past year, Kum & Go became the first convenience retailer to partner nationally with Habitat for Humanity. Harnessing the power of its more than 400 stores in 11 states and 4,500 store associates, the company launched a month-long cause marketing campaign,


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Kum & Go became the first convenience retailer to partner nationally with Habitat for Humanity. A Kum & Go-sponsored home was recently built in minot, n.d., with the help of company associates.

encouraging customers to donate $1 and help decide where Kum & Go would sponsor a Habitat home build. The campaign’s goal was initially set at $100,000 and that was met in just nine days. When all was said and done, the donation to Habitat for Humanity totaled more than $450,000. In addition, Kum & Go associates spent four days helping to build the Kum & Go-sponsored home in Minot, N.D., and supported local Habitat efforts during volunteer days in Rogers, Ark., Loveland, Colo., and Des Moines, Iowa. In total, Kum & Go associates donated 900-plus volunteer hours to support Habitat for Humanity in 2013. Last year, Kum & Go was also quick to help when some of its communities were struck by natural disasters. When tornados hit Oklahoma in May 2013, Kum & Go launched a chainwide in-store campaign to give customers the chance to donate to the American Red

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Cross relief efforts. And when Colorado was hit by wildfires and flooding in the span of only a couple months, Kum & Go made $10,000 and $15,000 donations to support those relief efforts. Other community service contributions by Kum & Go in the past year include: • A pledge of $350,000 to support the Des Moines Social Club, a nonprofit venue for all ages that creates community engagement and cultural vibrancy through the arts. This partnership helps stimulate the arts scene in the area while providing a place for local, regional and national artists to be featured. In February, the Social Club put the finishing touches on the Kum & Go Theater, a black box theater that almost always features performances from smaller theater troupes and companies in the area. • Its 2013 annual giving drive for United Way, which once again maintained 100-percent employee participation. Last year’s effort saw Kum & Go extend its campaign to three Iowa counties, accepting donations for the United Way of Central Iowa for the first time. Prior to launching the customer component of the campaign, Kum & Go and its associates raised $266,000 for the United Way of Central Iowa. • “KG Care Days,” in which associates donate $5 to a new charity every month and their donations are matched dollar for dollar by Kum & Go. These KG Care Days help impact various organizations throughout the community. LoCAL LEAdER

Along with its parent company Colonial Group Inc., Enmark Stations has supported a number of local organizations this past year, including America’s Second Harvest Food Bank, Salvation Army, Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy, United Way, YMCA, and more. Its charitable highlights in 2013 included teaming up with radio station BOB 106.9 to collect enough items to fill the storage unit of SAFE Shelter, which provides housing for women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. Enmark Stations also

in addition to fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Enmark Stations honors a high school football player each week.

started the High School Football Player of the Week award with media partners WJCL and ESPN Radio in an effort to recognize some of the top athletes in southeast Georgia and South Carolina. Additionally, last year was the first time Enmark Stations participated in the Light The Night Walk campaign for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The retailer was honored with a National Partner Award for its outstanding fundraising support of $65,468 to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Enmark Stations Vice President and General Manager Houstoun Demere, the third generation of

All proceeds from Enmark Stations’ “Full-Service Fridays” go toward helping cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.

the Demere family to own and operate the company, lost his mother to leukemia at an early age and feels an obligation to help this nonprofit organization. This year, during the month of May, the chain raised $76,097 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by selling paper balloon icons in all of its retail stores and holding two “Full-Service Fridays” locally in Savannah. Full-Service Fridays allowed customers to pull into an Enmark store where members of the company’s management team pumped gas, washed windows and handed out car wash coupons in exchange for donations. Other philanthropic efforts by Enmark Stations this year have included: • The launch of organic UNFI products in 25 of its larger-format stores, in an effort to offer customers healthy snacking options. Enmark Stations now offer UNFI items such as kale and falafel chips, Tanka buffalo jerky, organic candy, kombucha, organic sodas, and frozen products including ice cream and frozen entrees from Amy’s. • Presenting sponsorship of the 2014 Encourage Health Educational Series, which took place on the last Tuesday of the months of February, April, June, August and October. This series featured presentations from area experts sharing insights on nutrition, fitness and general tips for healthy living. By matching the proceeds from these lectures, Enmark Stations raised funds for Savannah-area nonprofit organizations that are focused on wellness. The first four lectures resulted in donations of $2,000 to West Broad Street YMCA, $1,000 to the Savannah Bicycle Campaign, and $2,000 to Girls on the Run of Coastal Georgia. The company has already signed on to present the series in 2015. CSN

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FOODSERVICE Prepared Food + Hot, Cold, Frozen Dispensed Beverages


How to Create a Foodservice Culture By Maureen Azzato


he industry talks a lot about building a foodservice and hospitality-centric culture. But what does it really mean to create a foodservice culture within a convenience store/gasoline retailing environment, and why is it important? Creating a Foodservice 101 foodservice culture involves having the • Spend time thinking about what you right leadership and want your foodservice program to experienced foodbe known for, and how you plan to service employees in get there. place throughout the • Develop a clear mission and vision for company who are your foodservice program. focused on executing • Hire people with foodservice experifoodservice strategies ence to help achieve your mission. and tactics consis-

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tent with the company’s mission and vision, according Convenience Store News’ How To Crew of experts. “Creating a foodservice culture is essential to the sustained financial success of the retailer’s foodservice business,” said Maurice Minno, principal of MPM Consulting Group and member of the CSNews How To Crew. Developing a foodservice culture within a c-store/ gasoline retailing environment is critical because it requires dedicated foodservice business expertise and specific technical skills for managing the business, which is dramatically different from the skills required to run the retailing and petroleum marketing sides of the business. The foodservice business also requires “a passion and dedication for fresh food retailing,” Minno added, as well as ongoing capital and dedicated cross-functional organizational resources such as human resources,

information technology, financial planning, business intelligence, food safety and procurement. “The foodservice business also requires focused standard operating procedures and specific performance metrics that are uniquely different than those required for c-store/gasoline retailing,” Minno said, noting as an example that fresh food products have a shorter shelf life than most other c-store fare from the time they are made to when they are of optimum food safety and eating quality. Mathew Mandeltort, corporate foodservice manager for distributor Eby-Brown Co. and another member of the CSNews How To Crew, put it this way: “Your foodservice culture defines the values and norms of your foodservice program, which may differ in whole or in part from those of your retail business.” Having a clear and focused foodservice culture — and promoting and publicizing it — will also help change and shape consumers’ perceptions about the quality of convenience store prepared and delivered foodservice, he added. “Nearly 50 percent of consumers still do not consider c-stores an option when thinking about dining out. The most frequently cited reasons are lack of fresh food, poor food quality or not enough healthy options,” Mandeltort said. “Combine that with the fact that 69 percent of consumers who do visit c-stores simply fuel up and go without ever entering the store. [The industry] needs to give consumers some compelling reasons to come inside and buy food. Having a great foodservice culture is essential to making that happen.” An important aspect of a foodservice culture is developing a hospitality/restaurant mindset that goes beyond swift and friendly customer service. Before foodservice came along, c-store associates were trained to serve customers with a smile and get them in and out of the store as quickly as possible. Foodservice, however, requires a little extra something from store associates that transforms

The Steps to Creating a Foodservice Culture Many convenience store operators — whose business experience is rooted in petroleum marketing and retailing — are often daunted by the demands and complexity of foodservice operations. Given that orientation, how should convenience store operators go about creating a foodservice culture? Where should they begin? Below is a step-by-step approach offered by Maurice Minno, principal of MPM Consulting Group and member of the Convenience Store News How To Crew. Step One. Begin with a clear understanding of what your foodservice culture is today by asking key questions, including: What are the specific foodservice practices, behaviors and values that the company rewards and considers core to its business? What is the company’s foodservice mission and vision? What is the company’s foodservice strategic plan? What is the company’s annual operating plan? What is the company’s management and operating style? What is the profile of the employees who make up the foodservice organization? What is the profile of the employees in every other area of the company’s organization? What specific foodservice procedures and systems are in place in the company today? Step Two. Determine the desired future state for the company’s foodservice culture by analyzing the answers to the questions above. This clear definition of today’s foodservice culture must then be worked on to determine what the company’s desired future foodservice culture should be. Step Three. Develop an action plan of steps to change/ evolve the foodservice culture. Brainstorm, identify, assign responsibility and create key performance indicators for tracking progress of each action step that is required to move the foodservice culture from its current state to the desired future state. Step Four. Heavily and consistently communicate what the foodservice culture is today, as well as where the company wants to take its foodservice culture in the future. Leverage the foodservice culture to build supportive collaboration throughout the company and to all stakeholders, including strategic supplier partners.

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FOODSERVICE Prepared Food + Hot, Cold, Frozen Dispensed Beverages

a transaction into a hospitable and enjoyable experience for the guest, according to CSNews’ experts. The term “guest” is yet another nuance of the hospitality mindset. It’s a subtly different way to train store-level foodservice employees to view and treat customers. “Food, unlike many categories in retail, is a very emotional purchase. Chocolatey, gooey brownies are ‘to die for,’ while AA batteries are not,” Mandeltort said. “Cravings are the top driver for food purchases away from home and as a result, they are extremely susceptible to both internal and external influences.” For example, while a customer might enter a store excited to order the sandwich he saw advertised on a billboard along the road, a poorly merchandised, dimly lit or unkempt store could be a complete turnoff. An unclean bathroom could be a deal breaker. Eighty-eight percent of adults link their opinion of a restaurant’s hygiene standards to the cleanliness of its bathroom, Mandeltort cited, adding that 46 percent say they would avoid going to a restaurant because of a bad experience with a restroom that they experienced firsthand or heard about from others. Illustrating the strident differences between retail and foodservice, Mandeltort added: “One would be hard pressed to imagine eight out of 10 adults linking their opinion of a c-store’s tobacco category to the condition of the bathroom Foodservice 201 or refusing to pump gas because the • Undertake a comprehensive, soulladies room was out searching foodservice culture selfof toilet paper.” assessment. What is your culture

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today and where do you want it to evolve in the future? • Focus on employee training and program monitoring for continual success and profitability. • Hire foodservice/restaurant experts at all levels of the organization. • Lead by example so the foodservice culture of the organization trickles down to all levels.

