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    Sheetz Unleashes its Potential

    Retailer's annual show highlights achievements and a vision for long-term success.

    By Linda Lisanti

    Sheetz Inc. president and CEO Stan Sheetz found himself with a lot of good news to share at the company's annual product show held in Hershey, Pa. this January.

    In 2007, Sheetz was named the fifth best employer in Ohio; the top retailer in Pennsylvania for the sixth consecutive year; and was recognized with an American Business Media William D. Littleford Award for Community Service based on coverage of its programs in

    Sales were at an all-time high for the year, reaching $3.932 billion, and are poised to surpass $4 billion this year -- thanks in part to new customers the retailer is attracting with Sheetz Bros. Coffeez, a new offering that will be available in all stores come April.

    "We've made some great strides," Stan Sheetz proclaimed during Sheetz Marketplace 2008. "Our customers are on the move. Sheetz is part of the fabric of their lives. No other retailer can deliver for them like we can."

    For two days, the show brought together managers representing all 346 convenience stores operated by the Altoona, Pa.-based chain, as well as 30-plus district managers, members of the Sheetz executive committee and various supplier partners.

    This year's event was built around a safari theme with the catchphrase of "Unleash your potential." Fittingly, with "Welcome to the Jungle" pumping through the speakers, the show featured some wild style courtesy of the MTO (made to order) and SBC (Sheetz Bros. Coffeez) Olympics. As they do every year, managers from the chain's four regions donned costumes and used creative noisemakers to cheer their Olympians on.

    Sheetz managers also took part in workshops, led by chain directors, on topics such as merchandising, training and development, convenience industry trends, and recruitment and performance evaluations. A hot topic discussed was Sheetz Bros. Kitchen, a 125,000-square-foot central commissary being built to create two new businesses -- Sheetz Bros. Kitchen RTE (ready to eat) and Bakery.

    Foodservice director Doug Mills told managers daily delivery of commissary-made products should begin Aug. 1.

    The Sheetz Bros. Kitchen line will include sandwiches, salads, wraps, parfait cups, desserts and soups. Each store is projected to do $450 per day in sales and $50 a day in gross profit in fiscal 2009. By 2014, $1,000 a day in sales and $300 per day in gross profit is expected, Mills said.

    The new bakery offering will feature fresh doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and more. Sheetz's goal is to double its current bakery business by 2009.

    For comments, contact Linda Lisanti, Senior Writer, at [email protected].

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