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RaceTrac Puts 25 Sites on Auction Block


ATLANTA — RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. is selling 25 corporate-owned commercial properties in 10 states, mostly in the Southeast, at auction Feb. 19-22.

The properties are sites that no longer fit RaceTrac’s needs, the company said.

“We’re not selling stores,” Liz McIntyre, spokesperson for RaceTrac, told CSP Daily News. “The 25 sites included in this auction are commercial-zoned property that RaceTrac owns, though there are no RaceTrac or RaceWays on these sites. This is simply land that we are selling. We are not divesting any stores. We buy and sell commercial property on a regular basis to ensure that the sites that we manage are a fit for our current business model. These sites no longer fit that criteria and are now for sale. Our portfolio of stores continues to grow on average 8% to 10% per year.”

The sites are in Greenville, Luverne, Moulton, Sheffield, Sumiton and Warrior, Ala.; Conway, Ark.; Lakeland, Miami Gardens and Milton, Fla.; Fayetteville and Perry, Ga.; Hopkinsville, Ky.; Port Allen, Slidell and Vidalia, La.; Brandon and Corinth, Miss.; Charleston and Columbia, S.C.; Athens, Tenn.; and Dallas and Garland, Texas.

Some of the properties formerly operated as gas stations and convenience stores. Some of them are adjacent to RaceWay sites.

“These are some properties that RaceTrac has no need for anymore,” said Dewey Jacobs, president of Target Auction Co., Dallas, which is handling the auction. “Valued $20,000 to $2 million, some of these properties have buildings, some don’t. Each site is highly visible with high-traffic counts for huge ROI potential.”

He said approximately 12 of the 25 sites are restricted from any kind of fuel distribution.

All of the properties will be offered online and some will be offered live and online, he said.

“If you’re in the market for prime commercial property in an area suited to retail or business requiring a visible setting, one or more of these parcels could be just the ticket,” said Jacobs. “This sale is loaded with opportunity.”

Target Auction will add a 10% buyer’s premium to the final bid to determine the total contract price paid by the purchaser. Terms of the sale require 10% down on auction day, with the balance due at closing within 30 days. Target Auction said it welcomes broker participation and offers a 3% buyer broker fee.

Based in Atlanta, RaceTrac owns and operates more than 420 RaceTrac convenience-store locations across four Southern states: Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. RaceTrac also owns more than 330 RaceWay c-stores in 12 states across the Southeast.

Greg Lindenberg

Secret Service Issues ATM Attack Warning


CHICAGO — The U.S. Secret Service has reported jackpotting attacks against ATMs in the United States and has issued a warning to businesses to be alert for similar schemes on their machines.

Jackpotting is a form of theft in which the perpetrator infects an ATM with malware or connects the machine to specialized electronics to control the device, taking cash at will.

The hackers are reportedly targeting front-loading ATMs manufactured by North Canton, Ohio-based Diebold Nixdorf. Specifically, the thieves appear to be targeting the Opteva 500 and 700 series Diebold ATMs, according to online news source Krebs on Security. The thieves reportedly pose as ATM service technicians to gain access.

The weapon of choice for these attacks is a strain of jackpotting malware known as Ploutus.D. The Ploutus.D malware family was first discovered in Mexico in 2013, the first reported instance of criminals attaching an external keyboard to an ATM in order to empty it.

The U.S. Secret Service has released a public statement on the attacks. “Criminals have been able to find vulnerabilities in financial institutions that operate ATMs, primarily ATMs that are stand-alone,” it said. “The targeted stand-alone ATMs are routinely located in pharmacies, big-box retailers and drive-thru ATMs. Criminals range from individual suspects to large organized groups, from local criminals to international organized crime syndicates.”

The statement also reported that the Electronic Crimes Task Force is coordinating with the private sector and other law enforcement agencies to apprehend the criminals responsible. ATMs running on Windows XP are especially vulnerable, according to the statement, and should be upgraded to Windows 7 to help prevent against this type of attack.

A statement from Diebold Nixdorf includes tips for its customers who wish to take additional measures to protect their ATMs. Broadly, the suggestions are to limit physical access to the ATM, implement protection mechanisms for cash modules and take additional measures to track and manage the ATM’s security.