BRIDgIng tHE gap

There are several challenges in creating a foodservice culture in a retail environment. While they are not insurmountable, they do require focus, time and patience, according to Minno.

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“Time is required to perfect the right, sustainable foodservice culture,” which cannot be measured in short-term financial reporting periods, he said. “It is the time commitment invested over many years of trials, failures and successes that ultimately evolves the company’s foodservice culture.” Although there are no silver-bullet methods that will instill a foodservice culture in an organization,

Minno said “disciplined organizational patience” in this endeavor is a virtue. In fact, he suggests that patience should be adopted as a company value. Many c-store and gasoline retailers have not spent the time and hard work to clearly understand and articulate what their foodservice culture is today and determine what it should be in the future, according to Minno. “Companies also do not sufficiently communicate their foodservice culture to all of their stakeholders, including company owners, all company employees, customers and suppliers,” he said. Companies serious about foodservice must spend the time and engage in the hard work of outlining their current foodservice culture and what it should be in the future to attain and sustain success, Minno stressed. They must “adopt specific action steps companywide that are necessary to align and evolve their foodservice culture to its desired future state.” (For more on this, see The Steps to Creating a Foodservice Culture on page 49.) HIRIng & tRaInIng

A foodservice culture in the c-store/gasoline environment must start at the top and trickle down through example to all levels and outer reaches of the organization. Company vision and direction has to begin

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FOODSERVICE Prepared Food + Hot, Cold, Frozen Dispensed Beverages

at the top. If top management is not a believer and Foodservice 301 fully engaged in the development of a • Develop an action plan of steps to foodservice culture, continuously evolve the foodservice the food segment of culture of the organization. the business is sure • Communicate your foodservice culture, to fail, according to and cultural aspirations, throughout the our How To Crew organization on an ongoing basis. This experts. But retail can never be over-communicated. executive leadership • Develop a hospitality mindset that can take it only so goes beyond customer service and far because store provides guests with a restaurantassociates and foodquality experience. service managers are the ones who must effectively execute the essential cultural components at store level. Because food is an emotional purchase, it can be greatly influenced by the people serving and selling the food. For this reason, hiring the right type of people and properly training them is critical to creating the appropriate culture. Indeed, c-stores should hire experienced foodservice professionals with restaurant experience whenever possible who will help improve the quality and consistency of the food served, and elevate the customer experience. At the front lines, you want to hire store associates and foodservice managers who are passionate and knowledgeable about food, smile easily, can engage with customers with facility, and have personalities that are warm and hospitable. The challenge for c-stores is foodservice employees often have to work on the retail side of the store as well, so their focus is not solely on food as it would be in a restaurant. “In a restaurant, the entire labor hierarchy is designed to maintain and execute the foodservice cultural norms that are essential to the success of the venture,” from chefs, line cooks, prep cooks, dishwashers, bussers, runners, servers, hosts, bartenders etc., said Mandeltort. “In

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a c-store, foodservice is often a small part — albeit an important and growing one — of the overall performance of the store.” Foodservice represents less than 20 percent of in-store convenience store sales on average, but it requires significantly more effort, unique skills and expertise, and attention to detail than the other 80 percent of merchandise sales. Operators whose foodservice sales are significantly lower than industry average should be fully cognizant of what they are getting into and the hard work required to make the business profitable, experts agree. It’s also imperative to make sure the foodservice culture development goals align with overall company goals, and that foodservice employees are appropriately rewarded to achieve important milestones. For example, if a c-store operator wants to be known for its food quality and customer service, it doesn’t make sense to reward employees only for low food costs. “I guarantee you that managers and staff will not dispose of old coffee and roller grill products when they should and will not pay attention to guest services the way they should,” Mandeltort said, noting that a better incentive would be on controlling food costs and how well employees score during mystery shopper visits “based on elements that influence the total foodservice customer experience — friendly staff, fresh food, quality of food and a clean store.” Employee training, monitoring and measurement are essential components of creating a foodservice culture, which means operators must be very disciplined about record keeping, and tracking and maintaining quality standards with temperature and tasting logs; food waste sheets; set-up, breakdown and clean-up checklists; and equipment cleaning and maintenance schedules. Developing a foodservice culture is an ongoing process that by its very nature is never complete. It evolves as customer needs and expectations shift and new food trends emerge, or as new employees are hired who bring new expertise and perspectives to the organization. “A company’s foodservice culture is always a work in progress, characterized by ongoing change,” Minno concluded. CSn

FOODSERVICE Category Trends + Insights from


Raising the Bar on Coffee There are hot opportunities for c-store operators that upgrade their offerings


oday’s savvy convenience store operators are operators’ decision to expand their coffee varieties to working to earn consumer confidence that their include popular seasonal flavors. beverage offerings are not only plentiful, but also The same report also indicated that 21 percent of of a high quality level that compares favorably to or consumers often customize their at-home beverages exceeds that of quick-service restaurant competitors. with flavored syrups and creamers, signaling interest Coffee is a primary area of innovation and cusin creating a personalized cup of coffee. This presents tomer engagement, and here are just a few of the ways Influence of Seasonality on c-store retailers are Beverage Preferences raising the bar on their coffee offerings. C-store chains have been going above and beyond the standard filtered coffee by introducing coffees spotlighting By Donna Hood Crecca popular seasonal flavors, Senior Director, Technomic Inc. such as peppermint in dcrecca@technomic.com the winter and pumpkin in the fall. These types of flavors have become signature returning favorites at chain restaurants, such Base: 1,154 consumers aged 18-plus as Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. Source: The Beverage Consumer Trend Report, Technomic, 2014 Convenience store operators are increasingly capitalizing on this oppor- Consumer Interest in Ability to tunity to create their own seasonal hype Customize Beverages for specialty flavored coffees. This fall, many c-store chains promoted their own pumpkin-spiced coffee drinks, including 7-Eleven, Wawa, Pilot Flying J and Giant Eagle’s GetGo. Other trending seasonal flavors for coffee drinks this fall included caramel apple, cinnamon and salted caramel. According to Technomic’s 2014 Beverage Consumer Trend Report, approximately 35 percent of consumers say their beverage preferences change depending on the season, which should influence c-store Base: Approximately 1,150 consumers aged 18-plus Source: The Beverage Consumer Trend Report, Technomic, 2014

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FOODSERVICE Prepared Food + Hot, Cold, Frozen Dispensed Beverages

Leading Coffee Flavors on Menus: C-stores vs. Restaurants

Base: 47 menu items on 40 c-store menus; 2,970 menu items on 2,313 full-service and limited-service restaurant menus (Q2 2014) Source: MenuMonitor, Technomic

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c-stores with another strategy to upgrade the appeal of their coffee offerings. A number of c-store chains are introducing coffee bars to their stores, allowing guests to give their coffee a personal touch with the addition of flavored syrups or creamers and toppings. Similarly, operators are installing high-tech coffee machines that allow guests to create individual cups of coffee with freshground beans and customized ingredients. Family Express recently introduced European CafÊ espresso machines, a system that grinds fresh beans, extracts coffee, infuses milk with flavored syrups and makes hot foam — all at the command of customers via a touchscreen. Coffee presents hot opportunities for c-store retailers, but it is important to remain attentive to consumer demands and current beverage trends in the restaurant industry for strategic inspiration. Consumer perceptions around purchases of c-store coffee can be improved by experimenting with seasonal varieties and providing the ability to customize. CSN

CANDY & SNACKS Chocolate + Non-Chocolate + Gum + Salty Snacks

Protein Powered Consumer demand for meat snacks and nutrition bars is rising, and so is the demand for quality By Angela Hanson


rotein-heavy snacks are not newcomers to the shelves of convenience stores, but such items are gaining more attention these days due to the growing interest among health-minded consumers in incorporating more protein into their diets. From 2009 through 2013, beef jerky-type product sales increased by a steep 46 percent to $1.24 billion as of last year, according to IRI. This rising demand has prompted suppliers to create more flavors and varieties than ever before, and some retailers are even focusing exclusively on meat snacks. Seymour, Tenn.based Beef Jerky Outlet now operates 26 stores in 16 states, offering everything from beef and turkey jerky to salmon and buffalo jerky. With so much to choose from, c-store operators have to think carefully about what to place on their limited shelf space. Customers may be loyal to their long-time

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favorites, but as the segment grows, they’re also interested in trying new varieties, according to retailers. Rocky Lee, owner of two-store convenience chain Lee’s Kar-Go based in Falls Mills, Va., noted that while the traditional Slim Jim is still popular with his customers, they have grown more interested in steak strips and “jerky bites” over the last two years. And meat snacks aren’t the only items that today’s protein-hungry customers want. A rise in nutrition bar sales has prompted innovation in this segment as well. “Recently, there has been some great-tasting products in the protein bar line [compared to] the old days of ‘tasting like cardboard,’” said Robert Perkins, vice president of marketing for Rutter’s Farm Stores. In fact, taste is key — while meat snacks lead highprotein sales for the York, Pa.-based chain of 60 convenience stores, demand for nutrition bars is increasing at Rutter’s as suppliers launch better-tasting products. Some retailers are turning to private-label bars to build branding while meeting consumers’ protein needs. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts recently began offering the Dunkin’ Go Bar, a prepackaged granola bar in the flavor of the brand’s Original Blend Coffee that contains 8 grams of protein. Retailers that don’t go down the private-label road have more options to choose from, but picky customers are increasingly unwilling to accept poor-tasting product or “nutrition” bars that deliver anything but. “It’s not easy to create delicious products that are actually good for you,” said Nicholas Robinson, chief marketing officer for Quest Nutrition, maker of protein bars and protein chips. “[But] our research and development team, perhaps the largest such operation in our industry, is constantly setting the bar for delicious and healthy treats by reinventing the form factors

that people love, but traditionally get them into nutritional trouble.” In the past, consumers expected nutritious bars to either taste bad or be loaded with sugar, carbohydrates and “junk,” but as they become more educated on ingredients and nutrition, they understand that they don’t have to make such a tradeoff, according to Robinson. “Today, more and more people are looking at ingredients, grams of protein, etc.,” agreed Ryan Morton, customer benefits manager for North Salt Lake City-based Maverik Inc., a chain of 250 c-stores. “They can now actually get something good-tasting and healthy at the same time.” When deciding what protein-heavy snacks to stock, retailers should determine which market they want to appeal to. Recent research by The NPD Group identified three particular groups to consider: Traditional

