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Industry Roundup: The Top 10 Most-Read Stories in June

NATIONAL REPORT — Companies coming together, business development, and ways to connect with millennial consumers were among the topics most important to CSNews Online readers last month. In this latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of June, based on reader views:

1) Wawa's Secret Weapon in Florida Expansion
When a convenience store retailer decides to grow organically — especially in a new state — plenty of research must be done to determine if the sites it selects will produce the best return on investment. Pennsylvania-based Wawa Inc., which is aggressively moving into Florida, knows how important this process is and enlists the help of a secret weapon: Esri software.

2) Will CST Brands Bite on Takeover Offers?
CST Brands Inc. is currently mulling takeover offers, with Circle K parent Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., 7-Eleven Inc. parent Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd., Sunoco LP, Speedway LLC parent Marathon Petroleum Corp., and OXXO Mexico reportedly the most likely bidders.

TravelCenters Attracts Attention of Private-Equity Firm
TravelCenters of America reportedly rejected a $14-per-share acquisition bid made by private equity firm Golden Gate Capital in December. According to The Wall Street Journal, San Francisco-based Golden Gate’s bid valued the travel center and convenience store operator at $540 million.

4) Pilot Flying J & Speedway Form Joint Venture
Pilot Flying J and Speedway LLC entered into a joint venture that consists of 120 travel plazas located primarily in the southeastern United States. The new entity, PFJ Southeast LLC, will initially consist of 41 locations contributed by Speedway and 79 locations contributed by Pilot Flying J. All of these locations will be operated by Pilot Flying J and carry either the Pilot or Flying J brands.

5) Lawmakers Move Against New Overtime Rule
Three weeks after a new federal overtime rule was approved, several legislators are attempting to block the measure. On June 7, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced legislation under the Congressional Review Act to block implementation of the administration's overtime rule.

6) Six Keys to Connecting With Millennials
As members of the millennial generation currently represent a third of all convenience store traffic despite making up only one-fourth of the total population, it is vital that c-store retailers understand what these consumers want, how they want it, and how best to fulfill the needs of this critically important demographic. Convenience Store News and General Mills Convenience & Foodservice explored this topic in a free June 8 webcast titled "Connecting With Millennials on Their Terms."

7) Speedway Becomes Latest to Go on Hiring Spree
Speedway LLC is reaching out to the communities it serves in search of new employees. The retailer wants to hire more than 500 employees in the North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia markets. With recent benefit changes, Speedway will primarily focus on hiring full-time and part-time customer service representatives, as well as full-time store leadership positions.              

8) California Bill Would Remove Tobacco From C-stores
On June 2, the California Senate passed a bill that would restrict tobacco sales to cigar shops. The bill then moved to the state Assembly. Under current California law, retailers selling tobacco products must obtain a license from the state Board of Equalization. Retail locations currently include convenience stores, grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores, airports, hookah lounges and tobacco shops. [Note: In late June, the measure failed to reach a vote in the state Assembly.]

9) What’s Kept 7-Eleven’s Slurpee So Cool for Last 50 Years?
A convenience store retailer may be content if a new product or promotion is successful for a season; perhaps even a year or two. So, it's a remarkable feat that the invention of a Kansas hamburger stand owner — who in 1959 used an automobile air conditioner to create a sophisticated piece of equipment that would freeze a carbonated soft drink and serve it sherbet-like, edible via a straw — would stand the test of time.

10) Love's Co-Founder Ranks Among Richest Self-Made Women
Judy Love, co-founder of Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, finds herself among the top 10 richest self-made women. Love, who founded the Oklahoma City-based retail chain with her husband Tom, is tied in the No. 9 slot on Forbes magazine's America's Richest Self-Made Women list with a net worth of $1.9 billion.

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