Year in Review: Most-Read Stories of 2017
NEWARK, N.J. — Retailer stories occupied most spots in this year's most-read list, but R.J. Reynolds reached No. 1 with news of its Newport Platinum national rollout.
Readers were also drawn to stories about impending acquisitions, a major exit from retail and ways that convenience stores enhanced their brands through store development and loyalty offerings.
These are the top 10 most-read headlines of CSNews Online stories for 2017, based on website hits:
1. R.J. Reynolds Brings Newport Platinum National
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. rolled out Newport Platinum nationally in direct response to demand from adult menthol smokers for a different menthol product offering from the brand. It is available in two styles: Newport Platinum (Kings and 100's) and Newport Platinum Blue (Kings and 100's).
2. What's to Come for CST Under Couche-Tard Ownership?
Industry analysts and experts speculated that the stores would eventually be turned into Circle K sites, allowing Couche-Tard to expand the global Circle K brand and gain brand recognition in new areas of operation.
3. Sunoco Eyes Substantial Retail Exit by Fourth Quarter
With a pending sale of more than 1,000 convenience stores to 7-Eleven Inc. and hundreds of more stores still on the sales block, Sunoco "will have substantially exited the retail convenience store space in the continental United States by the end of 2017," President and CEO Bob Owens predicted in May.
4. Altria Assembles Team for iQOS Commercialization
Altria Group Inc. continued its innovation journey by assembling a team to work on the commercialization of iQOS in the United States. It worked with Philip Morris International to bring the heat-not-burn product stateside.
5. Step Into Store 411 to See Pilot Flying J's Future
The Lebanon Pilot Travel Center, situated off Interstate 40, has been one of the company's busiest stores for a long time, which was why the company’s leadership team selected it to be one of the first big improvement projects.
6. BP Reintroducing Amoco Brand After More Than a Decade
In October, BP confirmed that the brand will be available in select U.S. markets as a complementary retail offering to BP marketers in the corresponding cities. The company believes that resurrecting the Amoco fuel brand could foster additional growth opportunities and help resolve local, competitive station conflicts.
7. Walgreens & Rite Aid Merger Is Back On
Under the terms of an amended and restated asset purchase agreement, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. agreed to purchase 1,932 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid Corp. $4.375 billion in cash and other consideration.
8. Multicultural Retail 360 Summit Is Windy City Bound
The 13th annual Multicultural Retail 360 Summit was reformatted as a one-day symposium and held Sept. 26 in conjunction with the 2017 Path to Purchase Expo (P2PX). The event took place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., just outside the city.
9. Sheetz Rolls Out Customized Loyalty Program
The latest MySheetz Card program allows cardholders to receive points on nearly every in-store purchase and customize their rewards. Accumulating points also moves loyalty program members up the Sheetz Rewardz ranks from Fan to Friend to Freak.
10. Meet CSNews' 2017 Top 20 Growth Chains
El Paso, Texas-based Western Refining Inc. joins the ranks atop the annual list. The CSNews Top 20 Growth Chains report is based on store count figures provided by TDLinx, a service of Nielsen.