Protein Purists, who are much more likely to turn to animal proteins as their main source of protein; Flexible Protein Users, who look beyond meat due to expense or concern about fat or calories; and Knowledgeable but Indifferent Users. CSN

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COLD VAULT Beer + Wine + CSDs + Energy + Water + Sports + Juice + Dairy

Five Cheers for Flavored Brews Flavored malt beverages are on the upswing, outpacing even craft beer in percent growth By Renée M. Covino


hey are best known for being sweet and fruity, but the “cool” factor of flavored malt beverages (known in the industry simply as FMBs) has been elevated lately. Wine coolers, hard lemonade, hard iced tea, hard cider and other flavored malt beverages are gaining in consumer demand and as a result, getting more serious category attention from convenience store retailers. Technically, FMBs are beers that are mixed with another alcoholic drink such as a spirit or a mixer like lemonade, yet the “flavored alcohol” category spans farther and includes multi-based coolers and hard cider. More than a decade ago, low-alcohol, high-sugar malt beverages were often snickered at by brew connoisseurs — Smirnoff Ice, a citrus-flavored malt beverage was even the butt of an extended viral joke (“icing” was a game by which participants had to drink the “embarrassing” beverage on one knee, as reported in a New York Times article). Now, not only has the infamous “icing” game run its course — 300 million bottles of Smirnoff Ice were sold in this country last year, according to market research firm Euromonitor — but the overall FMB category is gaining traction and trending upward. Consider these five key insights on flavored booze:


Growing Faster Than Craft Beer

No, FMBs can’t hold a beer stein to craft beer in volume; flavored malt beverages are merely a fraction of the overall beer/malt beverage volume in the United States. But growth in the segment is reportedly foaming up stronger than for craft beer. According to Nielsen, FMBs hold 4 percent of the overall malt-based alcoholic beverage volume in the U.S., but are contributing 31 percent of the volume

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The Twisted Tea brand extended into hard lemonade earlier this year.

growth based on the total of all segments that are posting growth. Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co., a FMB pioneer in 1999 with the launch of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, reports that flavored malt beverages are up 17 percent in the last year, “including all apple products, which have almost doubled,” said Kevin Brady, director of marketing. “We, like the entire industry, see a sustained flavor growth trend — a tremendous opportunity for us and our distributor/retailer partners to build sustained double-digit growth together.”

Young Men: The Surprising Target


Think women are the primary FMB guzzlers? Think again. Mintel recently found that young men aged 22 to 34 are nearly as likely to be consuming wine coolers, flavored malt beverages and hard ciders as they are spirits — on a weekly basis. Young men’s wide repertoire of alcoholic beverage enjoyment explains their greater consumption of FMBs vs. all women and older men, the research company reported. What’s more, cobranding with beer and spirit brands familiar to young men is also helping to grow category appeal, along with more complex flavors and higher alcohol content.

COLD VAULT Beer + Wine + CSDs + Energy + Water + Sports + Juice + Dairy

Higher Alcohol Content


Industry experts say young men — and Millennials, in general — are seeking higher alcohol by volume (ABV) content in their alcoholic beverages, and the fact that brewers have responded to this by launching higher ABV flavored malt beverages is giving the category more of a nod by serious brew lovers. Packing a strong 8-percent ABV are brands such as Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Apple-Ahhh-Rita and MillerCoors’ Redd’s Wicked Apple Ale. MillerCoors also recently launched the second installment of its Steel Reserve Alloy Series: Spiked Punch (a blend of cherry, orange and strawberry flavors), also with an 8-percent ABV. According to MillerCoors, FMB demand has climbed more than 21 percent since last year, with the potential for the category to grow even larger “as more than onethird of people who are interested in higher ABV FMBs find the price tag to be too steep.” Its Steel Reserve Alloy Series was created to offer value-seeking consumers a higher ABV FMB beverage they could afford. Since its launch last year, the brand’s volume “has been highly incremental to both MillerCoors and the overall beer category, sourcing over 45 percent of its volume from wine and spirits,” noted Malini Patel, brand marketing director of economy portfolio.

Flavor Notes More Noteworthy


The Millennial generation has been and is predicted to continue to “demand more flavor options,” according to Brady from Mike’s Hard Lemonade, which touts that it is all about “making things better, harder and more intensely flavorful.” Since 1999, the company has expanded from its heritage label into 14 different flavors and new product categories. The mike’s lineup now includes mike’s hard lemonade, mike’s hard Smashed Apple Ale, mike’s HARDER lemonade and mike’s HARDER punch. Recently, the company invited consumers to co-create with it on its Collectible series and “choose HARDER.” Fans are also voting for new flavors, as

Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co. gives its fans the opportunity to vote on new flavors.

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well as selecting new HARDER can designs. The can-design selection program initially launched in January via a partnership with can designer Onion Labs and it has since Apple-Ahhh-Rita is one way Anheuser-Busch is tapping evolved to include consumerinto the cider trend. designed cans, the first of which supported the new Apple Firebomb seasonal flavor. “The next generation of consumers is the first generation that is completely skipping their traditional beer years and going directly to flavored products like [these],” explained Brady. “The Millennial market will continue to demand more flavor options, and through social media they will continue to influence the development and introduction of seasonal flavors at several points throughout the year.” The upcoming launch of Jamaican Lemonade was crowdsourced as a new flavor from Mike’s HARDER Facebook fans, who are now voting on the flavor they’d like to see debut in fall 2015. Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors went with apple as their focal FMB flavor lately, reportedly in step with the success and popularity of hard cider. “As evidenced by the current cider trend, apple is an immensely popular flavor among consumers, especially for the fall,” said Tyler Simpson, director of marketing for Bud Light extensions at Anheuser-Busch. “In addition to Lime, Straw, Mango and Raz [varieties of Ritas], we wanted to offer Ritas fans a special drink fitting for the season, similar to our creation of the extremely successful Cran-Brr-Rita for winter months.”

Male/Millennial-Oriented Promotions in Motion


In keeping with the male/Millennial target, flavored malt beverage suppliers are going for promotional partnerships that could just as easily work with traditional beer consumers. This year, Twisted Tea from The Boston Beer Co. joined forces with Richard Petty Motorsports on its No. 9 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford team. “We are looking to expand visibility of this partnership next year,” said George Ward, director of off-premise national accounts for Twisted Tea. “Our NASCAR program has several packaging and pointof-sale elements that can be leveraged to create excitement at the store level, including on-pack graphics and customizable signage.” CSN




TOBACCO Cigarettes + Cigars + Smokeless + E-Cigs + Other OTP

Changing the Scene VUSE and MarkTen stake their claims nationally in the e-vapor category By Melissa Kress


n the summer of 2013, subsidiaries of Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and The Altria Group Inc. entered the electronic cigarette arena, completing the trifecta of Big Tobacco throwing their hats into the e-vapor category ring. R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. unveiled its digital vapor cigarette, VUSE, at a launch party in New York in early June 2013, one month before introducing the product to Colorado stores. VUSE entered its second market, Utah, several months later. In August 2013, tobacco retailers in Indiana began selling Nu Mark LLC’s MarkTen. Nu Mark is a subsidiary of Altria. The e-vapor product then hit store shelves in Arizona that October. Fast forward to this past summer and both VUSE and MarkTen began their national rollouts. To date, the products are still making their way across the country.

R.J. Reynolds’ VUSE digital vapor cigarette is available in 70,000 retail outlets nationwide.

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North Salt Lake City, Utah-based Maverik Inc. has had a front-row seat to the action. Maverik operates more than 250 convenience stores in 10 western states, including Colorado and Utah. Today, all Maverik stores carry VUSE and MarkTen — MarkTen hit its shelves in early June and VUSE arrived later that month portfolio-wide, said Jeff Arnold, category manager. Maverik also was a test market for both products in certain states. VUSE is doing well in the stores. In fact, it is Maverik’s leading brand for its electronic cigarette and vaping category. “It took off immediately in our stores,” Arnold said. MarkTen started off strong. However, it is now struggling with supply, according to Arnold. He noted that Maverik has had an issue with out-of-code product and its wholesaler was not able to supply MarkTen at the time he spoke to Convenience Store News in early November. “Their share and volume has dropped considerably,” Arnold reported. Brian May, senior manager of communications for The Altria Group, acknowledged that Nu Mark has received some retailer feedback about shelf life. The company is working to address their concerns and making good progress, he said. “E-vapor is a new and rapidly evolving category and we’re continuing to learn about supply chain and inventory management in this space,” he noted. As of late October, VUSE and MarkTen were not available in every convenience store, as was the case at Tedeschi Food Shops. Stephen Monaco, director of category management for the Rockland, Mass.-based chain, said its stores would be carrying the products in the next few weeks and he “anticipated e-cigarettes category growth as a result of offering” both. “The category has leveled off the last few

months due mainly to the introduction of vaping,” Monaco said. “I honestly believe the rollout of these two items will jumpstart the e-cig phenomenon all over again.”

panies’ approach to transforming the tobacco industry, Smith added, by providing a modern smoke-free alternative for adult tobacco consumers to consider, and in meeting the changing expectations of adult smokers.

