Industry Roundup: The Top 10 Most-Read Stories of August 2021

Aftermath of the Speedway sale, CSNews awards and multiple Wawa stories topped the news last month.
Kwik Trip exterior

NATIONAL REPORT — Kwik Trip Inc., Speedway LLC and Wawa Inc. were among the convenience retailers making the biggest news in recent weeks. In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of August, based on reader views:

1) Kwik Trip Leads 2021 Ranking of Top 10 U.S. Gas Station Brands
A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip takes the crown, followed by Casey's General Stores, Hy-Vee, Rutter's and Sheetz.

2) Convenience Store News Introduces 2021 Class of Future Leaders in Convenience
Convenience Store News is honoring the largest class of winners yet in its 2021 Future Leaders in Convenience awards program. This year's group includes 25 young c-store retailer executives from across the industry who are already proving their leadership skills on multiple levels.

3) Convenience Store News Reveals Winners of 25th Annual Best New Products Awards
From more than 100 entries, judges chose 44 products new to convenience store shelves for recognition in the 25th annual competition. The Best New Products Awards program recognizes the marketers that introduced the most innovative, high-quality products that meet consumers' evolving needs and fit a convenience store's value proposition.

4) Speedway Puts Former Sites in 22 States on the Market
Speedway tapped NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC to sell 166 former service stations, retail development sites and undeveloped land sites owned by the convenience store chain and its affiliates. Some of the properties have small buildings on them. All the sites are being sold individually through a sealed bid auction.

5) Wawa Goes Back to School With Month-Long Promotion
Wawa is holding a month-long "Cheers to the Classrooms" celebration during September across its entire operating footprint. The convenience store retailer will recognize teachers and members of school administration who educate, guide and inspire children in a variety of ways.

6) Wawa & Giant Eagle Reinstate Mask Mandates as Delta Variant Spreads
Months after officials across the country lifted mask mandates, some retailers are again asking employees and customers to cover up as the Delta strain of COVID-19 leads to an uptick in cases. Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa Inc. reinstated its mask mandate for employees, effective Aug. 4, while Giant Eagle Inc., parent company of Pittsburgh-based GetGo convenience stores, said it would again require employees to wear a mask in its stores beginning Friday, Aug. 6.

7) Marathon Petroleum Moves on From Speedway Sale
Since the close of the transaction, Marathon Petroleum Corp. reduced structural debt by $2.5 billion and purchased approximately $1 billion of stock. It is now starting to take the next steps to complete a $9 billion return of capital over the next 12 to 16 months.

8) TravelCenters of America Explores New Food Concepts
"We are deep into the work of developing other concepts designed around a studied understanding of our customers' needs, and look forward to further announcements before year-end," CEO Jonathan Pertchik said during the company's second quarter 2020 earnings call. "Full-service restaurant top line, having been so adversely affected by the pandemic, combined with our improved approach to operating, along with these new concepts, this remains one of many highly opportune areas to capture future value."

9) Couche-Tard Announces Pacific Northwest Acquisition
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is picking up 35 convenience store and fuel retail sites from ARS Fresno LLC and certain affiliated companies. The locations are operated under the Porter's brand and situated predominately in Oregon and western Washington.

10) FDA Issues First Denials of Flavored E-Cigarette Marketing Applications
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denied the marketing applications for approximately 55,000 flavored electronic cigarette products. According to the agency, the filings — which were submitted by three applicants — failed to provide evidence the products protect public health. The rejections are the first for electronic nicotine delivery systems.