Jackson Lewis

3 Steps to a Successful Foodservice Program


Brought to you by Ruiz Foods.

As online shopping and restaurant delivery proliferates, ensuring the future of convenience stores can seem daunting. However, there will always be on-the-go consumers who stop in for a drink or a quick bite to eat while they’re filling up their gas tank or on their lunch break during a busy day. For those customers, foodservice has the potential to meet a big need—they’re no longer satisfied with just packaged snacks. Nowadays, they’ve come to expect “real food”—foods made to order or served hot and ready to eat.

For retailers who want to continue competing and ensure interest in brick and mortar stores, building a successful foodservice program is key.

Learn more about your consumers

Knowing how to entice customers starts with knowing what they want and why they’re shopping at a c-store. According to Technomic’s 2017 Retailer Meal Solutions report, 74% of 18-34 year-olds say they purchase prepared meals from retail locations including c-stores at least three a month, with some reporting eight or more visits a month.

As for why they’re doing so, it’s because it’s convenient. The number one reason that customers choose retail settings over restaurants for food purchases is because they are already there—according to Technomic’s 2017 Retailer Meal Solutions report, 39% of consumers say they buy prepared meals from retail because they are already at the store and didn’t want to go to another location.

Knowing when they’re most likely to stop in is beneficial as well—customer patronage at c-stores is most frequent for snacks (between meals), followed by breakfast. Use this information to tailor offerings, such as roller grill breakfast options like Egg, Sausage & Cheese Tornados and savory snacks like El Monterey Beef & Cheese and Chicken & Cheese Empanadas in the Hot Case for later in the day.

Offer convenient, quick food

To that end, it’s essential to offer busy consumers foods that are quick and easy to take on-the-go. When asked in the Retailer Meal Solutions report what would encourage them to make purchase prepared foods from retail more often, consumers pointed to a few different things: better value and lower prices, fresh, made-to-order options and improved variety.

Retailers can help boost interest in their stores by expanding their foodservice offerings and ensuring that customers perceive the value—promoting daypart sales or bundles can help offer them more value, and improving variety is as simple as offering more flavors of a popular food like roller grill snacks.

Serve a variety of options

In the c-store foodservice game, there are a range of different foods customers are looking for. To ensure your customers find what they want, it goes back to knowing what to keep in stock. For instance, Technomic finds that nearly half of consumers want microwave safe packaging, and about half say that the availability of better-for-you choices is important.

About a third of consumers say ethnic options are important, too, so be sure to serve up some global influence, like burritos or taquitos, for instance, or egg rolls.

Offering a comprehensive foodservice program at a c-store is no longer an option—as technology advances, consumers have more and more choices for where to eat. To remain competitive, c-stores should offer fresh, made-to-order options as well as quick, grab-and-go/ready-to-eat foods, while incorporating healthier options and global flavors. 

Jack Link's Bringing Sasquatch to the Super Bowl


MINNEAPOLIS — As part of its new marketing campaign, Jack Link’s Protein Snacks will debut a 60-second commercial in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.—the brand’s home media market—during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. This year’s big game being in Minneapolis creates a good opportunity to launch the campaign, according to the brand.

“As the ultimate protein snack, [Minneapolis is] the perfect territory for the brand and this campaign,” said Tom Dixon, Jack Link’s chief marketing officer.

The company’s new “Runnin’ With Sasquatch” marketing campaign also features a series of videos highlighting types of Jack Link’s fans, which will air later in February on cable stations such as ESPN, FX and the Discovery Channel.

Moreover, Jack Link’s will celebrate the big game throughout Minneapolis with eating challenges, snack tastings, football-gear giveaways, photo ops and more. The Jack Link’s 52-Second Challenge, for instance, invites fans via social media to eat a Jack Link’s Beef Stick in 52 seconds. Those who succeed will receive various prizes, bragging rights and a possible shoutout from Clay Matthews, NFL linebacker and Jack Link’s sponsored athlete.