MArking iTS TerriTOry

MarkTen can be found in about 80,000 stores as the A ShifTing LAndSCApe company makes its way eastward toward national disWith the introduction of these brands and the evolutribution, according to May. tion of the category as a whole, Maverik will be mak“Over the summer, we were in 60,000 stores; and if ing a shift from e-cigarettes to more vaping products, you go back further than that, it was just a little over a including e-juices and vaporizers. There is no timeline year ago that we introduced MarkTen into a test marfor the shift to be completed. ket in Indiana. In just over a year, we will be in national distribution. We’re really pleased with the progress so far,” he said. While everyone agrees the category is still relatively new, Altria’s latest quarterly earnings report showed that at the end of September, MarkTen was in the top three brands. “It’s still early days in this category, so you might see some movement back and forth. Nu Mark’s goal is really to become a leader in this category over the long term. That’s how we are building our plans,” May explained. “We’re really excited about the national distribution About 80,000 stores of MarkTen, and Nu Mark is building a robust currently offer Altria’s pipeline of innovative products.” MarkTen e-vapor product. May declined to provide a peek at that pipeline, but said Nu Mark is confident in its “abilities to meet adult smokers’ and adult vapers’ “I think this will always be in transition,” Arnold expectations in this category. We’re going to work on said. “Things are changing so quickly right now. For developing innovative products for them.” example, the vaporizers are going from open systems to closed systems and different types of juices keep hitting the market. It’s ever evolving. We’re just trying to keep LighTing A VUSe up with what’s new and what our customers want.” RAI is also eyeing the next generation of vapor prodTo that end, Maverik regularly conducts customer ucts, but its priority is VUSE, President and CEO focus groups to collect feedback. Susan Cameron said during RAI’s third-quarter earnLooking at the overall tobacco category, the growings call in late October. ing e-cigarette piece has not taken a toll on Maverik’s In 2014, the national expansion of R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co.’s VUSE digital vapor cigarette has progressed traditional cigarette business. As Arnold explained, e-cigarettes are still a very small percentage of Maverik’s smoothly, now in nearly 70,000 outlets nationwide, total tobacco sales and while e-cigarettes are the fastestaccording to company spokesman Richard Smith. growing segment, any declines in cigarette volume are “Early performance has been very strong, and indi“more than made up for in sales and profit.” cations are that we do indeed have a game-changer on Currently, Maverik carries four brands of e-cigaour hands, with strong repeat purchases from adult rettes, not including vapor products. Now with VUSE tobacco consumers,” Smith said. and MarkTen on the national scene, Arnold believes the Although he wouldn’t speculate on what may or industry will see some of the small players fade away. may not happen in the future, he said “we do believe “I think it’s very similar to what we saw with energy VUSE and the vapor category present opportunity for shots five or six years ago,” he said. “You had a lot of small continued innovation.” players getting into it and they slowly disappeared.” CSn VUSE is the latest example of the RAI operating com-

WWW.CSNEWS.COM | DECEMBER 2014 | Convenience Store News 65

STORESPOTLIGHT Pacifc West General Store

Where West Meets East Pacific West General Store sports a nautical theme from the opposite coast By Renée M. Covino


est Coast meets East Coast in a surprising design twist from Pacific West General Store, located in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles. Situated at the iconic intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway, the 76-branded gas station and convenience store was not aesthetically living up to its prime location and was in need of an overhaul, according to owner Robert Munakash, who described the old store concept as “boring and drab” with no real theme.

The new design is meant to evoke an old-time general store feel.

The obvious choice for Pacific West General Store was a beach theme to tie in with the neighborhood, but Munakash did not want the design to be obvious. “When you think of Pacific ‘beachiness,’ you think of straw on the ground and surfboards, but I didn’t really want to do that; it wasn’t hip — been there, done that,” Munakash told Convenience Store News. “Ocean-view gas pumping is sexy, but how do you get them to come inside?” After experiencing the hip vibe and East Coast/ New England beach home-inspired design of an area nightspot and bar called SHOREbar in Santa Monica, Calif., the light went off for Munakash. He decided he wanted a similar look: a throwback to the golden

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age of gas station turned roadside service bar that one might find in Nantucket, R.I. “To me, the East Coast beach vibe has a small-town village feel. It seems like it’s been there forever and will last forever. It’s very welcoming and warm, and that’s what I’m striving for,” Munakash said. He also wanted to complement his high-end community with an equally high-end design offering an outstanding customer experience. So, with the support of 76 brand parent Phillips 66 behind him, Munakash hired the same design firm SHOREbar utilized, Built Inc. in L.A., to transform his formerly unimaginative 10,000-square-foot “retail box” into something that has a more personal, intimate vibe for local customers and visitors (60 percent of the clientele is local, 40 percent is made up of tourists). Munakash praised Phillips 66 for encouraging him to “push the envelope” and bring “something different to the table.” In April, the remodeled Pacific West General Store — completely stripped and devoid of all “cold” metal shelving — was unveiled with new design elements that have an “old-time general-store feel, but presented in a totally modern way for today,” according to John Sofio, owner and founder of design firm Built. “We find that most big gas stations present a shopping experience that is daunting and bland, and the design is typically very unappealing,” added Sormeh Azad, creative director of Built. “We wanted something that feels organic and real, as opposed to fake and applied elements. But we also needed materials that could withstand traffic, be durable and add some warmth.” The new store design achieves this through elements such as: • Clear pine wood-paneled walls stained in classic grey; • Highly durable ceramic tile floors with a greywashed finish that “gives it the same warm feeling










STORESPOTLIGHT Pacifc West General Store

as the walls,” according to Azad; • Blue and white nautical striping painted on twoby-two squares of a T-bar ceiling to complement the grey and white color palette throughout and give off a beach club vibe; • Custom wood cabinetry and shelving created for the back bar with perfectly crafted slots for cigarettes and other stacked merchandise; • Vintage-looking, general store-style service cabinets and counters in areas like the coffee bar; • Cement board shingles that emit a Nantucket vibe utilized in areas such as a gazebo-like structure engulfing the sink at the coffee bar; and • Stylized restrooms with unique porthole mirrors, again evoking a Nantucket atmosphere. In addition to design elements that call out to customers to come inside and linger, the redesign delivers a space that’s a lot less cluttered, according to Munakash, who owns two other c-stores in Southern California, Village General Store and Santa General Store. “The redesign inspired us to merchandise the store lean and clean,” he said. Taking the tobacco bar as an example, the newly designed space only includes the 60 percent of tobacco brands that were actually moving prior to the redesign. “We’ve got fewer products in a cleaner, more organized space,” said Munakash. “It’s easier to maintain and we’re selling more cigarettes in a declining industry, which even my reps from Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds confirm. They tell us we’re up, even though the overall territory for them is down. I’m not stealing market share from anyone, I don’t imagine — my pricing strategy never changed — so it’s the design. Customers like shopping this space more and the overall experience is what is differentiating me.” Tobacco sales, which were previously declining prior to the redesign, are now up about 12 percent at Pacific West General Store, according to Munakash. The overall feedback received in-store has been extremely positive. “[People] say ‘what is this’ when they first walk in and then, ‘this is great.’ I love hearing it and, of course, the best compliment they give me is the increase in sales,” he relayed. Theme-based gas stations and convenience stores are trending right now, noted Munakash, who has observed some western-themed stores in California. “Owners like me want our stations to stand out and give customers an experience,” he said. “The 7-Elevens of the world are OK. They all have a consistent look, but I think people want more than that, and we want

68 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

Vintage-looking cabinetry and pine-wood paneled walls complement the grey and white color scheme used throughout the store.

to give it to them.” Tantamount to a successful theme, however, is a theme that gets carried through the store. “It’s not enough to have a nice look on the outside that doesn’t match up on the inside. That won’t resonate with savvy customers today,” he added. Munakash said the c-store industry should borrow a page from Sin City in terms of boosting stores with excitement every so often. “If you look at [Las] Vegas casinos, they refresh every three to four years,” he said. “We don’t have that ability, but we have to refresh as often as possible and strive to make it last.” The hardest part about the redesign, he recalled, came after the theme was chosen and he had to let the design team run with the vision and trust in what they did without interfering along the way. “As business owners, we might manage and merchandise well, but we don’t often know what’s in and out in design. I consider myself hip, but I couldn’t really manifest it into a c-store design. I realized I’m not a design expert. I hired experts and got fantastic results,” he said. CSN


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Here’s a Preview of Conference Speakers and Sessions Retailer Keynote Presentation: Category Management and Store Brands Moe Alkemade, Group Vice President, General Merchandise Manager - Convenience, Walgreen Co.

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General Session: Store Brand Opportunities with Health, Wellness, Sustainability and Healthy Aging Maryellen Molyneaux, President/Managing Partner, Natural Marketing Institute

Retailer Keynote Presentation: Private Brands — Big Growth in Small Formats: One Year Later Sean Thompson, Senior Director of Merchandising, Private Brands, 7-Eleven

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Spotlighting major industry events

The Shifting Fuels Environment Fewer gas stations, declining U.S. gasoline demand expected in the future By Brian Berk


he future of fuels and the fuels retailer took center stage during November’s 2014 Annual Meeting of SIGMA: America’s Leading Fuel Marketers, held at the Omni Nashville hotel. Joe Petrowski, founder and managing partner of Mercantor Partners LLC, painted a picture of a much different gas station environment in the future during his Nov. 11 speech, entitled “Shop TOC (Threats, Opportunities and Consolidation) in Mid and Downstream Fueling.” Due to the increasing acquisitions of convenience store chains by master limited partnerships flush with available cash, the convenience store industry will continue to SIGMA 2014 consolidate. The former CEO Annual Meeting of The Cumberland Gulf Group Nov. 10-12 of Cos. projects the number of Nashville, Tenn. U.S. gas stations will drop from the current 140,000-plus locations to 115,000 sites, although he did not offer an exact timetable for when this change will occur. The gas station operator environment will shake out this way, said Petrowski: • Thirty-two major U.S. convenience store retailers operating 56,000 gas stations; • Fifteen grocery/hypermarts with a total of 14,000 sites; • Two mega distributors operating a combined 5,000 locations; • Twenty super distributors with 18,000 sites; • Just 12,000 single-store operators, a large decline compared to today; and • Ten thousand unmanned locations. U.S. demand for fuel also will decline in coming years, according to Petrowski, due to what he referred to as “demand destruction.” Corporate average fuel economy standards, the rise of alternative fuels in the

70 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

OPIS co-founder Tom Kloza (left) led a panel discussion with Michael Ports, Tom Robinson and Stewart Spinks.

marketplace and the increasing number of people over 50 years old moving to urban areas will cause this demand destruction, he said. Nick Jones, energy advisor in the strategic planning department at Exxon Mobil Corp., also expects reduced U.S. demand for fuels in the future. During his presentation at the SIGMA Annual Meeting entitled “A Thought Leaders’ Forum,” Jones predicted that U.S. oil demand, currently at 8 million gallons per day, will drop to 5 million gallons per day by 2040. Three c-store executives served as panelists and were asked to assess Jones’ predictions during the Nov. 10 educational session. All three said they found his presentation fascinating, but Michael Ports, president of Wooster, Ohio-based Ports Petroleum Co. Inc., said the future fuels market is simply too difficult to predict. Fellow panelists Tom Robinson, president of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Robinson Oil Corp.; and Stewart Spinks, chairman of the board and founder of Greenville, S.C.-based The Spinx Co. Inc., agreed with Ports’ assessment. “If we can figure out [the fuels landscape for] the next three years, we’re in good shape,” said Robinson. “So many new technologies are coming out, making it very difficult to predict the market on a macro basis,” Spinks added. The SIGMA 2015 Annual Meeting will take place Nov. 9-11 at Westin Copley Place in Boston. CSN


