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    IIn repackaging the two brands' c-stores, "BOB" became the watchword, reports Mitch Morrison, executive editor of The Journal of Petroleum Marketing (JPM) section in CSNews. "BOB" stands for Best of Both, the rule by which ExxonMobil's Rob Kelly, global convenience retailing manager, and his team operate. (See "Familiar Names, Different Face," Page 26.)

    IIn repackaging the two brands' c-stores, "BOB" became the watchword, reports Mitch Morrison, executive editor of The Journal of Petroleum Marketing (JPM) section in CSNews. "BOB" stands for Best of Both, the rule by which ExxonMobil's Rob Kelly, global convenience retailing manager, and his team operate. (See "Familiar Names, Different Face," Page 26.)

    A series of informative articles on energy regulation contains useful information on how and why retailers should become savvy shoppers for electricity, natural gas and even telephone and Internet service. See "Deregulation Transforms Electricity," Page 81, and "Energizing the Web," Page 93.

    CSNews Executive Editor Mike Browne's "Northwest Territory," Page 63, takes a close look at the famous Jubitz Truck Stop in Oregon, which is breaking down the boundaries between travel stop for long-haul truckers or families on the road and the local neighborhood c-store. The elaborate site also takes the concept of "truck stop" to new dimensions, with its live-entertainment nightclub, tasteful and sophisticated design and a plethora of services and retail offerings. JPM also explores the way travel centers are appealing to a new customer base in "Road to Expansion," Page 130.

    These stories represent a fraction of the content in this issue, the largest of the year, but, perhaps surprisingly, a common theme runs through them all, and the other articles in the issue. In all these stories, the message is clear: You are not operating your father's convenience store.

    Those of you leading a family business might chuckle over that statement, but think about it. Did your father or grandfather ever envision the day when he would choose the company that supplies his stores with electricity? And certainly few could have predicted the role the Internet would play in analyzing and choosing those companies.

    How important was store design to operators 40 years ago, or even 20 years ago? How many c-stores utilized upscale floor tiles, wood interior accents and floor-to-ceiling glass as many do today?

    C-store operators must pay close attention to every detail of a store's physical facility and its operations, and they must pay attention in a new way. For example, in "What's Your Sign?" branding guru Adrienne Weiss suggests operators set themselves apart from their competition by developing a "story" on which to base their brands. In addition, stores should convey a sense of membership. In effect, a really great c-store should, on one level, seem like a club to which customers want to belong. "Look at Starbucks," Weiss said. "It's all about building a community of customers through an entire package that has its own identity." (See Daniel Macey's story, beginning on Page 173.)

    Indeed, if this is the only issue of Convenience Store News you read all year you, will take away a clear call to step up your level of attention to detail and to see your stores and your industry differently. We at CSNews are pleased to play a role in that new way of seeing.

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