NATIONAL REPORT — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the convenience store industry turns its focus to changes in regulatory deadlines and shifts in consumer shopping habits. Tobacco product marketing and industry leadership also topped the news.
In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of May, based on reader views:
1) Casey's CEO Foresees Three Major Changes Post-Pandemic
The first major change relates to the way in which Americans will do their jobs, according to Darren Rebelez. "Working virtually is a trend that's been evolving for a while, but the pandemic ripped the Band-Aid off. Companies have realized they can be productive in a virtual environment. Does that mean that 10 percent of the workforce will continue to work at home? 5 percent? 15 percent? I don't know, but not everyone is going back to work at the office," Rebelez told Convenience Store News.
2) Casey's Darren Rebelez Named Convenience Store News' 2020 Retailer Executive of the Year
Darren Rebelez has been selected the 2020 Retailer Executive of the Year by Convenience Store News' blue-chip panel of convenience retailing leaders. This marks the seventh year that CSNews has named a Retailer Executive of the Year. The award recognizes a retailer executive who exemplifies leadership, business acumen, dedication to the convenience industry, and commitment to community service.
3) Convenience Retailers Receive Six-Month Delay for Outdoor EMV Compliance
On May 1, Visa told the convenience and gas industry that the financial services company will delay the EMV shift deadline for automated fuel dispensers to April 17, 2021. The deadline had been Oct. 1.
4) Altria Pushes Forward With Marketing of New Noncombustible Products
At the end of the first quarter of 2020, Altria's on! brand of nicotine pouches was sold in more than 28,000 stores, including the top five convenience store chains by volume, according to Altria CEO Billy Gifford. In addition, newly redesigned on! cans are now available, with retail visibility being boosted through premium fixture space in most stores.
5) COVID-19 Is Shaping Three Key Confectionery Buying Behaviors
The confectionery industry is facing a once-in-a-lifetime period of uncertainty, as it is not immune to the pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers' candy buying behavior is reflecting heightened price sensitivity on one hand and, on the other, desiring moments of comfort and escapism.
6) Mastercard Agrees to EMV Delay, Announces New Fraud & Security Tools
Mastercard joined American Express, Discover and Visa in pushing back the deadline for the EMV liability shift at the pump, but took it a step further. The Purchase, N.Y.-based financial network also unveiled a new consumer protection program to address the fraud vulnerabilities on the forecourt at fuel pumps terminals that have yet to be upgraded.
7) Altria Submits PMTAs for Oral Nicotine Products for FDA Review
Altria Client Services filed premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs) for on! oral nicotine pouches for regulatory review. In all, the tobacco company submitted 35 PMTAs to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for on! products on behalf of Helix Innovations LLC, an Altria joint venture responsible for manufacturing and selling on! nicotine pouches globally.
8) Study: Shell Receives the Most Fueling Visits in U.S.
In its petroleum and convenience store annual competitive study, Market Force Information found that Shell receives the most fueling visits, representative of their large market share, but Kwik Trip Inc., Quik Trip Corp. and Wawa Inc. "fiercely compete" for the lead with nearly identical Composite Loyalty Index scores.
9) Kum & Go's First-Ever Urban Store Welcomes Customers
More than just its latest location, the downtown Des Moines, Iowa, c-store is also the first urban store in the retailer's network of 400 sites. Situated at the corner Seventh and Locust streets, in the Edna Griffin building, the store rang up its first customers on May 28.
10) FDA Pushes Back Cigarette Graphic Warning Implementation Date
According to the FDA, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a request to postpone the effective date 120 days. The request came as a joint motion in the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. et al. v. United States Food and Drug Administration et al.