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Roz Gilman Ad Manager 224-632-8243 rgilman@stagnitomail.com

R J Reynolds Tobacco Company

www engagetradepartners com


Stagnito Business Information brands also produces:

82 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM





www tcsjerky com



www wowvapor com


Supplier Spotlight

WOW VAPOR by Vapor4Life

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: WOW VAPOR V-Kit; V-Flavor; V-Cart; WOW VAPOR Disposable Product highlights: WOW VAPOR is the smarter way to smoke. Vapor4Life Inc. is the technology leader in the vaping industry. For more than five years, V4L has been producing highly engineered products and innovative technology that serve as a true tobacco alternative. After continuously making technological advancements, V4L is now launching its new retail brand WOW VAPOR in early 2015. The mission of the WOW VAPOR brand is to provide the most advanced vapor delivery system to satisfy the retail market. In a continuous effort to deliver a true tobacco alternative and relieve smokers from a chemical addiction, each WOW VAPOR vaping product contains a free zero-nicotine option. WOW VAPOR supports your journey to a tobacco-free lifestyle. The WOW VAPOR V-Kit is the next generation of the vaping category. The integrated system allows users to enjoy more vapor and flavor than any other e-cigarette or vape product on the market today. The unique pre-filled V-Cart produces optimal airflow, allowing for the flavor

and vapor volume to truly trump any vaping experience. The V-Flavor offers delicious flavors, optimal vapor and the most realistic throat hit to ensure satisfaction. Other features of the WOW VAPOR V-Kit include: pre-charged and ready to use; authentic throat hit; completely automatic, no button or activation required; four hours of vaping time per charge; and soft, medical-grade silicone mouthpiece. WOW VAPOR disposables provide a true smoking experience and genuine taste. After four years of research and development, this disposable vape represents the next generation of the market and is a clear substitute to combustible cigarettes. Ninety-six percent of consumers tested preferred WOW over NJOY and blu. Equivalent to more than one pack of cigarettes, WOW VAPOR disposables offer realistic tobacco/menthol cigarette flavors and a traditional cigarette look and feel. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: H.T. Hackney C-store outlets currently carrying products: Launching in January 2015

ContaCt information: George Buerger Vice president of sales 4100 Commercial Ave. Northbrook, Ill. (847) 944-8200, ext. 313 George@wowvapor.com www.wowvapor.com *Information provided by companies E-2 E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase | WWW.CSNEWS.COM










Editor’s Note

A World of Choices Second annual guide helps retailers sort through the fast-changing e-cigarette and vaping category


t seems like only yesterday (actually, it was almost exactly a year ago in the first edition of this special guide) that I was writing about the latest hot product to fly off convenience store shelves — the electronic cigarette. E-cigarette sales at convenience stores doubled in 2012 and then doubled again in 2013, before slacking off somewhat this year. Today, the products everyone is talking about are vaping pens, mods, tanks and other accessories. Depending on your point of view, vaping products are either: • The next big thing in convenience stores; • A new group of products to buttress the e-cig category; or • A fad that will burn out soon, or be relegated to small, independent vape shops. At the NACS Show in October, I spoke with several convenience store tobacco category managers from big and small chains, and every single one of them said their biggest question for the coming year is: Which e-cig and vapor manufacturers should they partner with and, just as importantly, which ones will be around 12 to 18 months from now? Even now, with vaping products having been on the market for many months, there is still confusion over the many companies selling different types of electronic nicotine devices (ENDs) — a term coined

CSNews has been recognized with more editorial awards, including the prestigious Jesse H. Neal Award for business journalism, in the past six years than any other industry publication. 2013 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award Best Single Issue, October 2012 2013 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award Finalist, Best Profile, August 2012 2008 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award Best Single Issue, October 2007

E-4 E-Cig & Vapor Guide | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

earlier this year by industry consultant David Bishop of Balvor LLC to include electronic cigarettes, e-hookahs and e-liquids. Tobacco category For comments, please contact Don Longo, Editorial Director, managers are almost pinat (201) 855-7606 or ing for the time (only last dlongo@stagnitomail.com. year) when their choices were limited to the different brands of simple disposable cig-alikes, rechargeable e-cigarette kits and electronic hookah products. Today, the choices are almost dizzying. That’s why this year, we’ve expanded our Convenience Store News Guide to Electronic Cigarettes to include companies that make all kinds of electronic nicotine devices. This guide provides retailers with a directory of prominent e-cigarette and vapor product suppliers, with important information on what they sell, product highlights, price points, distribution and contact information. These details were provided to us directly from the suppliers that responded to our call for information. We think this guide will help you make more informed decisions about how to manage this growing but confusing subcategory of your tobacco department. CSN

2013 Eddie Award Honorable Mention, Folio: magazine Business to Business, Retail, Full Issue, October 2012 2011 Silver Eddie Award, Folio: magazine Business to Business, Retail, Full Issue, October 2010 2011 Silver Eddie Award, Folio: magazine Business to Business, Retail, Best Single Article, October 2010 2009 Gold Ozzie Award, Folio: magazine Best Use of Illustration, October 2008 2009 Silver Eddie Award, Folio: magazine Business to Business, Retail, Full Issue, October 2008 2009 Bronze Eddie Award, Folio: magazine Business to Business, Retail, Website 2007 Silver Ozzie Award, Folio: magazine Best Use of Typography, November 2006

2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors, Midwest Regional Bronze Azbee Award Best Editorial/Commentary, July 2012 2010 American Society of Business Publication Editors, Northeast Regional Silver Azbee Award Feature Article Design, November 2010 2010 Trade Association Business Publications Intl. Tabbie Awards Honorable Mention, Front Cover Illustration, October 2009 2009 Trade Association Business Publications Intl. Tabbie Awards Gold, Front Cover Illustration, February 2008 Honorable Mention, Best Single Issue, October 2008

Supplier Spotlight

CB Distributors Inc.

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Vapin Plus Liquid Vaporizer 650 and 1100 mAh Pens; Viper Dry Tobacco Leaf Vaporizer; Bottom Dual Coil Vaporizer (BDC); e-liquid; accessories Product highlights: Vapin Plus Vaporizer Pens offer the latest technology and quality at a competitive price. The 650 mAh (SRP $19.99) and 1100 mAh (SRP $29.99) pens feature large 2.5-milliliter tanks with replaceable atomizers. The wickless design and gravity-fed bottom coils produce more vapor with a true flavor. Vapin Plus 15-milliliter bottles of e-liquid (SRP $5.99) are American made in an FDA-registered facility that is cGMP rated. They are available in 13 flavors in 1.6 percent per milliliter Nicotine. The top six flavors are available in Zero or 2.4 percent per milliliter Nicotine. Vapin Plus 1100 mAh Batteries (SRP $16.99) last longer and are available in two designs and colors. You choose from Red, Blue, Camo Green or Camo Pink to personalize your vaporizer. The Viper Dry Tobacco Leaf Vaporizer (SRP $49.99) is made with a wickless ceramic heating chamber that uses dry herbs or tobacco for an ultimate vaping experience.

Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Atlantic Dominion; ChurchPoint; Core-Mark; Cubberly’s Distribution; Eby-Brown; Franklin Supply; Gem State Distributors; Grocery Supply; Harrison Company; Holiday Wholesale; H.T. Hackney; Imperial; JL Gaddy; Liberty USA; Long Wholesale; Lyons; McLane; MR Williams; Petrey Wholesale; Petrey Novelty; S. Abraham; Southeastern Marketing and Distributing; Stop N Go; TripiFoods C-store outlets currently carrying products: 4 Sons; 7-Eleven (select stores); ampm; Beck Oil; Beacon & Bridge; CEFCO; Certified Oil; Circle K; DB Oil; Delhaize Group; Enmark; E-Z Mart; Family Dollar; Fastrip; Flyers; Friendship Food Stores; Gate; GPM Investments; Green Valley Grocers; Holiday; Houchens; Kwik Fill; Kwik Trip; MACS; MAPCO Mart; Max Fuel Express; MOTO Mart; Murphy USA; Northern Tier; Pilot Travel Centers and Food Marts; Plaid Pantry; Rebel Oil; Robinson Oil; Rutter’s; Stripes; Sunoco; Sunrise Stores; SuperAmerica; Thorntons; Tiger Markets; Town Pump; TravelCenters of America; VERC Enterprises; Village Pantry; Wallis Oil; Warrenton Oil; Woody’s

ContaCt InformatIon: Jeff Piper Sales manager 2500 Kennedy Drive Beloit, Wis. (888) 824-3256 jeff@cbdistributorsinc.com www.cbdistributorsinc.com *Information provided by companies WWW.CSNEWS.COM | E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase E-5

Supplier Spotlight

Dune Vapor Group LLC

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Vapor8 E-Vaporizers; Vapor8 E-Liquid; Vapor J’adore For Her; Atom Prism; Atom G-Force E-Hookah Product highlights: Vapor8 E-Vaporizers provide an average of 650 puffs per charge. For the average vaper, that’s six hours of continuous vaping. Vapor8 helps revitalize your e-cigarette category by providing quality products, high margins and custom display solutions that give your e-cigarette category strong visibility. The suggested retail price is $19.99. Vapor8 American-made premium e-liquids help improve sales velocity and increase your profit margins by providing quality products with exceptional margins. The suggested retail price is $7.99. Vapor J’adore is about trendsetting technology that is both elegant and sophisticated. It’s about experienc-

ing tantalizing new sensations and above all, it’s about style. Suggested retail price is $7.99. Atom Prism provides a cool new twist on disposable e-cigarettes. The sleek design piques customers’ interest from the shelf and accelerates the customers’ decisionmaking process to buy. The suggested retail price is $7.99. Atom E-Hookahs have been designed with a true hookah afficianado in mind. The short body is concealed in your palm, much like a hookah hose. It features an authentic hookah nozzle and provides up to 800 puffs. The suggested retail price is $9.99. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Not provided C-store outlets currently carrying products: QuikTrip; Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)

