NATIONAL REPORT — Spring 2016 began with news of convenience store growth, the loss of an industry titan, and increased interest in retailer best practices. In this new Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of March, based on CSNews Online reader views:
1) Will CST Follow Same Path as The Pantry?
Could CST Brands Inc. be destined to follow the same fate as The Pantry Inc., which came under shareholder pressure, added new members to its board of directors, and then put itself up for sale? There are certainly several similarities between what's currently happening at CST and what transpired with The Pantry, making it possible that CST could eventually be sold to another large convenience store operator, à la when Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. purchased The Pantry in 2015.
2) PMG Acquires 223 Former Gulf Oil Locations
Petroleum Marketing Group Inc. (PMG) closed on an acquisition of 223 dealer-operated convenience stores and gas stations from Gulf Oil LP. A large concentration of the sites are in the Boston, New York City and Long Island regions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
3) QuikTrip Co-Founder Chester Cadieux Passes Away
The convenience store industry lost a giant when Chester Cadieux, co-founder of QuikTrip Corp., passed away at the age of 84. "Chester's vision, keen wit, insistence on fairness, and marvelous ability to mentor people will never be forgotten," the company said in a statement.
4) Why Now Is ‘Perfect Storm’ for C-store Industry M&A: Part 1
The past year has seen several long-standing convenience store chain operators suddenly selling off their assets and exiting the business altogether. Why? “There are low gas prices, but also record margins. People are seeing margins they have not seen in a long time on fuel, so they are making more money. Customers are also spending more money in the store because gas prices are so low,” said Dennis Ruben, executive managing director of Chicago-based NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC.
5) Four Things You Might Not Know About Couche-Tard
Thirty-six years after opening its first retail store, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and its Circle K banner are poised to take over the convenience channel one country at a time. In a rare interview, Couche-Tard President and CEO Brian Hannasch recently chatted with CSNews about the company’s expansion over the past year and its vision for the future.
6) Three C-store Retailers Among 2016 World's Billionaires
The number of billionaires across the globe dipped in the past year, but three convenience store industry giants still secured spots on Forbes magazine's 2016 The World's Billionaires list. Leading the way in terms of c-store industry billionaires are Tom and Judy Love at the No. 205 spot, with a net worth of $5.9 billion. Among just U.S. billionaires, the couple holds the No. 72 position.
7) Eby-Brown Focuses on Growth, Long-Term Strategies
Eby-Brown Co. LLC is taking steps to expand its reach into states east with its pending acquisition of Liberty USA. It's a deal that will bring together two family businesses. West Mifflin, Pa.-based Liberty is the largest independently owned convenience store supplier in Pennsylvania, servicing more than 1,000 customers. It was founded by Francis "Red" McGuirk and his wife Patricia in 1959.
8) Behold the Transformation of C-store Sandwiches
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of convenience store sandwiches is probably ham, turkey or roast beef and cheese. Or maybe egg, tuna and chicken salad. However, as consumers are exposed to a wider variety of cultures and cuisines, the options and variations for c-store sandwiches are becoming quite literally limitless.
9) Nine Things You Should Do When Skimming Strikes
Skimmers are devices criminals use in an attempt to steal customer card information. C-stores located near interstate highways are most vulnerable to skimming crime rings. To make matters worse, criminals can install skimmers in just seconds and now have the ability to steal customer information via Bluetooth or text technology, as opposed to needing to return to the gas station dispenser to remove the illegal device once the information has been captured.
10) More Than 5,000 New Jobs Spring Up at Wawa
Wawa Inc. plans to hire more than 5,000 new associates over the next three months. Customer service-level positions will be open at all of Wawa's 700-plus convenience stores across its six-state operating area. The companywide hiring campaign will span the spring season and is part Wawa's overall commitment to providing job opportunities that can lead to fulfilling careers for community members across its operating area, the retailer said.