Industry Roundup: The Top 10 Most-Read Stories of October 2019

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Industry Roundup: The Top 10 Most-Read Stories of October 2019

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NATIONAL REPORT — Acquisitions by EG Group and Yesway drew readers last month, along with coverage of Convenience Store News awards programs and the 2019 NACS Show. In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of October, based on reader views:

1) EG Group Completes Acquisition of Cumberland Farms
Cumberland Farms is now officially part of the EG Group. The United Kingdom-based company completed its acquisition of the convenience store chain on Oct. 22, bringing EG Group's U.S. network to 1,680 c-stores and gas stations across 31 states.

2) Yesway Acquiring Allsup's 300-Plus Convenience Stores
Yesway just made its largest deal in its four-year history. The company, which is operated by BW Gas & Convenience, an affiliate of Beverly, Mass.-based Brookwood Financial Partners, entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Allsup's Convenience Stores. Clovis, N.M.-based Allsup's has a portfolio of 304 stores in New Mexico, West Texas and Oklahoma.

3) Marathon Petroleum Confirms Speedway Spinoff, Announces Leadership Changes
After a 10-month strategic review process, Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) is spinning off Speedway LLC. The retail network will become an independent company by year-end 2020. Upon completion of the spinoff, Speedway will be the largest U.S.-listed convenience store operator "boasting a coast-to-coast retail network and a nationally recognized brand," MPC Chairman and CEO Gary Heminger said during the company's third-quarter earnings call on Oct. 31.

4) Altria Officially Launches IQOS in the U.S. Market
Five months after the Food and Drug Administration gave IQOS the greenlight in the United States, Altria Group Inc. introduced the heat-not-burn product to the market. The unveiling took place in Atlanta in early October — just as the convenience store industry gathered in the city for the 2019 NACS Show.

5) Convenience Store News' 2019 Store Design Contest Honors Seven Retailers
Whether situated on a college campus, located off the side of the highway or smack-dab in the center of a small town, the winners of the 2019 Convenience Store News Store Design Contest prove that they have figured out the best way to give consumers what they want, when and how they want it, and in an attractive package. Elevating their store designs with dramatic colors, bold textures and materials, and vibrant graphics, these retailers embrace their heritage, geographic footprint and signature features to deliver an experiential shopping experience.

6) J. Polep Distribution Services Acquired by Private Equity Firm
Palm Beach Capital Fund III LP is growing its investment in the convenience distribution space.In its recent move, the West Palm Beach-based private equity investment firm made an investment in Consumer Products Distributors LLC, which does business as J. Polep Distribution Services, and Rachael's Food LLC, collectively known as J. Polep.

7) The Hartley Co. Exits C-store Industry With Sale of Starfire Stores
The Hartley Co. closed on a deal to sell its convenience store and gas station assets to Campbell Oil Co. & BellStores Inc. Cambridge-based Hartley operated 16 Starfire convenience and gas locations, and distributed wholesale fuels to 15 company-owned and dealer-operated locations. Massillon-based Campbell Oil will convert the Starfire c-stores to the BellStores brand.

8) Convenience Store News Celebrates Sixth Class of Top Women in Convenience
Set against the backdrop of the 2019 NACS Show, the convenience store industry's top female leaders and up-and-comers were honored Oct. 2 at Convenience Store News' 2019 Top Women in Convenience (TWIC) awards gala, held at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta.The sixth-annual event recognized and celebrated the accomplishments of 42 women who are making their mark on the c-store industry.

9) Yesway CEO: Allsup's Banner Will Continue to Fly
Once the deal is finalized, the Allsup's brand will not be disappearing from the convenience store landscape. "We are going to keep the Allsup's banner," said  Yesway Chairman and CEO Thomas Nicholas Trkla. "This is a 63-year iconic chain with very good brand equity and very good brand awareness in the marketplace."

10) NACS Show 2019 Kicks Off in Atlanta
Convenience store operators are in the retail business, but they also need to be in the "memory-making business," according to training and development veteran Jim Knight, who delivered a fast-talking, high-energy keynote presentation on Oct. 1 to kick off NACS Show 2019. "People crave differentiation. Let's find a way to give it to them," said Knight, who ran global training for Hard Rock International for two decades.