Industry Roundup: The Top 10 Most-Read Stories of June 2020

Speedway exterior

NATIONAL REPORT — Readers were drawn to reports on the rumored sale of Speedway, as well as other competitive moves in the c-store industry, last month.

In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of June, based on reader views:

1) Is Speedway for Sale Again?
Speedway LLC could be changing hands as its parent company is reportedly in talks again to sell the roughly 4,000-store chain. Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) is reportedly exploring a sale with Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. as a possible suitor.

2) Marathon Petroleum Pushes Back Timing of Speedway Separation
Speedway LLC will not operate as an independent company until 2021. In a June 15 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, MPC said it was postponing the spinoff of its retail network a few months.

3) TravelCenters of America Creates 'Transformation Team' to Aid Company Turnaround 
TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA) took another step to buoy its efforts to increase operational efficiency — a goal previously set out by CEO Jonathan Pertchik. As part of its strategy, TA hired Jeff Burrell as senior vice president, fuels. In this position, he will lead the company in all aspects of fuel purchasing and operations, including contracting, retail pricing, and exploration and testing of new fuel-related ventures.

4) Massachusetts' Flavored Tobacco Ban Takes Effect
Adult tobacco consumers can no longer buy flavored tobacco products at retail stores and online in Massachusetts. The statewide ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products — including menthol — went into effect on Monday, June 1. Gov. Charlie Baker signed the ban into law in November, making Massachusetts the first in the country to enact a ban statewide.

5) Casey's Fills Newly Created Chief Information Officer Role
Adrian Butler joined Casey's General Stores Inc. to help steer the convenience retailer through the next generation of technology. In the newly created role of chief information officer, Butler will lead all information technology  strategy, innovation, modernization and delivery at Casey's. He will report to CEO Darren Rebelez.

6) Nationwide Coin Shortage Impacts C-store Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic is to blame for another nationwide supply shortage: coins. "What's happened is that, with the partial closure of the economy, the flow of coins through the economy has gotten all — it's kind of stopped," Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said.

7) BP Embraces the Evolution of the Retail Fuels Industry
Focused on the future of the retail fuels industry and keeping pace with the fast rate of innovation, BP is giving its branded marketers a lot to be excited about this year, and onward. With its U.S. headquarters based in Chicago, the global producer of oil and gas has developed multiple initiatives to support retail growth in the United States throughout 2020.

8) 7-Eleven Adds Fuel Loyalty Component to 7Rewards Program
The convenience store retailer is testing Fuel Loyalty at participating 7-Eleven stores in Orlando, Fla., and Woodbridge, Va. The program provides contactless payment options to reduce touch and drives instantaneous savings at the pump, according to the company. The internally developed technology allows customers to pay for fuel contact-free through the 7Rewards loyalty program found in the 7-Eleven app by using mobile payment options or Siri shortcuts on their Apple iPhone.

9) Casey's Fourth Quarter 2020 Results Tell Two Tales
As President and CEO Darren Rebelez put it, the fourth quarter of Casey's General Stores Inc.'s 2020 fiscal year was "a tale of two periods within the quarter."

"We started the quarter with strong momentum as many of our strategic initiatives were gaining traction. This momentum continued and actually accelerated in the first two weeks of March with inside same-store sales up in the mid-single digits, and same-store gallons up in the low-single digits — excluding the extra day for leap year," Rebelez explained during the company's earnings call on June 9. "However, as COVID-19 restrictions became more prevalent starting in the middle of March, we began to experience a rapid decline in our guest traffic, resulting in compression of our same-store sales," he continued.

10) Poll Finds 66% of Americans Support Permanent Work-From-Home Culture
According to consumer research firm Piplsay, two-thirds of people surveyed are comfortable with a permanent work-from-home culture. In addition, 43 percent would prefer working from home even as cities and states reopen, and 56 percent believe remote work policies will create massive job opportunities.