ContaCt InformatIon: Steven Muzaic Vice president 3651 Lindell Road, Suite D, PMB #1003 Las Vegas (866) 731-0428 smuzaic@dunevaporgroup.com www.dunecigs.com *Information provided by companies E-8 E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

Supplier Spotlight

Global Tobacco LLC

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: X2O Xtreme; X2O ProV; X2O Cloud; X2O Kronos Product highlights: X2O Xtreme is a modern, highclass e-cigarette brand, making a huge impression with vapers all over the country. Most notable is the brand’s exciting line of e-liquids. Available in 19 distinctive flavors, the vaper can choose from originals such as Tobacco Menthol; tropical flavors such as Umbrella Colada, a fresh pineapple coconut liquid; or more unique options like Black Voodoo, a spicy grape-raspberry liquid. What distinguishes these liquids from the rest is its incorporation of Swiss nicotine, the highest grade of nicotine produced. Depending on the flavor, the amount of nicotine within a liquid can range from 10

to 18 milligrams. All of the e-liquids are developed and manufactured in the United States, signifying their quality. Vapers can also be rest assured that the liquids will not be harmful to them as they are Diacetyl and Acetyl Propionyl free. Lab certification can be made available for reference. When it comes to other e-products, there is no comparable e-liquid on the market. Private label is welcomed as well. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Available in all major distributors throughout the United States C-store outlets currently carrying products: Distributed in more than 10,000 retail outlets nationwide

ContaCt InformatIon: Amy McDade Sales manager 2861 Congressman Lane, Ste. 300 Dallas (214) 357-6653 orders@globaltobaccollc.com www.x20-usa.com *Information provided by companies E-10 E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

Supplier Spotlight

Ploom Inc.

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Pax by Ploom; Blend X Vape Leaf Pipe Tobacco; Ploom Model Two with Ploom tobacco pods pre-filled with real tobacco Product highlights: Pax by Ploom is a best-in-class compact portable vaporizer that sets the standard for simplicity of use, elegant design and an exceptional vaporization experience. The suggested retail price is $249. Blend X is a first-in-class vape leaf tobacco for your vaporizer customers and your pipe tobacco customers. Offering a brilliant blend of the finest matured Golden Virginia tobaccos, its creamy mellow flavor and subtle aroma make it an all-around crowdpleaser. Blend X delivers an optimal Pax experience. Suggested price is $12.99.

Ploom Model Two with Tobacco Pods is the newest addition to Ploom’s line of luxury vaporization products. It is the new way to enjoy real tobacco, offering a satisfying transition from smoking to vaporizing. The suggested retail price for the device is $39.99, while the suggested price for the pods is $5.99-plus OTP. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Atlantic Dominion; J.T. Davenport; Core-Mark; Phillips and King; PitCo; Eby-Brown; Richmond Masters; LJ Zucca; Mountain Service Distributors; Chambers & Owen; Liberty USA; Sledd; S. Abraham & Sons C-store outlets currently carrying products: Sheetz; Circle K; Speedway; Redi-Mart; Short Stop; Condon Oil

ContaCt InformatIon: www.ploom.com

*Information provided by companies E-12 E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase | WWW.CSNEWS.COM



“The best-known high-end vaporizer on the market today.”










Based on suggested wholesale price. Excludes state OTP tax.




Charging Dock



Oven Lid

Pack of Screens (3)

Car Charger

Carry Case

Cleaning Kit

To order Pax by Ploom contact your Ploom distributor or visit Ploom.com/retail/wholesale.

Bottled Lubricant

Supplier Spotlight

Logic Technology Development LLC

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Disposable; rechargeable; advanced vapor systems Product highlights: Logic’s latest innovation is the all-new Logic Pro–Advanced Vapor System. Logic Pro offers a regulatory forward approach, with the same great trade margins and programs. It features a familiar style of vaporizer, but with a worldwide patent-pending capsule technology. The pre-filled e-liquid capsules end the frustrations of e-liquid consumers by eliminating the mess and inherent dangers of open e-liquid systems. The capsules are offered in a five-pack for $9.99, and each five-pack is equal to 25 percent more puffs than a 10-milliliter e-liquid bottle. Logic Pro returns revenues and profits to retail stores nationwide by eliminating the need for an open bottle of e-liquid available at a massive discount in online stores. Logic Pro’s Vaporizer Kit has a suggested

retail price of $24.99. The Logic Pro Kit is a fantastic value to consumers. It contains a Logic Pro vaporizer, wall charger, USB charger and a lanyard. Logic offers premium disposable e-cigarettes for a suggested retail price of $9.95, and premium rechargeable e-cigarettes for a suggested retail price of $19.99. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Available at all major convenience distributors nationwide C-store outlets currently carrying products: Available at most major c-store outlets nationwide, including: 7-Eleven; Circle K; Cumberland Farms; GPM Investments; Hess; Holiday Stationstores; Kroger Co.; MAPCO; Military; The Pantry’s Kangaroo Express; QuikTrip; Sunoco; Stripes; Speedway; Stewart’s Shops; Tedeschi; TravelCenters of America; Wawa

ContaCt InformatIon: Chris Colón Vice president, trade marketing 2004 NW 25th Ave. Pompano Beach, Fla. (973) 214-8668 chris@logicecig.com www.logicecig.com *Information provided by companies E-14 E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

Supplier Profiles

Ballantyne Brands LLC

blu eCigs Electronic Cigarettes E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Rechargeable electronic cigarette kits and disposables; electronic cigarette flavor cartridges and tanks

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Mistic Electronic Cigarettes; Haus Personal Vaporizer by Mistic Product highlights: Mistic electronic cigarettes is an independent brand of high-quality vapor products, primarily sold through brick-and-mortar retail channels under the direction of its parent company, Ballantyne Brands. The company’s Mistic brand of rechargeable and non-rechargeable e-cigarettes, as well as its HAUS line of vapor products including the HAUS Personal Vaporizer by Mistic and HAUS e-liquids, are sold in approximately 70,000 retail outlets and wholesalers across the United States. The company produces all of its e-liquid in the U.S., including the bottling and filling of its HAUS branded e-liquid bottles, as well as the filling and assembly of Mistic refill cartridges and starter packs. Suggested retail prices for its products are: Haus Starter Kit, $24.99; Haus E-Liquid 10-milliliter bottles, $7.99; Mistic Starter Kit, $14.99; and Mistic 5-Pack Refill Cartridges, $14.99. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: H.T. Hackney Co.; McLane Co.; Core-Mark; Nash Finch; Petrey C-store outlets currently carrying products: Circle K; Kangaroo Express (The Pantry); Speedway; Hess; CEFCO ContaCt InformatIon: John Wiesehan III Vice president of sales 10700 Sikes Place, Ste. 120 Charlotte, N.C. (704) 837-2071 john@misticecigs.com www.misticecigs.com

Product highlights: Rechargeable kits (blu PLUS+ and blu Rechargeable) feature a pack that charges the battery while carrying the e-cigarette for on-the-go availability. Kits also include flavor cartridges (or blu Tanks) and two rechargeable batteries. The suggested retail price is $34.99 for blu Rechargeable and $42.99 for blu PLUS+. Disposables are designed for convenience. Simply use and discard when done; no recharging necessary. Each disposable is equivalent to approximately two packs of tobacco cigarettes. Available in Classic Tobacco, Magnificent Menthol and Cherry Crush, the suggested price is $9.99. blu Tanks are closed-in, non-refillable tank systems designed for the blu PLUS+. Each tank equals approximately two and a half packs of tobacco cigarettes. Available to retailers in Classic Tobacco, Magnificent Menthol, Vivid Vanilla and Cherry Crush, suggested price is $14.99. blu Cartridges are used with the blu Rechargeable Kit. Five cartridges come per pack. Each cartridge equals approximately one pack of tobacco cigarettes. Available to retailers in Classic Tobacco, Magnificent Menthol, Vivid Vanilla and Cherry Crush, suggested price is $14.99. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Not provided C-store outlets currently carrying products: More than 160,000 retail locations nationwide

ContaCt InformatIon: Bob Caldarella Vice president, sales development 714 Green Valley Road Greensboro, N.C. rcaldarella@lortobco.com

*Information provided by companies WWW.CSNEWS.COM | E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase E-15

Supplier Profiles

DuraSmoke to be ISO 9001:2008 and cGMP compliant through a third-party auditor. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: 500-plus vape shops around the country carry DuraSmoke line; private-label clients are in more than 25,000 convenience stores E-cigarette & vapor products sold: 10 milliliter e-liquid bottle; 15 milliliter e-liquid bottle; 30 milliliter e-liquid bottle; private label e-liquid, starter kits; extract e-liquid; hardware

C-store outlets currently carrying products: Privatelabel agreements prohibit naming brands and stores ContaCt InformatIon: Nick Packard Director of sales and marketing 10437 W. Innovation Drive, Ste. 162 Wauwatosa, Wis. (414) 935-4530 npackard@durasmoke.com www.durasmoke.com

Product highlights: Every bottle of e-liquid is made in DuraSmoke’s Milwaukee-based facility using ingredients from American-based companies. Hundreds of flavors, multiple base liquid and nicotine options, as well as a variety of bottle type options are offered. DuraSmoke was the first manufacturer in the country

Eco-Cigs Inc.

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Eco-Cigs Disposables; Eco-Cigs Tip-Rechargeable; Eco-Cigs Cartomizers; Sapphyre Disposables; Sapphyre Hookah; Sapphyre Vapes; Sapphyre ReCharge; Sapphyre ClearView eLiquid Tanks Product highlights: Eco-Cigs is an innovative company that believes in healthier lifestyles. It makes products that are beautifully designed, easy to use and deliver

the highest quality consumer experience. Eco-Cigs’ award-winning Tip-Rechargeable requires no disassembly recharge and is the industry standard for easy-to-use rechargeable e-cigs. Eco-Cigs cartomizer refills are long lasting and have many loyal consumers who just can’t get enough of their fantastic flavor. Sapphyre tobacco and menthol disposables deliver a premium vapor experience and, at a suggested retail price of $6.99, are a clear Tier 2 alternative to category leaders. Sapphyre Hookah is a super-premium vape, with eight great flavors, zero nicotine and approaches 50 percent gross profit margin for retailers. Sapphyre Vapes is the only “customizable” eJuice program at retail. Flavor Drops and “unflavored” NicMix gives the consumer hundreds of flavor combinations, while reducing retailer and distributor SKU counts by 66 percent. Sapphyre ReCharge (launching in December) marries the company’s “Tip-Charging” technology with the latest in cartridge innovation. ClearView eLiquid *Information provided by companies

E-16 E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

DNA Distributors Inc.

