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Offering c-store retailers, suppliers and distributors news and product info to stay abreast of industry trends.
Jan 6, 2023
Social Media Awards Podcast 2023
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte and Seth Bridges, founder of Rival IQ, discuss the 2023 Social Media Awards. For the third year in a row, Kwik Trip claimed the top spot as the overall winner across platforms. Listen for more on which chains took first and second place on the various platforms. New this year, the social media awards include TikTok, in addition to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Bridges details what this year's winners did well, and the trends ahead for social media in 2023. Hint: C-store retailers should consider joining TikTok, if they're not already active on the popular platform.
Jun 13, 2022
Winning the Last Mile and Boosting Online Sales
This month, CStore Decisions Editor John Lofstock speaks with Elie Y.Katz, President and CEO of National Retail Solutions (NRS) to dicuss retail trends, including e-commerce, winning the battle for the last mile and expanding a loyalty program. With vast retail industry knowledge gained from having owned over a dozen retail establishments, Elie has refined insight into the mindset and needs of the retail business owner. Elie coordinated the creation of the NRSPoint of Sale (POS) system and NRS PAY merchant services, combined with a loyalty and rewards network for IDT’s five million-plus customers.
May 2, 2022
Conversations With Women in Convenience Featuring Christy Patient
Erin Del Conte, executive editor of CStore Decisions, speaks with Christy Patient, regional director of operations at Circle K, co-chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Council and co-chair of the Women’s Council, about her experiences as a woman in business.
Mar 11, 2022
Tracking Customer Trends With Elie Katz
CStore Decisions Editor John Lofstock speaks with Elie Katz, President and CEO of National Retail Solutions (NRS) about the trends he is seeing in the retail marketplace. With vast retail industry knowledge gained from having owned over a dozen retail establishments, Elie has refined insight into the mindset and needs of the retail business owner. Elie coordinated the creation of the NRSPoint of Sale (POS) system and NRS PAY merchant services, combined with a loyalty and rewards network for IDT’s 5 million+ customers.
Mar 8, 2022
Conversations With Women in Convenience Featuring Joy Almekies
Erin Del Conte, executive editor of CStore Decisions, speaks with Joy Almekies, senior director of food services, Global Partners about her experiences as a Gen X woman in the convenience store industry.
Jan 31, 2022
Conversations With Women in Convenience Featuring Kendra Meyer
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Kendra Meyer, the vice president of real estate development for Casey's, to learn more about her experiences as a millennial woman in the workforce.
Jan 6, 2022
2022 Social Media Awards Podcast
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte and Seth Bridges, founder and head of product for Rival IQ, discuss the 2022 Social Media Awards. Bridges explains the methodology behind the awards and what the winners are doing well. He also shares best practices on social media for retailers for the year ahead.
Dec 22, 2021
Conversations With Women in Convenience Featuring Amanda Shymanski
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Amanda Shymanski, digital marketing & advertising manager for QuickChek. Shymanski shares her experiences as a woman in business and what she wishes she knew when she was first starting out.
Dec 6, 2021
Keeping Pace With Continuous Regulatory Change at Local, State & Federal Levels.
Thomas Mulloy, senior editor with CBDRetailTrends.com and CStore Decisions magazine, welcomes Jeff Ragovin, chief commercial officer with Fyllo, a company whose mission is providing compliance-first solutions for highly regulated industries. Ragovin discusses the difficulties for CBD manufacturers and retailers in navigating a continually shifting regulatory landscape.
Nov 23, 2021
The Impact of Hispanic Shoppers on Convenience Retail
John Lofstock, editor of CStore Decisions and executive director of the National Advisory Group (NAG), speaks with Horacio Gavilán, of the Hispanic Marketing Council (HMC); and Suzy Silliman, of National Retail Solutions (NRS), about the growing impact Hispanic shoppers are having on the convenience store market.
Nov 22, 2021
Conversations With Women in Convenience Featuring Carly LaBeau
Erin Del Conte, executive editor with CStore Decisions, speaks with Carly LaBeau, retail accounting administrator for FriendShip Stores and Beck Suppliers. A millennial, LaBeau talks about her experiences in the c-store industry as she celebrates her 11th anniversary with FriendShip, as well as FriendShip’s culture of rewarding employees.
Aug 27, 2021
Conversations With Women In Convenience Featuring Polly Flinn
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Polly Flinn, president of GetGo and executive vice president of Giant Eagle. Flinn has seen the convenience store industry evolve over the years. Today, more businesses are becoming more accepting of different styles and working to call in more voices. Flinn shares some of her experiences over her more than 25-year career and offers advice to the younger generation.