Minong, Wis.-based Jack Link’s offers more than 100 protein snacks in a variety of flavors, sizes and prices, and features brands such as Lorissa’s Kitchen, Matador Jerky, World Kitchens Jerky, Grass Run Farms Meat Snacks, BiFi and Peperami.

Brett Dworski

NATO Summarizes TPSAC Decisions


MINNEAPOLIS — In a public hearing conducted Jan. 24-25, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Tobacco Product Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) voted on several scientific recommendations for the FDA to consider in the agency’s ongoing review of New York-based Philip Morris International’s application for modified-risk tobacco product (MRTP) status of the company’s iQOS heat-not-burn product and Marlboro HeatSticks.

A modified-risk product is a tobacco product that reduces harm or the risk of tobacco-related disease. To obtain MRTP status, a manufacturer needs to file a MRTP application with the FDA for review and action. As a part of the MRTP process, TPSAC reviews and makes nonbinding recommendations to the FDA on the product.

After reviewing PMI’s application for the iQOS product and Marlboro Heatsticks, the nine-member TSPAC panel voted during the public hearing as follows:

  • On a vote of 8 in favor and 1 against, TPSAC supported the claim that the iQOS product “significantly reduces your body’s exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals.”
  • On a vote of 5 against and 3 in favor, with one member abstaining, the TPSAC panel stated that PMI had not proved that reducing harmful exposure would “translate to a measurable and substantial reduction in morbidity and mortality.”
  • On a vote of 8 against and 0 in favor, with one member abstaining, TPSAC did not support the claim that the iQOS product would reduce the risk for tobacco-related diseases.
  • On a close vote of 5 against and 4 in favor, a simple majority of TPSAC panel members did not support the claim that “switching completely to iQOS presents less risk of harm than continuing to smoke cigarettes.”

During the two-day hearing, company representatives described the iQOS product as a device into which compressed sticks of tobacco are inserted; then, upon depressing a button, the tobacco is heated to a temperature that produces an aerosol that contains nicotine. The tobacco does not heat to the point of combustion. While the representatives acknowledged that “iQOS emits toxicants and is not risk-free,” they said that “iQOS emits significantly lower levels of toxicants than regular cigarettes” and that “switching to iQOS can significantly reduce the risk of disease compared to regular smoking.”

During the second day of the hearing, 30 members of the public provided comments on the application. While a few people testified in opposition to the MRTP application, a significant majority of them, including several representatives from health organizations and a professor of public health sciences at a major university, urged TPSAC to recommend approval of the application so that current smokers would have a potentially safer alternative to cigarettes.

Because TPSAC is an advisory panel, the FDA may or may not accept its recommendations on an MRTP application. The FDA will now finalize its review of the application and issue a final decision on the iQOS product and Marlboro Heatsticks. While the MRTP application focuses only on whether PMI will be allowed to make a claim of reduced health risk, the company has also filed a premarket tobacco application with the FDA requesting an order to allow the sale of the iQOS product and Marlboro HeatSticks in the United States. A premarket tobacco application is separate from a MRTP application and seeks permission from the FDA to sell a new tobacco product that was not on the market as of Aug. 8, 2016, the date the FDA’s deeming regulations went into effect.

If the FDA does issue an order allowing the sale of the iQOS system and Marlboro HeatSticks, Philip Morris USA would then be the exclusive marketer and seller of the products in the United States.

Thomas A. Briant

Founder of Allsup's Convenience Stores Dies


CLOVIS, N.M. — Lonnie Allsup, who with his wife, Barbara, founded the Allsup’s Convenience Stores chain in New Mexico, died on Jan. 28, reported the Associated Press. He was 84. The c-store chain now has more than 300 locations in New Mexico, West Texas and Oklahoma.

Both Lonnie and Barbara Allsup grew up in the small town of Morton, Texas, and they purchased a “drive-in” grocery store in Roswell, N.M., in 1956, naming it Lonnie’s Drive-In. From there, they grew Allsup’s into a chain of 300 c-stores in 160 towns and cities.

The chain was among the first to offer 24-hour self-service gasoline and was an early implementer of selling foods freshly cooked on-site.