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Cigalectric; Just Juice; The Happy Cig Product highlights: DNA Distributors carries a full line of electronic cigarettes and vaping products. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Products can be found at a number of wholesalers throughout the country. Contact company for a complete list of participating wholesalers. C-store outlets currently carrying products: Products can be found at a number of retailers throughout the country. Contact company for a complete list of participating retailers. ContaCt InformatIon: Dan Mastrolonardo President 1261 Humbracht Circle, #D Bartlett, Ill. (847) 665-8300 sales@dnadistributors.com www.dnadistributors.com

CIGR8|Merkur Group Inc.

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: E-cigars; vape pens; pre-filled cartridges; e-juice; e-hookah Product highlights: Not provided Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Not provided C-store outlets currently carrying products: Not provided

ContaCt InformatIon: James Caldwell Executive assistant 7401 Handen Drive Rowlett, Texas (214) 659-3575 james@cigr8.com www.cigr8.com

Tanks deliver the experience of a vape pen with the safety and convenience of a closed-system refill.

Beverage Co; B&B Distributing; Saccani Distributing; Morris Distributing; many others

Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Garber Brothers; Pine State Trading; Nova Distributors; NY Community Wholesale; K&K Supply; Nifty Novelty; Wolfe News; Harrisburg News; The Evan Group; Hamilton News; Holyoke News; Easton News; Fall River News; Distribution Marketing of Delaware; Perry Distributing; Crown Beverage; Jefferson Distributing; Global Resource Business Group; Joseph Mullarkey Dist.; Central Beverage; S. Wisconsin News; Palmentere Brothers; Folsom Distributing; Kimball Distributing; Jack Hilliard Dist.; John Lenore Dist.; Haralambos

C-store outlets currently carrying products: C-store chains, independents, liquor stores and small-format grocers ContaCt InformatIon: Tony Vecchie Senior vice president, sales & distribution 3326 Commercial Ave. Northbrook, Ill. (855) 326-2447, ext. 105 tony@eco-cigs.com www.eco-cigs.com www.sapphyrecigs.com

*Information provided by companies WWW.CSNEWS.COM | E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase E-17

Supplier Profiles

Imperial Smoke

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Imperial E-liquid; Imperial Vaporizer Pen; Imperial Disposable Hookahs Product highlights: Imperial Smoke manufactures its own e-liquids in San Diego, operates in a clean room environment, and seals its bottles for safety and tamper proof. The company offers a 20-milliliter bottle at a suggested retail price of $7.99. Imperial Vaporizer Pens use a 900mAh smart battery technology, with a 2-milliliter Dual Coil Tank and USB wire with overcharge protection — all complete in a very nice metal case. The suggested retail price for the complete units is $19.99. Imperial Smoke has taken its success to the next level. It has changed its look and now offers the allnew Imperial Disposable Hookah, a 1,000-puff disposable hookah in 12 different flavors. The suggested retail price is $9.99. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Not provided C-store outlets currently carrying products: Circle K — Southwest, Arizona & Texas; The Pantry’s Kangaroo Express; PC&F ContaCt InformatIon: Imperial Smoke 10870 Hartley Road, #B Santee, Calif. (619) 596-9600 ross@imperialcigs.com www.imperialcigs.com

iSmoke LLC E-cigarette & vapor products sold: iSmoke Bolt; iSmoke Twist; iSmoke disposable e-cigarette (original and menthol); iSmoke rechargeable starter kit (original and menthol); iSmoke 5-pack refills (original and menthol); E-juice 10 milliliter (original and menthol) Product highlights: iSmoke was founded on a belief, a credence that there had to be a better way to employ technology to create the ultimate vaping experience — more vapor, superior flavor and the greatest hit. Day by day, the company is learning, improving, perfecting. iSmoke is passionate about delivering the best vaping experience out there. This passion drives its continued innovation. Products include the iSmoke Bolt, a rechargeable, refillable e-juice modular device (suggested retail price of $49.99). iSmoke Twist is a rechargeable, refillable e-juice modular device with adjustable voltage with 10-milliliter original strong e-juice bottle (suggested retail price is $39.99). The iSmoke rechargeable starter kit is a rechargeable e-cigarette starter kit that comes with two refills (suggested retail price is $19.99). iSmoke 5-pack refills have a suggested retail price of $14.99, and iSmoke E-juice has a suggested price of $7.99. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Contact iSmoke for list of carrying distributors. C-store outlets currently carrying products: iSmoke has a diverse retail distribution footprint. Contact iSmoke for a list. ContaCt InformatIon: Chris Mitchell Chief marketing officer 21 Englehard Drive Monroe, N.J. (417) 860-7627 cmitchell@ismoke.com www.ismoke.com *Information provided by companies

E-18 E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

Lizard Juice LLC

NicStick Inc.

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Starter Kits; variable voltage batteries; wide range of tanks and coils; lanyards; suckers; chargers; premium quality e-juice Product highlights: Lizard Juice sources only the absolute best ingredients for all of its products. The company offers 40 flavors to satisfy any taste bud, and cutting-edge products that provide you with all of the latest technologies as they become available. Its products are available in more than 100 retail locations. You might find cheaper e-cigarettes and e-juice on the market, but you will not find any better than Lizard Juice. A lot of thought and planning has gone into offering customers the best quality, easiest to use and most fun to vape e-cigarettes and e-juice. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Island Distribution Co. C-store outlets currently carrying products: Dion’s Quick Marts; various BP, CITGO, Sunoco, Shell and Valero convenience stores

ContaCt InformatIon: Gary Wilder Marketing 12600 S. Belcher Road, Ste. 105 Largo, Fla. (877) 799-4578 info@lizardjuice.com www.lizardjuice.com

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: MODS; 100-percent VG eLiquid; 50/50 blend eLiquids; EGO kits; disposables; e-hookah Product highlights: Not provided Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Core-Mark C-store outlets currently carrying products: More than 10,000 convenience store outlets, including: Tobacco SuperStore; Flash Markets; JP Flash; Remke Markets; Smoker’s Choice

ContaCt InformatIon: Michael Young CEO 1830 Angus Lee Drive Lawrenceville, Ga. (888) 707-3244 Michael@nicstick.com www.nicstick.com

*Information provided by companies WWW.CSNEWS.COM | E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase E-19

Supplier Profiles


Nu Mark LLC

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: NJOY King Disposable E-Cigarettes; NJOY Recharge Rechargeable E-Cigarettes; vaping products including NJOY Vape Pen Starter Kit, NJOY Top Fill Tank and NJOY E-Liquid Product highlights: NJOY King disposable e-cigs, available in more than 90,000 doors nationwide, feature an easy pull for perfect vapor. NJOY Kings have the look of a traditional cigarette and even feature a soft filter tip. NJOY Kings boast among the highest vapor volume output of any disposable e-cig on the market. NJOY Recharge is NJOY’s rechargeable e-cig platform. The Multi Kit features an elegant, all-in-one pack containing two batteries, room for five Flavor Chambers and a self-contained USB charger. Flavor Chambers come in both tobacco and non-tobacco flavors. NJOY Recharge boasts among the highest vapor volume output in the category. NJOY’s new vaping line includes a Vape Pen, Tanks and 20 E-Liquids. These specially crafted e-liquids come in 10 adult flavors and two nicotine strengths (10 and 15 milligrams). Flavors include Classic Tobacco, Menthol, Pomegranate, Vanilla Bean, Black & Blue Berry, Peach Tea, Single Malt Scotch, Butter Crunch, Blood Orange and Double Espresso. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Many regional distributors and top national wholesalers C-store outlets currently carrying products: More than 90,000 retailers in the United States and 55,000 in Europe ContaCt InformatIon: Vito Maurici Senior vice president, sales & distribution 15211 N. Kierland Blvd., Ste. 200 Scottsdale, Ariz. (480) 397-2292 Vito@njoy.com www.njoy.com

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: MarkTen Classic Original Cartridge 2ct; MarkTen Menthol Original Cartridge 2ct; MarkTen Classic Original e-vapor with USB; MarkTen Classic 2.5 percent NBW e-vapor device with USB; MarkTen Menthol 2.5 percent NBW e-vapor device with USB; MarkTen Classic 2.5 percent NBW e-vapor cartridges 2ct; MarkTen Menthol 2.5 percent NBW e-vapor cartridges 2ct Product highlights: MarkTen e-vapor has FourDraw technology for a familiar and unmistakably full draw. Most e-vapor devices only have one opening through which to draw the vapor; MarkTen has four. The MarkTen e-vapor device feels familiar in the hand. MarkTen is rechargeable. There is no need for any additional purchases or kits. It is also ready for reuse. All MarkTen e-vapor products come with a USB port. The suggested retail price for the e-vapor device is $10.49 and $6.99 for the cartridges. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Select packings available nationwide C-store outlets currently carrying products: Not provided ContaCt InformatIon: Jim Duke Associate manager, trade relations 6601 W. Broad St. Richmond, Va. (804) 274-2000 james.duke@altria.com www.altria.com *Information provided by companies

E-20 E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

PHD Marketing Inc./ Square

ProSmoke Inc.