Aug 20, 2021
Mike Kostyo Talks Food and Delivery Trends
CStore Decisions Editor-in-Chief John Lofstock and Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speak with Datassential Trendologist Mike Kostyo about food and delivery trends.
Jul 30, 2021
Conversations With Women in Convenience Featuring Sandy Deel
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Sandy Deel, director of HR services and benefits for Thorntons Inc., to learn more about Deel's experiences as a Gen X woman in the convenience store industry. Deel discusses how things have changed since the era of power suits, and how having a mentor helped her navigate her career, as well as advice for the younger generation. This podcast is sponsored by Bic.
Jun 28, 2021
CStore Talks With Candice Clark
Candice Clark, CFO of Clipper Petroleum, talks with Erin Del Conte, executive editor of CStore Decisions about her experiences as a women in the convenience store industry, and the importance of creating environments that welcome a more diverse workforce.
Jun 11, 2021
Pilot Flying J's Tyler Tanaka on mobile apps, contactless payments, drive-thrus, and more
Pilot Flying J was recently recognized in CStore Decisions' 2021 Tech Innovation Awards for their work with contactless payments. To learn more, Erin Del Conte and Frank Beard reached out to Tyler Tanaka—the vice president of digital and loyalty marketing at Pilot Flying J. We cover a lot of ground in this episode, including why Pilot Flying J is leaning-in on mobile app strategies, contactless payments, and even drive-thrus. If you missed our coverage of the 2021 Tech Innovation Awards, be sure to click the link below: https://cstoredecisions.com/2021/05/12/2021-tech-innovation-awards/
May 24, 2021
Patrick Raycroft on EV charging and what's next now that the outdoor EMV deadline has passed
What's next for convenience retailers now that the outdoor EMV deadline has passed, and what should they consider when thinking about the business case for EV charging? Patrick Raycroft, W. Capra Consulting Group's convenience and energy vertical lead, joins Erin and Frank in this episode of CStore Decisions Live. Topics include: - What the EMV deadline means for retailers - Point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization - The challenges retailers face with EV charging - Why EV charging makes sense for some retailers but not others - And much more... Click below to read Raycroft's latest article, "What Comes After Outdoor EMV." https://cstoredecisions.com/2021/05/07/what-comes-after-outdoor-emv/
May 14, 2021
Conversations With Women in Convenience_ Kelsey Capellino
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte talks with Kelsey Capellino, category manager for United Pacific. Capellino, talks about the challenges of being a millennial woman in the workforce. Kelsey and Erin discuss generational differences in finding one's voice as a woman in business as well as navigating the pressures of social media, balancing family and work, expectations, having difficult conversations and setting boundaries.
Apr 23, 2021
Conversations With Women in Convenience _ Stephanie Doliveira
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Stephanie Doliveria, vice president of human resources for Sheetz, about her experiences as a women in convenience and member of Gen X, the challenges women still face today, as well as how Sheetz is leading the way with a new paid maternity and parental leave policy. She also shares advice for young women starting their careers.
Apr 22, 2021
Digging into the new HR report from CSD and Humetrics. Also, Buc-ee’s and DoorDash in the news.
How is labor management adjusting in the age of COVID-19? For the 13th consecutive year, CStore Decisions and Humetrics have collaborated on the annual Human Resources Benchmarking Survey, which polled c-store leaders about HR practices, labor challenges, and headwinds. Erin and Frank unpack the 2021 report. Buc-ee's is also in the news for expanding to Kentucky, and DoorDash is making noise about their two new dark store formats. (No, not DashMart. They're testing one called Dandelion Organic Grocery and another called A-Mart Asian Grocery)
Mar 25, 2021
Conversations With Women In Convenience_Lisa Dell'Alba
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Lisa Dell'Alba, CEO of Square One Markets, about navigating the unique challenges women face in the workforce. Dell'Alba talks about finding her voice as she stepped into her father's shoes as CEO of the company, coming into your own in the business world, and navigating your own and societal expectations.
Mar 19, 2021
GetGo's Jon Cox on checkout-free technology, delivery, new consumer habits, and more.
Erin and Frank chat with Jon Cox, GetGo's vice president and chief merchandising officer. This episode, sponsored by Apter Industries, dives deep into changing consumer habits, GetGo's use of Grabango's checkout-free technology, delivery trends, and what's on the horizon for fuel and convenience retailers.
Feb 12, 2021
What's in store for convenience retailers in 2021? Erin and Frank speak with John Lofstock.
What's in store for convenience retailers in 2021, and is eCommerce actually taking over the world? Erin Del Conte and and Frank Beard speak with John Lofstock, the vice president of CStore Decisions and executive director of the National Advisory Group and Young Executives Organization.
