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    Midwest C-stores Battle Harsh Winter

    Costs related to weather are jumping for three chains.

    DES MOINES, Iowa -- A brutal winter season is costing some Midwestern convenience chains, by increasing weather-related costs and chasing customers away, The Associated Press reported.

    Casey's General Stores Inc., operator of 1,460 stores in nine Midwestern states, paid $500,000 more for snow removal in the three months ending Jan. 31, than in the same quarter a year ago, the report stated.

    In addition, the chain's slip & fall accidents by customers also climbed 150 percent from a year ago, costing the company $400,000 in the three month period, the AP reported.

    Meanwhile, Speedway SuperAmerica, operator of 1,600 stores in nine states, reported snow removal costs in January jumped 38 percent over the costs in January 2007, the report stated.

    Oklahoma City-based Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, also told the AP it saw higher weather-related costs.

    The situation isn't likely to improve, as more than a foot of snow fell over the weekend in some areas of the Midwest, causing power outages and slippery roads. Nearly two feet of snow fell in Columbus, Ohio, between Friday and Saturday, resulting in the cancellation of 90 percent of flights on Saturday, the AP reported.

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