Carwash planned for new Wal-Mart store

SUISUN CITY, Calif. — A gas station, convenience store, carwash and restaurant will soon be added to a new Wal-Mart store, according to the Daily Republic.

The location planned the additions after its grand opening on March 25.

Families of the site’s employees attended a special preview night along with local VIPs on March 23. The store employs 300 workers.

Various managers were introduced to the crowd at the event. In the article one promised “not just a good Wal-Mart, but a great Wal-Mart.”

City officials in attendance included the city’s mayor, Pete Sanchez.

Beer on tap gaining foothold in c-stores

DES MOINES, Iowa — Many gas stations and convenience stores around the country have been adding draft beer taps with 64-ounce growlers, according to USA Today.

Around 35 states now allow the practice, and others including Florida, Iowa and Missouri are considering permitting it.

"It's definitely becoming more popular," says Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, in the article. "The American public wants to be able to control their experience. They want to be able to take their beer home and pour as much or [as] little as they want."

Sunoco was one of the first companies to sell growlers to customers. Its Craft Beer Exchange opened in 2011 in Buffalo, New York. The company now has growlers in 65 stores.

Craft beer sales grew 22 percent in 2014. Some companies are skeptical about offering their beer this way, however.

A number of breweries are concerned dirty keg lines or unwashed growlers could affect the beer quality. President of the Iowa Brewers Guild Dave Ropte says in the article beer can be purchased much cheaper in growlers than in bottles.

GPM expands westward with acquisition

RICHMOND, Va. — GPM Investments LLC has acquired 42 convenience stores and one Subway location, according to CSPnet.com.

The properties are located in Illinois, Iowa and Kentucky. GPM announced the deal in December.

The stores will operate under the Road Ranger name before transitioning to one of GPM’s brands: Fas Mart, Shore Stop, Scotchman Stores, Young’s, Li’l Cricket and BreadBox.

The Road Ranger employees were hired for the stores. “Bringing them into the GPM family was very important to our leadership team," says Mike Welsh, senior vice president of operations, in the article. “Expanding to this area of the country feels like going home for me, and it will be a real pleasure to bring these stores into the GPM portfolio."

Bill Reilly, senior vice president of marketing, adds in the article the company will offer its loyalty programs and launch its fasCASHBACK fuel discount card at the locations.

GPM operates about 600 c-stores across 10 states. With its planned additional acquisitions, the company will run more than 800 stores in 14 states.

Carwash converted to include oil and mechanical services

HASTINGS, Minn. — Oil Line Automotive, a carwash, detail, oil change center and light mechanical auto shop, is expected to open in May, according to the Hastings Star Gazette.

Nate Oehrlein and Pete Hargis, the site’s owners, have experience in the construction business. They purchased the building in February after looking for a place for two years.

The owners wanted to remodel a site rather than tear a building down and start from scratch.

Included in the construction project is a new waiting room and second-floor employee lounge. A mix of modern and historical elements will be utilized to match other local buildings as well.

The owners are using as many local contractors as they can to support the community. The Nails business will also remain in a portion of the building, and the two businesses will share customers.

Hargis shares in the article the carwash will also get involved with the community.

International c-stores complete merger

CARY, N.C. — The merger between The Pantry Inc. and Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard is complete, according to CSPnet.com.

The Pantry’s shareholders approved the transaction on March 10. Couche Tard announced the deal in December, and the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976 expired on March 13.

The merger involved an all-cash transaction of $860 million. It is valued at $36.75 per share.

The company now has nearly 8,000 locations. The Pantry operates more than 1,500 stores in 13 U.S. states, mostly under the Kangaroo Express banner.

Couche-Tard has more than 6,300 c-stores throughout North America. It operates in 40 U.S. states and all 10 Canadian provinces.

The Canadian company is also in the process of acquiring 21 Tiger Tote c-stores from Cinco J Inc.

Equipment update includes new wash method

TOLEDO, Iowa — S&S Car Wash’s new equipment is now operational, according to Tamatoledonews.com.

The facility converted its wash format from a conveyor system to an in-bay automatic. It also added a wheel brush for the top of vehicles.

