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Locals Appeal Sheetz Convenience Restaurant's Plea for Liquor License

ALTOONA, Pa. -- An emotional packed house made strong appeals, some religion-based, during a hearing to determine if convenience store chain Sheetz Inc. may buy a liquor license for its new convenience restaurant in Altoona, Pa., reported the Altoona Mirror.

Sheetz unveiled the company's first convenience restaurant, a hybrid concept that combines quick-casual dining and convenience concepts, only three weeks ago.

Despite testimony from local church leaders on the perils of alcohol consumption, pleas not to turn local convenience stores into beer gardens and a surprise opposition from within the malt beverage industry -- after nine hours of testimony, it all came down to two points of law: whether the self-serve gasoline islands on premises are legally a separate business and whether the sales of bread, milk and bacon make the Sheetz a grocery store.

To counter naysayers, a bevy of Sheetz lawyers called on company corporate officials to swear that the new business is a restaurant and not a convenience or grocery store, and that a separate company runs the gas pumps -- even though that company also is owned by Sheetz.

In other Sheetz news, the company has concluded a licensing agreement with KSS Limited, a global supplier of pricing systems, for its PriceStrat merchandise pricing and promotions solution.

The licensing deal follows a pilot application of PriceStrat to a sample of major categories inside Sheetz stores to support pricing and other category merchandising decisions. In the trial program, Sheetz was able to accurately quantify the impact of pricing decisions on item and category performance, including critical cross-product and cross-category pricing effects.

Louie Sheetz, vice president of marketing for Sheetz, said, "We believe that there is still more we can learn about customers' shopping habits in-store and the extent to which price affects this behavior. The KSS PriceStrat system will help us to continue to offer our customers attractive prices and help us meet our business goals."
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