J. Polep Partners With Verge Retail On New Ordering Technology

Verge Retail of Henderson, N.C., and J. Polep Distribution Services of Chicopee, Mass., have partnered to bring Verge technology to convenience store retailers across New England, Pennsylvania, and New York.

J. Polep has deployed Verge Promote to launch the Verge C-tech and SalesTech platforms, which offer a customer app and a sales rep app for creating and managing orders.

According to Verge officials, Verge Promote is the industry’s first smartphone application that enables distributors to push the latest deal or limited-time promotion to convenience store retailers. The distributor-branded app for Android and iPhone devices can be deployed within 30 days and requires no IT integration.

“We always look for smart, innovative ways to help our customers increase sales and improve their bottom lines, and Verge technologies support this mission,” said Eric Polep, director of sales at J. Polep. “With Promote, our customers immediately began realizing benefits, which is what we’d heard when speaking with other distributors using Verge solutions.”

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NECSA Trade Show Opens For Exhibitor Registration

Fran Duskiewicz, now retired and former president of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, will lead a panel on food service for the convenience store industry at the opening of the NECSA (New England Convenience Store Assn.) Trade Show, March 18 at the DCU Center, Worcester, Mass.

The theme of this year’s trade show is “Pot of Gold,” with the show set for from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show is a free for retailers. On Tuesday, March 17, the day before the show, NECSA will host a Top To Top Summit, which is private meetings between retailers and participating vendors to review new programs, products and services. Vendor space is limited to 12 vendors.

Retailers already participating include Cumberland Farms, Drake Petroleum-Xtramart, Honey Farms, Tedeschi Food Shops and VERC Enterprises. Also on March 17, NECSA will host the Annual Store Operators Awards Night at the DCU Center.

Those who register for the trade show by Feb. 10 will be entered to win a $200 cash prize. Fore more information, log onto www.necsa.net.

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Analysts Predict Sub-$2 Gas Per Gallon This Month

Americans will save $120 billion on gasoline this year as fuel prices keep falling and few indications they will rise anytime soon. This was the message of Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), who presented his analysis to the National Assn. of Convenience Stores (NACS) last week.

Mr. Kloza revised his U.S. forecast for regular unleaded gasoline, saying the average price per gallon will drop below $2 for the month of January, due to an “unprecedented” sell-off in crude oil values that has yet to run its course. In his analysis, Mr. Kloza said it is not likely that the sell-off will be followed by the typical “ricochet” upward.

With a prediction of a 2015 average price for regular unleaded gas of $2.49 per gallon, about $1.10 per gallon less than in 2014, consumers will save more than $120 billion over the course of the year, based on likely consumption patterns. Diesel prices also fell to under $3 per gallon across the country, and Mr. Kloza estimates that those prices will not move above that number for the remainder of the year.

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Latest Word in C-Store News...

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Food Marketing and the Food Marketing Educational Foundation at Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) will honor Wawa and its employees with the Citation Award for their leadership in convenient food service and their support of the Saint Joseph’s food marketing program. The presentation will be held March 28 at the Philadelphia Downtown Marriott at 6:30 p.m. Event proceeds will benefit the Food Marketing Educational Foundation, which supports the food marketing program at SJU.

• Big Y Foods will fill 12 part-time positions available for its newest location, the Big Y Express Gas & Convenience Store located at 202 West St. in Pittsfield, Mass. The hiring and interviewing will be completed at the Big Y Supermarket location in Pittsfield.

• 7-Eleven has introduced two premium, better-for-you snack bars under a new private-label banner, 7-Select GO!Smart. Weighing in at less than 200 calories each, the yogurt-drizzled fruit and nut bars are available in two varieties — Cranberry Cashew and Pistachio and Mixed Berries. GO!Smart is part of 7-Eleven’s growing high-quality, private-brand offerings and the first designated specifically for the better-for-you category.=

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