Jan 22, 2021
Cliff's Director of Foodservice on Category Changes, Trends
CStore Decisions talks with Cliff's Local Market Director of Foodservice Derek Thurston about its foodservice program this past year and its plans for 2021. The Central New York-based-, 19-store chain has experienced sales dips in the breakfast daypart, for example, but some foodservice items, like whole pizzas and local beans, have seen huge success.
Jan 8, 2021
2021 Social Media Awards
For this year's social media awards, CStore Decisions partnered with social media analytics company Rival IQ to track 65 convenience store chains' performance across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter from November 2019 to November 2020. In this podcast, CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte and Rival IQ Founder Seth Bridges discuss the award winners. Bridges shares insights on the methodology behind the awards as well as what other convenience stores can learn from what the winners did well.
Dec 18, 2020
Social Media Trends in 2021
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with social media expert Gini Dietrich, founder of Spin Sucks and author of the book “Spin Sucks,” about social media trends as we head into 2021. Dietrich shares insights on how the pandemic has impacted social media trends, which platforms convenience store retailers should be targeting and top tips for success.
Dec 7, 2020
CBD Market Insights With Casey Taylor of CivicScience
CStore Decisions Senior Editor Thomas Mulloy, who also manages companion website CBDRetailTrends.com, talks with Casey Taylor, vice president of client development for market research firm CivicScience about growing opportunities and strategies for brick-and-mortar retailers looking to join the CBD marketplace.
Dec 4, 2020
Tobacco Update with Tobacco Superstores
Joe Marelle, the CEO of Tobacco Superstores in Marion, Arkansas, sits down with CStore Decisions Editor John Lofstock to talk about the state of tobacco and nicotine and what to expect over the next year.
Nov 18, 2020
2021 Trends to Watch
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Daniel Burrus, global futurist, speaker and best-selling author to learn more about the tech disruption on the horizon for 2021 and how c-stores can position themselves for success.
Nov 6, 2020
Food and Beverage Trends to Watch
WGSN Director of Food & Drink and established trendologist Kara Nielsen spoke with CStore Decisions about the latest food and beverage trends to come out of the pandemic — from oat milk to canned cocktails to hatch chile and more — and what to look for in years to come.
Oct 27, 2020
CStore Decisions Live Interview with Terry Gallagher
Terry Gallagher, president of Smoker Friendly International, sat down with CStore Decisions Editor John Lofstock to discuss the state of the tobacco industry, pending legislation and how to be a responsible tobacco retailer.
Oct 16, 2020
Whatley Oil Co. Grows Zelmo's Zip In
CStore Decisions' Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Slaton Whatley, director of operations of Whatley Oil Co., and a third-generation member of the family business. The Columbus, Ga.-based company operates Zelmo’s Zip In Convenience Stores. Slaton shares the chain’s growth plans in the months ahead. Among other initiatives, the company is remodeling its fleet of company-owned stores in Georgia and Alabama, building new-to-industry locations and is set to build a new headquarters and bulk wholesale plant in 2021.
Oct 5, 2020
Entrepreneur Engineers Set Sights on Health Conscious Convenience Store Customers
Boston-based fruit smoothie machine maker smoodi is the brainchild of a pair of engineers who also harbor an entrepreneurial spirit. Senior Editor Thomas Mulloy and CStore Decisions Live talked with Munich-born Pascal Kriesche, one half of the duo collaborating to deliver fruit-based smoothies to customers looking for a refreshing beverage that’s healthy, fresh and clean – while featuring transparency in ingredients. Plus, as the machine mixes the customized healthy beverages, it’s also fun to watch!
Sep 18, 2020
The Hassan Family Grows Power Market Convenience Stores
CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Sal Hassan, president and CEO of H&S Energy, and his son Amir Hassan, operations coordinator for H&S Energy. The family-owned company is expanding its network of company-owned Power Market convenience stores and ExtraMile locations, while launching a wholesale distribution branch, proprietary delivery service, loyalty program and developing its first cashierless store. Listen as we talk about running a family business, and H&S Energy's growth plans.
Sep 11, 2020
CWU Executive Chef on Campus Changes, Fresh Food Concept
CStore Decisions catches up with Central Washington University (CWU) Executive Chef Joe Ritchie about the campus' new Fresh Bar Concept, which offers healthy food options using fresh produce grown right on campus, as well as some more traditional comfort food staples. At the start of the fall semester, the campus dining program is also launching mobile ordering and working to keep dining options fresh, safe and convenient for students and staff.
