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

Network growth and new offerings were among the top headlines.
Thorntons c-store

NATIONAL REPORT — BP's deal to take ownership of Thorntons topped the news, while readers were also interested in retailers' new initiatives and expansion announcements. In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of July, based on reader views:

1) BP to Take Full Ownership of Thorntons
Once the deal is complete, BP will add 208 owned and operated convenience stores across the Midwest to its retail network. The c-stores are located in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida. The company plans to keep and build on the Thorntons brand.

2) 7-Eleven Preparing to Move Into New South Carolina Market
7-Eleven Inc. is expanding into the Myrtle Beach, S.C., market with three new stores and nearly 20 locations acquired through its recent acquisition of Speedway. The sites that are under construction or scheduled to begin construction soon are located in Murrells Inlet, Conway and Myrtle Beach.

3) Gopuff Enters the Made-to-Order Food Business
The new offering brings made-to-order hot and fresh food to customers alongside everyday essentials. Gopuff's mobile kitchen facilities are within or adjacent to its micro-fulfillment centers, enabling customers to order breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night food and drinks alongside any other essentials all in a single order for a flat fee of $1.95.

4) TravelCenters of America's Latest Initiative Focuses on the Guest Journey
"Through this transformation, and through the lens of the reflow, we have identified that not all of our stores are mapped in a way that provides them with the best possible shopping experience," Kaitlin Wolfe, vice president of merchandising, told Convenience Store News. "In some cases, when a professional driver enters the store, he or she may be met with souvenirs; and when our motorist enters the store, they may walk right into truck oil. When they enter the store, it doesn't always resonate with the purpose of their shopping needs."

5) Circle K Forms Exclusive International Partnership With Bitcoin Depot
Bitcoin Depot ATM kiosks enable users to exchange cash for cryptocurrency. The in-person transactions provide users with immediate access to bitcoin and over 30 other cryptocurrencies. More than 700 bitcoin ATMs have already been installed in 30 states.

6) Alimentation Couche-Tard Focuses on Optimizing Its Portfolio
The company reviewed its asset base in the fall of 2020 and identified convenience stores that are no longer a strategic fit for the network, according to Chief Financial Officer Claude Tessier. As a result, Couche-Tard hung for-sale signs on 300-plus sites, and reached an agreement to sell 49 Circle K sites in Oklahoma to Casey's General Stores Inc.

7) 7-Eleven Franchisees Report Staffing Challenges
A 17-question survey of 422 participants, conducted on behalf of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees, found that 97 percent of franchise owners have had trouble staffing their store(s) over the past year and 96 percent said they or their designee had worked more shifts than they typically work during the last 60 to 90 days. Nearly 50 percent reported they or a designee had worked at least 10 overnight shifts during the past 60 days because they didn't have enough staff.

8) QuikTrip Celebrates 900th Store Milestone
QuikTrip Corp. is celebrating a company milestone with the opening of its 900th convenience store, located in Corsicana, Texas. Over the course of the company's 63 years, it has grown to 12 states. Four more states — Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and Colorado — are scheduled to enter the pipeline in the next year.

9) Convenience Retailers & Suppliers Say Supply Disruptions May Continue Throughout 2021
Two in five convenience retailers (39 percent) said there were "significant" levels of disruption across the supply chain during the second quarter of 2021 and 86 percent reported that at least 10 percent of their orders were disrupted, according to two new surveys from NACS. During Q2, beverages were particularly a challenge for convenience retailers, who reported supply disruptions to packaged beverages (72 percent) and beer (67 percent).

10) Kwik Trip to Pick Up Four Dells Travel Mart Sites
The convenience store operator is acquiring four Dells Travel Mart c-store and gas station locations. The deal is expected to close later this year or early 2022. Wisconsin Dells-based Travel Mart Inc. President and CEO Jeremy Alsaker said that one of stores will become a Kwik Trip while the others will become revitalized into "other things" but did not specify.