NATIONAL REPORT — Convenience retailers' acquisitions, store updates and plans for the rest of the year were among the top headlines last month. In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of February, based on reader views:
1) Speedway Sale to 7-Eleven On Track for Q1 Completion
As businesses, and the country as a whole, grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Marathon Petroleum Corp. is staying focused on the things it can control. "The unprecedented challenges this year created by the COVID pandemic accelerated the need for us to act swiftly and decisively to change how we conduct our business," Michael J. Hennigan, president and CEO, explained during the company's fourth-quarter 2020 earnings call, held Feb. 2.
2) Gas Prices Expected to Keep Climbing Driven by Rising Crude Oil Prices
"For nearly a year, motorists have been saving 53 cents a gallon, on average, when filling up their gas tanks," said Jeanette Casselano McGee, AAA spokesperson. "That extra pocket change is quickly going to dwindle thanks to rising crude oil prices that have made for more expensive pump prices."
3) Convenience Store News Honors 16 Suppliers as 2021 Category Captains
The entire convenience store industry had to adjust in 2020, with cleanliness and contactless solutions coming to the forefront and making it even more critical for retailers and suppliers to work together to squeeze as much sales and profit out of every product category as possible. Based on this year's entries in the annual Convenience Store News Category Captains awards program, many leading suppliers partnered closely with their c-store customers to create successful solutions for today's c-store environment.
4) Circle K Charged Up for Electric Vehicle Adoption
For the last three years, Norway has been home to the company's global electric vehicle (EV) lab, where a dedicated team is learning all it can about EV charging and building a more sustainable future. Starting this year, Circle K is bringing those learnings to North America, and plans to be ready as EV adoption grows among motorists.
5) Buc-ee's Prepares to Welcome Customers at First Florida Location
The Lake Jackson-based retailer opened the doors in St. Augustine, Fla., on Feb. 22. The travel center is Buc-ee's first in the state. Construction is currently underway for a second Florida location in Daytona Beach, which is expected to open in March.
6) Murphy USA Completes QuickChek Acquisition
Murphy USA Inc.'s convenience store network officially increased by nearly 160 locations. The El Dorado-based company closed on its $645-million acquisition of QuickChek Corp. The deal for the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based retailer brings 157 c-stores in the Northeast to Murphy USA's portfolio. In all, Murphy USA's store count now stands at more than 1,650.
7) TravelCenters of America Agrees to Sell Quaker Steak & Lube
Five years after acquiring Quaker Steak & Lube, TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA) is divesting the standalone restaurant chain. TA reached an agreement to sell the business, which includes 42 standalone restaurants, for approximately $5 million.
8) Murphy USA Sees Foodservice as Key Initiative in QuickChek Integration
"With QuickChek, we are well positioned to accelerate our strategic agenda, creating an even higher-quality income stream that is inclusive of a best-in-class food and beverage offer," President and CEO Andrew Clyde said during Murphy USA's fourth-quarter 2020 earnings call, held Feb. 4. "Together, we can grow better, faster and stronger as our highly engaged teams share a passion for delivering excellence to our customers, our employees, our communities and our investors."
9) GetGo Café + Market Is Doubling Down on Innovation
The global COVID-19 health crisis may have stymied some business and economic growth in 2020. However, it did not stall the retail technology evolution. In fact, it had the opposite effect, and there are no signs that the momentum is going to stop throughout 2021.
10) Wawa Agrees to Pay Customers Up to $9 Million Over Data Breach
A little more than a year after detecting a data breach, Wawa Inc. agreed to a settlement with its customers. Under the class-action settlement, the convenience retailer will pay affected customers $9 million and spend $35 million to upgrade its cybersecurity.