Industry Roundup: The Top 10 Most-Read Stories of May 2022

Awards, expansions and electric vehicles appeared in the top headlines last month.
Mtn Dew Purple Thunder

NATIONAL REPORT — As the end of spring neared, readers were eager to learn about every move from Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., as well as multiple Convenience Store News awards programs.

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

1) Circle K & Mountain Dew Partner on Exclusive Flavor
Mtn Dew Purple Thunder combines blackberry and plum flavors and is available only at Circle K locations. Its bottle design features a biker gang of Dew characters, including a plum and blackberry enjoying the "sweetest ride of their life."

2) Couche-Tard & EG Group in Talks Over Potential Merger
The Wall Street Journal reported in May that Couche-Tard and EG Group were exploring a possible tie-up, with the two international retailers trading proposals that would put EG's value around $16 billion. The news came more than six months after EG Group began exploring options that include a sale.

3) Convenience Store News Names 2022 Top Women in Convenience
Convenience Store News will celebrate its largest class yet of Top Women in Convenience (TWIC) during the annual program's awards ceremony this fall. Five Women of the Year, 36 Senior-Level Leaders, 40 Rising Stars, and 10 Mentors were selected based on innovative corporate initiatives, extraordinary financial and strategic accomplishments, astute problem-solving acumen, exceptional performance, mentorship work and its outcome for mentees, and selfless charitable participation.

4) Buc-ee's Makes Its Debut in South Carolina
The Texas-based operator began ringing up customers at its Florence, S.C., store on May 16. The site, located at the northeast corner of Interstate 95 and North Williston Road, occupies more than 53,000 square feet and offers 120 fueling positions on the forecourt.

5) Five C-store Chains Recognized Among America's Best Retailers for 2022
Newsweek partnered with Statista to create the 2022 America's Best Retailers list, which included Wawa Inc., Sheetz Inc., Thorntons, QuikTrip Corp., and Pilot Flying J. Rankings were based on an independent survey of more than 10,000 U.S. customers who have shopped at the retailers in-person in the past three years.

6) Couche-Tard Puts More Stores on the Market as Part of Network Optimization Effort
More than 100 Circle K stores have been placed for sale as parent company Couche-Tard aims to maximize its portfolio as part of its network optimization effort. The stores are all offered without fuel supply and without convenience store brand. The bid deadline has been set for July 7.

7) C-store Retailers Should Prepare for Tighter Overtime Rules
"Convenience stores are at special risk of overtime violations because they have a substantial hourly worker base," said Marty Heller, a partner at Fisher & Phillips, who has represented convenience stores in wage and hour matters. The Biden Administration has already reversed some Trump era initiatives meant to lower the hurdles required to exempt workers from overtime. Heller anticipates additional moves ahead.

8) Convenience Store News Reveals 2022 Hall of Fame Inductees
Two gifted convenience store industry leaders will be inducted into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame this fall: Brian Hannasch, president and CEO of Laval, Couche-Tard, the largest independent convenience store operator in the United States in terms of number of company-operated stores; and Brent Cotten, vice president of customer and industry affairs at The Hershey Co., the iconic candy and snack brand.

9) Investor Urges 7-Eleven Parent Company to Focus on C-store Chain
ValueAct Capital gave its approval to Seven & i Holdings' recent slate of candidates for its board of directors while continuing to push for bold changes, such as exiting all non-core businesses.

10) Couche-Tard Begins Rolling Out Circle K EV Fast Chargers
Couche-Tard has begun its venture into electric vehicle (EV) charging outside of Europe. The parent company of Circle is deploying Circle K EV fast chargers to the United States with plans to bring the charging units to 200 Circle K and Couche-Tard c-stores across North America over the next two years.