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Industry Roundup: The Top 10 Most-Read Stories of October 2023

The tobacco category saw notable legal and regulatory movement last month.
Angela Hanson
A Circle K gas station at night

NATIONAL REPORT — Awards, acquisitions and regulatory changes were some of the recent hot topics in the convenience store industry. In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of October, based on reader views:

1)  Alimentation Couche-Tard Aims to 'Win' With Five-Year Strategic Plan
The company’s roadmap for growth focuses on winning offer, winning fuel, winning the customer and winning growth. Couche-Tard’s "10 for the Win" strategy seeks to provide more value as it works to become the most trusted brand in convenience and mobility.

2)  Convenience Store News Honors 10th Class of Top Women in Convenience
Eighty-six established and emerging female leaders were celebrated in front of a sold-out crowd during the 2023 Convenience Store News Top Women in Convenience Awards Gala. Winners included five Women of the Year, 39 Senior-Level Leaders, 35 Rising Stars and seven Mentors from across the industry's retailer, distributor and supplier communities.

3)  Two C-store Retailers Rank Among Top 10 Franchise Brands
7-Eleven Inc. (No. 2) and Circle K (No. 9) landed in the top 10 of the latest Franchise Times Top 400 list, which ranks the largest U.S.-based franchise systems by global systemwide sales.

4)  FDA Sends Final Menthol Rule for Review
The agency submitted a final product standard that would prohibit the use of menthol in cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and heated tobacco products to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review. The OMB reviews potential regulations to assess their economic impact — a necessary step before the FDA's rule can be implemented.

5)  NJOY Takes Legal Action Against Illicit Disposable Vapor Manufacturers
NJOY, an operating company of Altria Group Inc., is suing 34 foreign and domestic manufacturers, distributors and online retailers of illicit disposable vapor products that are unlawfully marketed and sold in California and elsewhere.

6)  Court Stays Marketing Denial of Vuse Alto Menthol Pods
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. an emergency administrative stay of enforcement, a move that temporarily puts on hold the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's marketing denial order for Vuse Alto Menthol Pods.

7)  SQRL Buys 200-Plus Convenience Stores
SQRL Fuel Stations announced a major expansion through its recent acquisition of 210 locations in various regions of the country. The company did not disclose the name of the stores' seller.

8)  Retailers Optimistic as Federal Reserve Signals Change to Debit Card Swipe Fees
The Federal Reserve Board met to discuss lowering debit card swipe fees, also known as interchange fees, on Oct. 25 — news that was welcomed by retailer associations across the United States, including the Retail Industry Association (RILA) and the National Retail Federation (NRF) and NACS.

9)  Chevron to Buy Hess in $53B Deal
Under the definitive agreement announced Oct. 23, Chevron will acquire all the outstanding shares of Hess in an all-stock transaction valued at $53 billion, or $171 per share based on Chevron's closing price on Oct. 20. The total enterprise value, including debt, of the transaction is $60 billion.

10)  Kwik Trip Begins to Restore Internal Systems Following Outage
The convenience store operator recovered from an outage that prevented customers from logging into the Kwik Trip mobile app or website and downed the company's phones. Kwik Trip launched an investigation into the incident  in partnership with third-party information security experts.

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