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

NATIONAL REPORT — Various convenience store chains' plans for growth were among the stories important to CSNews Online readers last month. In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of November, based on reader views:

1) Dollar General Reveals Small-Format Concept
Dollar General Corp. unveiled plans for a new, smaller format store tentatively branded DGX. It is expected to open in downtown Nashville in early 2017.

2) CSNews Welcomes New Members Into Hall of Fame
Taking their place in the hall during the 30th annual induction ceremony were Chet Cadieux, chairman, president and CEO of QuikTrip Corp., and Bob Johnson, founder and CEO of The Pinnacle Corp.

3) Investor Calls for Marathon Petroleum to Spin Off Speedway
Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) is coming out against a call by a shareholder group to spin off its retail network, Speedway LLC. In a letter to MPC's board of directors, Elliot Management Corp. said MPC is "severely undervalued and that there are readily available steps by which the board can unlock $14–$19 billion in value for shareholders."

4) Altria Leads Latest Round of Cigarette Price Hikes
Altria Group Inc. is taking a cigarette list price increase on its Philip Morris USA (PM USA) brands, hiking the prices between 2 and 3 percent. Pricing moves by tobacco companies are expected this time of year; however, PM USA's 8-cent increase is roughly a week earlier and a penny more than expected.

5) Imperial Brands' Strategy: Simplify & Spend
Imperial Brands is moving forward with a new strategy focused on cost savings and brand marketing. The U.K.-based tobacco company, parent of Greensboro, N.C.-based ITG Brands LLC, revealed it plans to spend approximately $930 million over the next three years to make its business more streamlined and efficient.

6) Kroger Rises to the Top of 2016 Kantar Retailer PoweRanking
The Kroger Co. was named the No. 1 retailer, tied with Walmart, on the 2016 Kantar Retailer PoweRanking list. This marks the first time in 20 years that Kroger has reached the top of the annual list, which is determined by participating manufacturers.    

7) What President Trump Means for C-store Industry
For entry-level employers who were still unclear of whether they had lost the Republican Party, last night should have provided the necessary clarity. While the Republicans ostensibly had a big night, it was the anti-establishment, anti-institution and, dare we say, the anti-corporate wing of the "party" that provided the victories.

8) Which C-store Retailers Made 2016 Kantar PoweRanking?
The top c-store retailer in this section of the list was Hy-Vee, which is working to expand its c-store presence and retained its No. 17 rank in overall composite results from last year's list. Wawa was No. 20 on the list, up from its No. 28 the 2015 edition.

9) Tesoro on Track to Exceed 2016 Strategic Goals
With a strong third quarter in the books for 2016, Tesoro Corp.'s plans are on track to exceed the company's target of returning between $400 million and $500 million to its shareholders this year. During the company's third-quarter earnings call, Chairman and CEO Greg Goff reported that Tesoro returned $215 million to shareholders due to the San Antonio-based company's "continued growth in the logistics and marketing business."

10) Is the Craft Beer Bubble Beginning to Burst?
Growth of the craft beer market is starting to slow after several years, prompting some formerly successful breweries to downsize as competition between new brands gets tougher. Part of the segment's difficulties come from the large number of craft beer breweries fighting for shelf space and consumer dollars.

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