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

Acquisitions and expansions into new markets were among the leading headlines.
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NATIONAL REPORT — As 2021 came to an end, Convenience Store News Online readers searched for updates on chain growth and incoming changes for the new year. In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of December, based on reader views:

1)Wawa Closes More Stores Due to Operational Challenges
The convenience retailer permanently shuttered its convenience store at the corner of 13th and Chestnut streets in Philadelphia's Center City neighborhood less than four years after it opened. Wawa also closed its store at Ninth and South streets in the fall and recently closed a North Philadelphia location at 1300-14 East Erie Avenue.

2)Casey's Seals Entry Into the Knoxville Market Open
The acquisition of 40 stores from Pilot Corp. boosts Casey's presence in Tennessee and Kentucky, and marks its entry into the Knoxville, Tenn., market. Casey's reached the $220-million agreement with Knoxville-based Pilot in late September. The deal is part of the retailer's three-year plan — unveiled in January 2020 — to add 345 convenience stores to its network.

3)Tobacco Companies Hike Cigarette List Prices
Altria Group Inc. announced plans to take a 15-cent per pack increase on Marlboro, Chesterfield, L&M and Basic Simple Tobacco as well as a 20-cent per pack increase on Basic, Benson & Hedges, Benson & Hedges Menthol Green, Merit, Nat's, Parliament, and Virginia Slims. British American Tobacco, the parent company of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., announced it is raising its cigarette list prices 14 cents.

4)Tucson's Family-Owned Quik Mart Chain Sells Business
Quik Mart Stores Inc. is selling it chain of 17 convenience stores to Southwest Convenience SPE LLC, a newly formed Delaware limited liability company created for the purpose of acquiring the Quik Mart assets. Of the 17 stores, 15 are owned by Quik Mart in fee and two are subject to long-term leases. Eleven of the 17 stores sell fuel and all of them but one is branded Chevron.

5)Sheetz to Get New President & CEO Come 2022
Travis Sheetz, who previously served as company president and its first-ever chief operating officer (COO), stepped up as president and CEO at the beginning of January 2022. Joe Sheetz, the former CEO and Travis' brother, became executive vice chairman and will continue to support CLI Transport, the dedicated petroleum carrier for Sheetz's stores, as well as the company's board of directors, finance and legal departments.

6)Casey's Makes Strides in Its Strategic Plan Initiatives
Launched in January 2020, the three pillars of Casey's strategic plan are to reinvent the guest experience, create capacities through efficiencies, and be where the guest is through unit growth. With recent large acquisitions completed — a total of 144 convenience stores between its Buchanan Energy and Circle K deals — and the pending acquisition of 40 Pilot locations from Pilot Co. for $220 million, Casey's is making good on its goal to boost its network.

7)Ten Reasons Why C-store Foodservice Is Poised for a Record Year
Despite ongoing challenges, convenience stores should feel optimistic about the future of foodservice, according to Joyce Baird, strategic account manager at research and consulting firm Foodservice IP. Factors affecting the current convenience foodservice market include the fact that prepared and delivered food is thriving; c-store foodservice is positioned to fight for share of stomach; flexible organizations thrive in uncertainty; and more.

8)Oregon Finalizes Rule for Statewide E15 Sales
The sale of E15 became available across the state in January, months after Gov. Kate Brown signed HB 3051, clarifying the ability of retailers to sell E15. With her signature, Oregon became the 48th state to approve E15.

9)Pic Quik Sells Its Portfolio of Stores to Couche-Tard
Pic Quik traded its 19 convenience stores and two non-operating properties to Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. The deal for the company-owned and -operated sites closed on Dec. 17. According to Couche-Tard, the transaction includes high-quality, well-run sites located predominantly in southern New Mexico that are a strategic fit with its existing network.

10)Alimentation Couche-Tard Acquires 17 C-stores Across the Southeast
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. put another acquisition in the books for 2021 with the purchase of Slidell Oil Co.'s 17-store chain. Under terms of the transaction, Couche-Tard picked up Slidell's 17 convenience stores operating under the Purple Cow banner, in addition to 23 wholesale fuels accounts across Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.