Sheetz Reaffirms Commitment To $47,500 Base Salary

SHEETZlogoDespite judge’s FLSA injunction, Sheetz plans to continue with planned salary increases.

Sheetz has announced that all of the company’s salaried employees will earn a minimum base salary of $47,500 per year.

The decision was made in connection to the proposed Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rule from the U.S. Department of Labor, which called for an increase to the minimum salary for salaried employees, which was set to take effect on Dec. 1.

Despite a federal judge’s injunction on Nov. 22, which prevented the regulation from going into effect, Sheetz plans to move forward with the salary changes already communicated to its employees.

“Since our founding in 1952, the success and satisfaction of our employees at Sheetz has been vital to the accomplishments of the company itself,” said Joe Sheetz, president and CEO of Sheetz Inc. “This announcement represents our constant efforts toward attracting and retaining the best talent and being a great place to work. It is a commitment that reaches beyond compensation, to the offering of excellent benefits and a great balance between work and family.”

The pay increase affects approximately 270 employees and is expected to cost approximately $1 million annually. Sheetz employs more than 17,500 people in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina. In just this year alone, it was named by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, in the Top 12 Best Places to Work for Women and Top 35 Best Workplaces for Millennials.

The company operates over 535 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.


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Kum & Go Celebrates New Marketplace Store Opening

attachmentFirst 99 customers to receive a coupon for a 99-cent whole pizza.

Kum & Go is set to open a new eco-friendly convenience store in West Des Moines Iowa on Dec. 1.

The new store, located at 220 EP True Parkway will open its doors at 6 a.m.

The 6,200+-square-foot store featuring the Marketplace store design with a variety of unique offerings is the latest Kum & Go to be built in the metro. To encourage customers to try out those offerings, the first 99 customers to arrive on Thursday morning will receive a coupon for a 99-cent whole pizza.

The centerpiece of the store is an expanded and open food preparation area that customers can see from the moment they enter. Other location features include:

–       Elevated food experience with Kum & Go’s “Go Fresh Market”

–       Open kitchen layout, clear aisles and easy-to-navigate zones

–       Seating inside with heated patio seating outside

–       Complimentary Wi-Fi and charging stations for customers

–       Expansive beer cave and growler station with fresh beer

–       Designed for LEED-certified status, using energy efficient and sustainable design practices

“This new footprint represents everything that Kum & Go strives to be for our associates and for our customers,” said Kum & Go President and CEO Kyle Krause. “This is the evolution of our brand promise and business approach. Now customers can truly experience the “more” that we provide.”

The store will be open 24 hours a day.

Kum & Go operates more than 50 stores in the Des Moines area. Future locations of this new layout are planned for 2016 in Iowa, Colorado, and Oklahoma.




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VP Racing Fuels Launches New Website

vp_fuels_color_rgb_2x1.5New features include easier navigation and additional product information.

Customers of VP Racing Fuels will enjoy a whole new user experience when they visit its newly-redesigned website at, according to Chris Wall, chief marketing officer for VP Racing Fuels.

“Between our 70+ blends of race fuel and the new product lines we’ve launched in the last several years, customers sometimes had difficulty finding the product information they were looking for,” Wall said. “Our new platform is clearly segmented between product lines and applications so it will be easy for customers to zero in on the most appropriate VP product to meet their needs, whether it’s race fuel for their dirt bike, a small engine fuel for their chain saw or a fuel system cleaner for their street car.“

“While the site allows virtually all of VP’s products to be purchased online, a Dealer Locator feature will help customers find the nearest retail location for each of VP’s product categories as well as VP-branded gas stations,” Wall added. “The relevant documentation frequently required by racers and engine builders such as fuel specs and SDS forms will be easy to find as well.”

“As in the past, we’ll post breaking news on the site regarding new products, race results and industry news,” Wall continued. “The site also features numerous videos containing product information, tutorials, company background and action sequences, with many in both English and Spanish.”

“We encourage our customers to visit our new website, check out the new features and let us know what they think,” concluded Wall. “The new design is a quantum leap forward, but we’ll always be open to improvements.”



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Food Gifts On The Rise

Packaged Facts LogoAs the winter holidays approach, food gift purchases are expected to rise.

Packaged Facts’ August 2016 market research report “Food Gifting in the U.S., 5th Edition,” took a look at trends and innovations when it comes to gifting food.

Innovations in seasonal gifts are becoming more personalized and designed for specific recipients. Targeting specific demographics allows companies to better meet the wide array of common gift giving occasions with food gifts that appear more personalized. Indeed, market research publisher Packaged Facts found that 34% of those who have purchased a food gift in the last year said that they look for a food gift that has a special meaning for the recipient.

In the report, Packaged Facts identifies three key demographic segments that offer the most lucrative potential and opportunities for growth: children, men and women.

Kids: Marketing to kids necessitates a product have an element of fun. Character licensing and playability are two key factors in driving kid-appeal. As such, makers and marketers of food gifts targeting kids leverage both attributes in product designs. Selecting gifts with a theme that resonates with the child helps make the gift feel more personal.

Men: Guys can be tough to buy gifts for, which opens the door for food products that tap unique and personal gift opportunities. Snacks, sports and BBQ emerge as popular themes used in food gifts targeting men.