As the predecessor of the modern-day convenience store, a drive-in was open later hours and seven days a week, the chain said on its website. It was fully stocked and well-lit and served a neighborhood. In addition to staple c-store goods such as bread, milk and cigarettes, there was a large display of fresh fruit in season and a large display of soft drinks. Customers could pick up cold watermelons on ice from a horse-watering tank in the parking lot.

Lonnie and Barbara both worked in the store from opening to closing each day. The store had an open front, meaning the glass front of the building slid open like a garage, and merchandise was displayed on the porch.

The founders had a vision that prepared hot foods would sell in a drive-in. They prepared rotisserie chickens and ribs, sausage and doughnuts. Capitalizing on an opportunity to buy a second store in 1958, and a third store the following year, the business grew rapidly.

By 1964, with 12 stores located in three towns, the Allsup family accepted an offer to sell their chain to Dallas-based Southland Corp., then the parent company of 7-Eleven. Terms of the sale restricted the Allsups from operating stores that would directly compete with Southland for 10 years, prompting a move to Clovis, N.M. There they began again with one store, this time called Allsup’s Convenience Store.

They continued to center their business model on hot prepared foods and experimented with new items such as frozen drinks.

There was no self-service gasoline in 1967 in Allsup’s trade area, so they decided to try it.

The Allsup’s model proved successful, and growth was rapid. The stores were open 24 hours a day; all stores had self-serve fuel and hot prepared foods, including a new item, the fried burrito. Allsup’s had expanded its drink selection to include fountain drinks, which took too much of the clerks’ time to make. As another industry innovation, to solve that problem, the stores turned the drink machine around so the customer could make their own.

Allsup’s had grown to 100 stores by 1977, propelled by the Allsup’s Burrito, self-serve fountain drinks and gasoline.

Based in Clovis, Allsup’s sells fuel under the Alon, ConocoPhillips, Exxon and Allsup’s private-label On the Go brands.

Survivors include wife, Barbara; son, Mark (Jessica); five grandsons; two great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Todd; his parents; two brothers; and three sisters.

CSP sends condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

Greg Lindenberg

Fans Choose Krispy Kreme's Next LTO


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — By popular demand, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. will release a lemon glaze doughnut as a limited-time-offer (LTO) for a week this spring.

The company’s #VoteForGlaze campaign, which garnered nearly 2 million votes over the course of a week, allowed customers to pick a new flavor.

This initiative was a first for Krispy Kreme, which gave fans four flavors to choose from: blueberry, caramel, lemon and maple. Thirty-six percent of consumers voted for lemon, while 26% voted for caramel, 20% for blueberry and 18% for maple.

Although lemon was the clear victor, the company hinted that it won’t exclude the other flavors for future launches.

“Our fans’ passion for these flavors—and others—came through loud and clear on social media,” said Jackie Woodward, chief marketing officer for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. “So, while the polls are closed, our minds are not.”

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Krispy Kreme has offered doughnuts and coffee since its founding in 1937. The doughnuts are in about 12,000 grocery, convenience and mass merchant stores in the United States, and the company has more than 1,300 retail shops in 31 countries.

Brett Dworski

TA to Grow Quaker Steak & Lube Division


WESTLAKE, Ohio — TravelCenters of America is looking to grow its full-service restaurant chain with incentives for interested franchisee applicants.

Quaker Steak & Lube is waiving development fees and offering discounts on other expenses for franchisees signing on to open more than one location. The incentive is the next phase in the renewal of the more than 40-year-old brand, part of TravelCenters of America’s restaurant division.

Last year Quaker Steak & Lube updated its menu, design and operational processes, and now the nearly 50-unit chain is focused on introducing the brand in new markets. Qualified franchisees will be eligible for 50% off the initial franchise fee and a reduced royalty fees for three years. In particular, the full-service restaurant is looking to expand in Indianapolis; Philadelphia; Columbus and Toledo, Ohio; Lexington and Louisville, Ky.; and across Florida, the company said.

“Throughout 2017, we focused our energy on revitalizing Quaker Steak & Lube as a whole and implemented various improvements from streamlining operations to crafting our food and beverage menu to best serve our customers,” said Bruce Lane, vice president of operations and franchise services. “Now, we are fueling our efforts to aggressively expand.”