Sep 8, 2020
Speed Mart’s Entrepreneurial Spirit
Viral "Joe" Patel immigrated to the United States at the age of 10 along with his immediate family. By his teenage years, he was working in his grandfather's convenience store. Now, he and his brother — along with other family members — operate a small chain begun with the purchase and renovation of one store, growing with the new build of another and acquisitions of a handful more. This family-owned business never misses a chance to maximize its resources — doing many of its own renovations, embracing energy efficiency and pursuing new revenue via multi-function financial kiosks. Join C-Store Decisions Senior Editor Thomas Mulloy in a chat with Patel about Speed Mart's journey.
Aug 21, 2020
What is Blockchain?
CStore Decisions’ Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Jeremie Myhren, chief information officer for Rockford, Ill.-based Road Ranger convenience stores, and the chairman of the Young Executives Organization (YEO) about blockchain. Blockchain was invented in 2008 in response to the financial crisis. But what exactly is it, how does it work and what do convenience store retailers need to know? Myhren gives a basic overview of blockchain for those who aren’t familiar with the concept, and then shares how it’s being used today in retail — including at companies like Walmart and Starbucks. He also talks about how it’s relevant to convenience store chains specifically, and why it’s important for c-store retailers to pay attention to blockchain now. Myhren also gives a preview of some of the deep-dive blockchain information he’ll be sharing in his upcoming National Advisory Group (NAG) virtual session presentation on Sept. 9, at 2 p.m., and how c-store retailers can s…
Jul 23, 2020
Chris Postlewaite Talks Cruizers Foodservice
CStore Decisions speaks with North Carolina-based Cruizers Director of Foodservice Chris Postlewaite, who joined the 26-store chain in May. Postlewaite shares his plans for improving upon and expanding Cruizers' foodservice program, with a focus on pizza and fried chicken.
Jul 10, 2020
Irfan Tejani Talks Charge Up Growth
CStore Decisions magazine is recognizing Charge Up convenience stores as a Chain to Watch in the year ahead. CStore Decisions Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with young executive entrepreneur Irfan Tejani, the president and CEO of Tejani Holdings Inc., the parent company of Charge Up, about his path in growing Charge Up from one to 40 locations in just 10 years, as well his growth plans for the future and his advice for other young executives.
Jun 30, 2020
Selling CBD: Compliance & Legal Issues
As the Hemp-CBD marketplace evolves amidst an inconsistent regulatory framework, brick-and-mortar retailers are faced with questions about product quality, choosing reputable suppliers and complying with federal, state and local guidelines. Selling CBD host and CStore Decisions Senior Editor Thomas Mulloy welcomes Daniel McGee, chief legal officer with Solari Hemp, and Chris Howard, vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer with Forth CBD, to help make sense of it all.
Jun 29, 2020
CStore Decisions' Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Steve Gu, CEO and co-founder of AiFi, to learn more about NanoStore and the future of autonomous checkout.
Jun 26, 2020
CStore Decisions Editor John Lofstock talks with Suzy Silliman, the Senior Vice President, Data Strategy and Sales for National Retail Solutions (NRS) about the impact independent urban convenience stores are having on mainstream retail trends.
Jun 19, 2020
C-Store Oracle: Nicotine On Demand
Michelle Arthur, loss prevention and tobacco buyer for Montana's Town Pump convenience store chain, joins C-Store Oracle and CStore Decisions Senior Editor Thomas Mulloy to discuss tobacco-free nicotine on demand products, merchandising and sales trends.
Jun 4, 2020
Kum & Go Works to Be Part of the Change
CStore Decisions’ Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Tanner Krause, president of Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go, which operates more than 400 convenience stores in 11 states. Following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the resulting outcry and protests across the country, a lot of businesses are asking questions, including “how do we become part of the change that is needed — not just for this moment but long-term?” Krause shares how Kum & Go is working to be part of the change, especially by listening to the voices of people of color and educating themselves and their team, and how convenience stores can lead right now in their communities and to be part of the push for a more inclusive world.
Jun 1, 2020
Standard Store Talks Autonomous Checkout
CStore Decisions’ Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with Evan Shiue, vice president of finance and strategy for Standard Cognition. Standard Cognition was one of the first tech startups in the autonomous checkout space. It operates a 1,100-square-foot cashier-less convenience store called Standard Store in the heart of San Francisco. That store is open to customers and fully equipped with Standard Cognition’s autonomous checkout solution. Evan is speaking about Standard Store, autonomous checkout technology and trends ahead for autonomous checkout in 2020.