Women: Food gifts for women can encompass a wide range of occasions; however, marketers continue to leverage the color pink to underscore feminine orientation. But while pink has historically symbolized the female gender, many women simply don’t like this color. In light of this, marketers may want to experiment with multi-color themes, from bright colors to pastels—or even the popular ombre color trend. Utilizing seasonal color trends may also help craft a more unique strategy that can help refresh and update food gifts.

These trends will play a pivotal role during the last several weeks of 2016. By food gifting occasion, among adults age 18+, the winter holidays are a food gifting mainstay: almost half of those who have purchased food gifts for others have done so for the winter holidays, while 32% of those who have purchased food gifts for themselves have done so for these holidays. During the 2015 holiday season, some 68 million consumers have given someone a specialty food gifts for the winter holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa).




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Dollar Tree Faces Demonstrations Over Toxic Chemicals in Products

Dollar Tree_Logo_Stacked_CMYKProtests planned at 65 Dollar Tree locations in 26 states.

Dollar Tree is under fire after a report showing many of its products contain toxic chemicals harmful to human health.

On Thursday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. EST, local shoppers, public health and product safety experts are planning to hold now over 65 nearly simultaneous demonstrations, shopper education events and meetings with store managers of Dollar Tree locations in 26 states. The events, coordinated by the Campaign for Healthier Solutions and conducted by national health organizations and local shoppers, seek to inform customers of dangerous chemicals found in some products sold at Dollar Tree stores and help them make safer choices for their families.

A report published in February 2015 found that some products purchased from Dollar Tree, one of the nation’s largest discount retailers, contained toxic chemicals at levels which may harm customers—especially children. Dangerous chemicals found in these products included lead, phthalates, polyvinyl chloride, chromium, antimony and others. These chemicals are known to cause asthma, cancer, learning disabilities and other ailments. People of color and low-income communities are especially vulnerable to harm from these products as discount retailers are disproportionately located in their communities.

Full product testing results and methodology can be found here:


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Parker’s Welcomes Development Supervisor

Parker's LogoKevin Long brings extensive background in training and development—both regionally and nationally—to Parker’s.

Parker’s recently hired Kevin Long as a development supervisor on the company’s Human Resources team. In his new position, Long will partner with senior leadership to implement training and development strategies for Parker’s retail stores.

Before joining Parker’s, Long served as a finance and accounting manager at Robert Half International in Savannah and was previously the director of finance operations for CNAC Finance in Savannah. Long also brings an extensive background in training and development on a regional and national level and has held positions as a training manager, instructional design manager and technical writing manager for TMX Finance as well as district manager, product training specialist and training manager in the pharmaceutical industry with PDI Inc.

Originally from Atlanta, Long earned a degree in Business from South University in Savannah. He is an active community volunteer who has coached his daughter’s youth soccer team and currently supports her activities in local dance and theater at Esther F. Garrison School of Visual and Performing Arts and Savannah Children’s Theater. He also supports causes such as Toys for Tots, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.

Founded in 1976, Parker’s has earned accolades for its PumpPal program, which offers deep discounts on gas and has saved customers more than $7 million since its inception. Today, the PumpPal program has more than 125,000 members throughout Georgia and South Carolina.

Parker’s has been ranked on Inc.’s elite list of the top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. for four consecutive years and recently earned the Regional Economic Impact Award from the Bluffton Chamber of Commerce.

The company currently operates 48 convenience stores across the region and employs 625 individuals throughout Georgia and South Carolina. Parker’s, which completes more than 100,000 transactions daily, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.



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First Data Looks at Consumer Spending Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Retail spending is booming and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is becoming another popular shopping day.

First Data has released its analysis of consumer spending for Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Unlike other reports, First Data’s analysis is based on actual consumer transactions rather than surveys or speculation.

First Data powers nearly half of all credit and debit card transactions in the U.S. – approximately 79 billion transactions per year, or 2,500 transactions per second, from millions of merchants. The First Data SpendTrend analysis of Thanksgiving and Black Friday uses in-store and e-Commerce data from more than 900,000 merchant locations.

Here are some of the highlights from First Data’s report:

Retail Spending is Alive and Well

  • Overall growth was up 9% year-over-year (YOY), which represents solid growth on top of strong growth from the prior year (9.4% in 2015 and 3.5% in 2014).

E-commerce Popularity Continues

  • The total share of eCommerce spending has gone up significantly YOY . It was 13.6% YOY (2013), 15.7% YOY (2014), 18.3% (2015), and 24.7% YOY (2016), meaning it has nearly doubled over a four-year period.

Electronics & Appliances Dominated

  • Electronics & appliances had a big couple of days with 27% growth YOY and was up $41 in average ticket size from 2015.

Retailers Shutter Doors for Thanksgiving Day

  • Several malls and retail chains were closed on Thanksgiving morning and afternoon, most opening their doors until evening. Retail sales growth took a hit, but across the nation consumers jumped in at 6 p.m. and sales recovered.

The Shopping Period Lengthens

  • In terms of overall spend (not just retail) the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is becoming just as strong as Black Friday.

For More, visit:


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