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    Blackout Leads to Loss

    Many c-stores in N.Y. and N.J. lost more than food during the Blackout of 2003.

    NEW YORK -- While local bars and restaurants with power saw a surge in business, convenience stores and supermarkets affected by the blackout that began Thursday afternoon lost money because of spoiled merchandise and inoperable gas pumps.

    The Sweet Shop convenience store in Ridgefield, N.J., threw out ice cream and milk, and was unable to sell lottery tickets, according to owner Mike Patel, and the gas pumps at an Exxon station in Paterson, N.J., were off for more than 12 hours -- a big hit for a station normally operating 24 hours per day, reported manager Huseyin Ozturk, according to North Jersey Media Group Inc. reports.

    Ozturk said the store gasoline sales were down by approximately 3,500 gallons during this time, and with ice cream melting out of pint containers, Ozturk estimated $2,500 in lost sales.

    Many stores were making up for loss sales the next day when the power returned -- some needing to make up more than others. At Country Convenience Food Stores Inc., a four-store chain in Middletown, NY, the hit was not too hard, according to Jeffrey Mentz, general manager and vice president of the company. He told CSNews Online, "It didn't affect us much because we weren't out of power long enough. We closed up for the night and were operating by morning."

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