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Electronic Cigarette Starters Kits (four kit levels available); Disposable E-Cigarettes in Classic Tobacco, Magnificent Menthol and new fruit flavors; accessories including portable charging cases, carrying cases, designer cases, car chargers and home chargers; other flavored e-cigarette cartridges and liquids (10 flavors and six nicotine levels available including Zero Nicotine); new full line of vaporizers and hybrid vaporizers will be available in 2015 E-cigarette & vapor products sold: Square XL Disposable Vape Pen; Square Drops E-Liquid; Square Rave; Square Mini E-Hose and Square E-Hose refill cartridges Product highlights: Not provided Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Core-Mark; RC Taylor; Pitco; Pine State; Topicz; Keiser Wholesale; Carolina Distributors; Trepco West; Philips and King; Kretek; Church Point Wholesale; W.L. Petrey; and more C-store outlets currently carrying products: Circle K; 7-Eleven; Fastrip; Fastrac; Giants; Pacific Rim; Sunoco; Shell; Arco; ampm; 76; Mobil; Shop Rite/Tobacco Plus; and more

ContaCt InformatIon: Robert Pijeira Director of strategic sales 1373 Ridgeway St. Pomona, Calif. (888) 942-5355 robert@squaresmoke.com www.squaresmoke.com

Product highlights: ProSmoke is the first and only company in the industry that has earned green certifications from the nation’s two top green regulation bodies. This includes platinum level certification from the Green Business Bureau for an eco-friendly 100,000-square-foot fulfillment and manufacturing facility. ProSmoke also recently earned the Gold Level Industry Leader Award from Vapor Digest. Starter Kits range from $50 to $100; vaporizers sell for between $30 and $250; disposable e-cigarettes sell for $8.99 to $34.99 per four-pack; and accessories and mods retail for $9.99 to $100. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Not provided C-store outlets currently carrying products: White Hen Pantry; Speedway; BP; Shell; Road Ranger

ContaCt InformatIon: Matthew N. President of sales P.O. Box 6130 Bloomingdale, Ill. (855) 776-3244 Sales@ProSmokeStore.com www.ProSmokeStore.com

*Information provided by companies WWW.CSNEWS.COM | E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase E-21

Supplier Profiles

Republic Tobacco LP

Tantus Tobacco

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: 24/7 PFT25 (Prefilled Disposable Vapor Tank); 24/7 e-liquid & vaporizer; 24/7 Rechargeable USB Slim Pack E-Cig; 24/7 Rechargeable Express Kit E-Cig; 24/7 Rechargeable Multi Kit E-Cig; 24/7 Cartomizers E-cigarette & vapor products sold: REAL and Johnson Creek Premium E-liquids and accessories Product highlights: The REAL and Johnson Creek Ultra Premium E-liquid lines are made in the U.S. from the finest-quality sourced ingredients. The manufacturing process is ISO 9001 certified. The robust flavor of REAL American, Turkish and Virginia Blends all provide a palate-pleasing vapor. Each blend comes in Full Flavor, Menthol, Gold and Silver varieties in 10-milliliter, child-resistant, tamperevident bottles. Johnson Creek E-liquids are available in three blends: Red Oak (PG Free), Original and Kiln House. All 25 flavors and three nicotine strengths are available in 15-milliliter and 30-milliliter glass bottles. Both the REAL and Johnson Creek brands offer a full line of high-quality accessories: starter kits, replacement batteries and tanks. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Not provided C-store outlets currently carrying products: Not provided ContaCt InformatIon: Jeremy Schoening 2301 Ravine Way Glenview, Ill. (800) 288-8888 info@rpbtob.com www.realeliquid.com www.smokejuice.com

Product highlights: The 24/7 team continues to innovate and the new PFT25 prefilled disposable vapor tank is their latest triumph. With PFT25, there’s no refilling. You just screw in and go, for a full 2.5 milliliters of American-made flavor and satisfaction. It’s so simple and convenient — no mess, tamper-proof and no leaking. The PFT25 is available in a variety of flavors and nicotine strengths. 24/7 e-liquids are made in the United States in an FDAapproved, food-grade facility. They are available in 14 varieties of flavors in 10-milliliter and 30-milliliter bottles. The 650 mAh vaporizer accommodates a larger battery for longer-lasting performance and satisfaction. 24/7 has pioneered a built-in retractable USB charger into its Rechargeable USB Slim Pack E-Cig. You can plug it directly into any USB port, with no cord required. It’s a classic, smart and compact design available in Classic and Frost Menthol flavors. 24/7 makes charging on the go fast and easy. The Rechargeable Express Kit E-Cig contains a single rechargeable 24/7 battery, flavor cartomizer and a USB charger. It’s available in two great flavors, Classic Tobacco and Frost Menthol. With the 24/7 Rechargeable Multi Kit E-Cig, when one battery is not enough, the impressively designed, soft-touch case comes with two batteries and space to store four flavor cartomizers. It’s sold as individual packs with two batteries. 24/7 Cartomizers are sold as individual packs of four and available in Classic and Frost Menthol flavors. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Call corporate office C-store outlets currently carrying products: Visit www.24-7ecigs.com ContaCt InformatIon: Ross Haynes National account manager 200 Progress Drive Russell Springs, Ky. (270) 866-8888 r.haynes@tantussales.com www.24-7ecigs.com *Information provided by companies

E-22 E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

US Vapor/eTron E-cigarette & vapor products sold: eTron Disposables; Vaporizer Kits; Replacement Batteries & Tanks; American Blend eLiquid; eTron Accessories Product highlights: eTron disposable electronic cigarettes are available in Regular, Menthol and Mild flavors. Available in 15-count display boxes, each e-cigarette equals more than two packs. The suggested retail price is $5.99. American Blend eLiquid is available in 20 flavors in 16 milligram and 24 milligram strengths. The suggested retail price is $3.99. eLiquid is to be used with eTron Liquid Vaporizer Kits. Each kit includes 900mAh battery, CE5 tanks and extended USB cord. Suggested price is $12.99 to $13.99. eTron Batteries are available in 900mAh, 900 Twist, 1100mAh and 1100 Twist. They come in the following colors: Stainless Steel, Blue, Green, Orange, White, Pink and Red. eTron Tanks are available in bottom feed Pro Tank, Slim Pro and MT3. All eTron products are packaged and ready to display. Acrylic displays are available to house the eTron line of products. Additional point-of-sale materials are available. All items are 100-percent customer satisfaction guaranteed. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Blue Ridge Tobacco; Bates Distributing; Amcon; BNB; Hardecs; Harvard; Hughes Candy and Tobacco; Topicz C-store outlets currently carrying products: Cheap Tobacco; Kwik Trip; Kocolene Marketing; JC Cigarettes; Warrenton Oil ContaCt InformatIon: Jay Kusma National sales manager 2581 Jupiter Park Drive, #E9 Jupiter, Fla. (502) 523-0613 jay@usvapor.com www.usvapor.com

Vapor Tobacco Manufacturing LLC

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: 3T Certified USDA Organic e-Liquid (sold in boxed 15-milliliter glass bottles with child-resistant tops); Disposable e-Cigarettes filled with 3T Certified USDA Organic e-Liquid (American Blend or Virginia Blend available in Full Flavor, Light or Menthol) Product highlights: 3T is the only USDA-certified organic e-liquid. Certified by Americert, the e-liquids and disposables proudly carry the green and white USDA Organic seal. 3T stands for True Tobacco Taste. These products especially please the smoker and former smoker looking for tobacco or classic menthol. It is the natural taste. 3T starts with just three ingredients: organic tobacco, organic glycerin and water. These ingredients are made into e-liquid using an all-natural process that has been awarded a U.S. patent. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: Not provided C-store outlets currently carrying products: Not provided ContaCt InformatIon: Tom O’Connell Vice president, national sales 6866 NW 20th Ave. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (305) 968-5255 tom@vtmorganic.com www.vtmorganic.com

*Information provided by companies WWW.CSNEWS.COM | E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase E-23

Supplier Profiles

VMR Products

Find the Right Retail Industry Leads with the Marketing Guidebook and Directory of Convenience Stores

E-cigarette & vapor products sold: V2 Brand disposable e-cigarettes; V2 Brand rechargeable e-cigarette kits (e-cig, charger and cartridge); V2 Brand pre-filled cartridges in several flavors and strengths; V2 Brand refillable e-cigarette cartridges; V2 Brand e-liquid in several flavors and strengths; V2 PRO Brand vaporizer (e-liquid and loose leaf cartridges) Product highlights: V2 disposable e-cigarettes are known for their long-lasting battery and great flavor. The suggested retail price is $5.99. V2 pre-filled cartridges come in five-packs and deliver authentic and thick flavor. Suggested retail price is $9.99. V2 rechargeable kits have a suggested retail price of $12.99. V2 refillable e-liquid cartridges come in two-packs and are the brand’s best-selling SKU. Suggested retail price is $9.99. V2 Platinum e-liquid comes in 15-milliliter bottles with an easy-to-use “drip tip.” Suggested price is $9.99. The V2 Pro Series3 vaporizer kit includes a vaporizer, e-liquid cartridge and charger. The suggested retail price is $44.99. Convenience distributors currently carrying products: McLane; Core-Mark; Eby-Brown, H.T. Hackney; HLA; Pine State; J. Polep; many others C-store outlets currently carrying products: More than 40,000 locations, including: 7-Eleven; Sheetz; Circle K; Sunoco; The Pantry ContaCt InformatIon: Rafael Llopis Vice president, sales 3050 Biscayne Blvd., Floor 8 Miami, Fla. (800) 570-0074 sales@v2cigs.com

For more information about e-cigarette and vapor suppliers, please flip this issue over and turn to page 34 in the Supplier’s Guide. *Information provided by companies E-24 E-Cigarette and Vapor Showcase | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

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Work smarter. Sell faster. Hundreds of Unique Search Criteria Export Functionality • Market Share Data Industry Analysis • Exclusive Reports Market Area Maps The Marketing Guidebook and the Directory of Convenience Stores will help you identify business leads, qualify prospects, manage marketing campaigns, organize sales territories and pinpoint industry growth or decline.

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June 17-18 2015

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center • Hall A • Rosemont IL The Only All Vapor Business-to-Business Trade Event in the USA Where Buyers and Sellers of E-Cigs Vapor Products and Accessories Meet to do Business. • 2 Full Days of Doing Business • Focused Conference Program • Hundreds of Exhibitors • New Product Launches • Networking with Industry Icons • Round Table Discussion Groups And Much More… Online Registration Opens March 2015 www.vaporexpointernational.com

Supported by Industry Associations:

Vapor Expo International is the Leading Vapor Event in This Dynamic Tobacco Category Circle the Date: June 17 – 18, 2015 Vapor Expo International is an event that’s too important for you to miss! Buyers Represent: Retail Stores, Wholesalers, Distributors, Convenience Stores, Vapor Shops, Vapor Lounges, Import/Export, Legal/Consultant, Manufacturer/Suppliers to the Industry, etc. Vapor Expo International 2015 is just minutes from O’Hare International Airport. Easy access to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center draws buyers from around the world.

TMG International Event

Show Management

www.vaporexpointernational .com

Registration is limited to Industry Only. Attendees must be 21 years of age. Tax ID, Business License, etc. is required to register. fnd us on facebook.com

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