The wash can accommodate vehicles up to 21 feet in length and 84 inches high.

Customers can purchase hot wax as an added service. LED lighting and a new security system have also been installed. The entire wash process takes about three to five minutes.

S&S co-owner Kendall Jordan says in the article the new wash system will also save on power consumption.

The wash will be open 24 hours per day. The business also operates a detail center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Police arrest city officials at carwash rally

NEW YORK — Brooklyn councilmen Carlos Menchaca and Brad Lander were arrested as they showed their support for carwash workers on strike, according to Observer.com.

The two men, along with Marc Perrone, president of United Food and Commercial Workers International, and Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union were arrested for blocking traffic in front of Vegas Auto Spa. They were trying to draw attention to “carwasheros” (immigrants working in the carwash industry) who say they have been denied fair wages.

“Wages are being stolen. Tips are being stolen. Dignity is being denied. We will not accept it. It hurts every one of us,” Appelbaum shares in the article before his arrest. “We are saying to the people of this city: Enough is enough.”

The men were handcuffed peacefully when police arrested them.

Vegas Auto Spa workers filed a lawsuit against its owner, Marat Leshehinsky, in November 2014, claiming some were paid less than minimum wage. The employees recently formed a union.

“We’re negotiating a contract. What [workers are] asking for and what I’ve offered them are very fair terms,” Leshehinsky says in the article. “They were always properly paid by law.”

Tint World franchise under new ownership

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Tint World’s Saint Petersburg location is under new ownership, according to a press release.

Brian Miller became the site’s new owner in February. He has more than 25 years of experience, which he gained when he owned a car audio business.

The facility has been upgraded, and continues to offer aftermarket products and services in addition to marine, residential and commercial window and security film. Miller has updated displays and given the building a new storefront as well.

Miller plans to add new products to the business, including professional computer-cut window tinting, alarms and security, auto accessories, custom wheels and tires, detailing and reconditioning services.

Google ranking change supports mobile-friendly sites

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — As people increasingly browse the Internet on mobile devices, Google has adapted, according to Business2community.com. Eighty-seven percent of consumers search the Web on mobile devices daily.

On April 21, Google began taking into account the mobile friendliness of websites as part of its ranking algorithm for mobile search results.

Google has not yet confirmed it, but many speculate the company will consider mobile friendliness for desktop ranking as well.

Companies’ website traffic could be at risk if their sites are not mobile friendly, reported Searchengineland.com.

“The big takeaway from this is that if your site is not mobile-friendly, get to work now on it,” shares the article. “If 50 [percent] of your traffic from Google comes from mobile devices, it sounds like if you are not mobile friendly that virtually all of that traffic from mobile is at huge risk.”

Residents choose ‘best detailing business’

BRIDGETON, N.J. — Dusty’s Custom Golf Carts and Auto Detailing was recognized as Best Auto Detailing at the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce’s Best of West & South Cumberland event, according to NJ.com.

People voted for their favorite businesses in several categories, including Best Overall Business, Best Dentist, Best Graphic Design, Best Farm Supplies, Best Breakfast, Best Fitness Center, Best Pharmacy, Best Landscaping and more.

The winners will be recognized at a celebration at a later date. The contest was sponsored by the chamber of commerce, Cumberland Development Corp. (CDC) and South Jersey Times.

The event is held annually. The chamber received 272 ballots consisting of 7,721 votes for 879 businesses, shares Tony Stazione, executive director of the chamber and CDC, in the article.

"On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, CDC and South Jersey Times, we thank everyone who voted, and we congratulate the first place businesses and invite the winners and the public to attend the Best of West and South Cumberland Celebration [to] be held at Gia's Catering on Mulford Drive in Bridgeton," says Susan Jones, chairperson of the Chamber and the Best of West and South Cumberland Committee, in the article.

Correction

In the April issue of Professional Carwashing & Detailing, we profiled 3 Minute Magic Car Wash in our “From the Trenches” section beginning on page 74. Owner/operator Jim Rooney was incorrectly quoted as saying “continuous principles.” The correct quote is: “We live by continuous improvement principles and methodology, and it shows in the positive experience we’re able to provide our customers.”