Franchisees can choose between three different store designs and other nontraditional build-outs, such as units in stadiums, colleges, kiosks and airports, according to the company.

TravelCenters of America, Westlake, Ohio, acquired Quaker Steak & Lube in 2016. Since then, the parent company has lead a brand refresh that has included a new Quaker Steak & Lube Express walk-up concept and the addition of a corporate chef. With nearly 500 travel centers and convenience stores, TA ranked No. 17 in a year-end update of CSP’s 2017 Top 202 list of the largest c-store chains in the United States.

Alaina Lancaster

Dollar General to Host Innovation and Supplier Diversity Summit


GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General Corp. will hold its first Innovation and Supplier Diversity Summit in April as it aims to pair new vendors with buyers and category managers.

The discount retailer is inviting new suppliers—and ones it hasn’t worked with in the past 18 months—that sell items in at least one of the following categories to apply:

  • Health and beauty care (HBC), personal care and over-the-counter/wellness items
  • General merchandise/all nonfood
  • Grocery

Companies interested in attending can apply by submitting their production information to Dollar General, and those selected must pay a $500 participation fee upon meeting with a member of the Dollar General merchandising team.

“We look forward to meeting with potential new vendors, learning about relevant products for our customers and expanding the number of unique and specialized offerings available in our stores,” said Jason Reiser, Dollar General’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.

Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General offers used and replenished products such as food, snacks and cleaning supplies, as well as products from manufacturers such as Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestle and more. The retailer operated 14,321 dollar stores in 44 states as of Nov. 3, 2017.

Brett Dworski

Casey’s Adopts Amazon Cash


ANKENY, Iowa — Casey’s General Stores has partnered with Blackhawk Network Holdings to offer Amazon Cash.

The service allows consumers to load between $15 and $500 in cash to their Amazon balance without fees by presenting a personalized Amazon barcode to a cashier at a participating retailer, along with the money they wish to load. The amount is then applied to the customer’s existing Amazon account and available to use for online shopping of eligible products and digital content on

Casey’s follows Sheetz, Kum & Go, 7-Eleven, Cumberland Farms and more convenience retailers who already offer Amazon Cash, in addition to other specialty retailers and grocers.

“We are thrilled to offer our customers the added convenience of Amazon Cash at Casey’s General Stores, which we anticipate will drive additional foot traffic in our retail locations around the country,” said Bill Walljasper, senior vice president and CFO of Casey’s General Stores. “By partnering with Blackhawk, we are able to bring Amazon Cash to our stores and continue to be a one-stop shop for our diverse group of customers, including cash-based shoppers.”

David Tate, senior vice president of Blackhawk, said, “We are excited about the first Amazon Cash launch with Casey’s General Stores. The integration of Amazon Cash into our network gives us new growth opportunities for our technology and expands financial inclusion for unbanked or cash customers. According to a 2015 report by the FDIC, the unbanked or underbanked customer accounts for about 27% of consumers.”

Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores is the fourth-largest c-store chain in the United States operating more than 2,000 stores in 15 states throughout the Midwest.

Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. is a global financial technology company based in Pleasanton, Calif. Blackhawk platforms and solutions enable the management of stored value products, promotions and incentive programs in retail, e-commerce, financial services and mobile wallets.

Jackson Lewis

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Vendor Application


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Here at AATAC we are always looking for companies that may enhance our member’s businesses and better the industry as a whole. If you are interested in becoming a preferred vendor within our network please fill out this information form.

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Located on the front page of our national website is a field called “Question Of The Day” (QOD). Each day we post a different question about the products and services that are presented through our website. The answer to this question can be found on one of our partner’s web pages. Our members will navigate through the preferred vendors page to find the answer to your question while subconsciously educating themselves about your company! AATAC effectively selects members who answer the question correctly to win rewards which include; rebates, complimentary services, cash, promotional offers from vendors, prizes, giveaways, etc. *Your QOD should be 1-2 sentences in length and can not name a specific product or company within the question. 

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  1. It tells them that your company has been vetted and approved for business within our network. 
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