May 20, 2020
CStore Decisions Editor John Lofstock speaks with Mary Brookshire, who worked on the frontlines at Weigel's convenience stores for 41 years. Mary retired on May 1 and shared some of her most memorable experiences from the past four decades.
May 18, 2020
C-Store Oracle: Refuel Discusses Double Quick Acquisition
Mt. Pleasant, S.C.-based, Refuel has grown from a five-store chain to a fleet of 84 convenience stores across three states in a little over one year. Mark Jordan, founder of Refuel, and Travis Smith, chief administrative officer and general counsel of Refuel, talk with CStore Decisions' Executive Editor Erin Del Conte about its latest Double Quick acquisition and other initiatives.
May 11, 2020
C-Store Oracle: Position Your C-Store Chain to Thrive When the Pandemic Ends
CStore Decisions' Executive Editor Erin Del Conte speaks with John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc., about what convenience store retailers can do now to prepare to best position themselves to thrive when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
May 6, 2020
Greg Ehrlich, President of Beck Suppliers, talks with CStore Decisions Editor John Lofstock about the company's FriendShip convenience store chain and the current state of convenience retailing.
Apr 22, 2020
CStore Decisions Editor John Lofstock speaks with John Rodriguez, the Chief Operating Officer for First Coast Energy/Daily's Convenience Stores about its donation of 2,000 care packages to those in need during the COVID-19 crises.
Apr 14, 2020
COVID-19 Update: Human Resources Considerations During Coronavirus
Shortly after the Humetrics/CStore Decisions annual HR Benchmarking Survey concluded, COVID-19 arrived creating a very different retail landscape. Mel Kleiman, founder of Humetrics, speaks with Erin Del Conte, executive editor of CStore Decisions, about the annual HR survey, tried-and-true human resources best practices and what c-store retailers can do from an HR standpoint to be successful despite COVID-19.
Apr 10, 2020
COVID-19 Update Podcast: Crosby's Responds to COVID-19
Doug Galli, vice president and general manager for Reid Stores/ Crosby's, and the board chairman of the National Advisory Group (NAG) sat down with CStore Decisions to share how COVID-19 is challenging the c-store business and how his chain is responding.
Apr 7, 2020
C-Store Technology Oracle: How C-Stores Are Approaching Robotics & AI
CStore Decisions speaks with Frank White, founder of White Knight Marketing, about how convenience stores are approaching artificial intelligence and robotics, and what retailers need to consider before embarking on these new initiatives.
Mar 19, 2020
Choice Market Leads with Innovation
CStore Decisions recently spoke with Mike Fogarty, CEO of Denver-based Choice Market, about how Choice is standing out with better-for-you food, an omnichannel approach and new technology. The chain is introducing a new delivery platform, with plans to offer the entire store product base for delivery using its own fleet of electric vehicle drivers — ideas all chains can benefit from as they look to find new ways to serve customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Choice is also gearing up to offer frictionless checkout with the opening of its fourth location.
Feb 29, 2020
Selling CBD: VERC Enterprises Moving Full Speed Ahead on CBD
New England convenience store chain VERC Enterprises CEO Leo Vercollone talks about his company's robust commitment to entering the CBD-hemp marketplace through a partnership with Ceres Natural Remedies and his personal experience with CBD products.
Jan 3, 2020
C-Store Technology Oracle: Social Media Trends Ahead for 2020
Mari Smith, social media thought leader and premier Facebook marketing expert, shares social media best practices and trends convenience store retailers should consider for 2020.
Dec 19, 2019
C-Store Technology Oracle: What C-Stores Can Learn From the Airport Environment
Ramon Lo, publisher of Airport Experience News, shares his insights on how the airport industry is adapting to the new trends and technology disruption also impacting the convenience store industry.
Sep 4, 2019
C-Store Technology Oracle: Autonomous Checkout
Richard Crone, CEO of Crone Consulting and Heidi Liebenguth, managing partner of Crone Consulting, dive deep into what convenience store retailers should keep in mind when evaluating autonomous checkout opportunities, and what to do now to prepare themselves for frictionless checkout.
Jun 6, 2019
C-Store Technology Oracle: Biometrics and C-Stores of the Future
Aaron McLean, chief operating officer for Stuzo, shares information about the company's C-Store Future Vision Platform that predicts what c-stores of the future might look like. Nicola Buck, head of marketing at BP shares information on a lab test BP did featuring biometrics at the pump and other frictionless initiatives including BPme.
Mar 14, 2019
C-Store Technology Oracle: Anticipating Disruption & Tech Trends Ahead for 2019
C-Store Technology Oracle speaks with Daniel Burrus, a global futurist and best selling author, about the biggest technology trends set to impact convenience store retailers in 2019.