NATIONAL REPORT — Readers flocked to headlines about industry leaders in 2022. Whether news stories covered potential acquisitions, organic growth or new and creative ways of increasing share of wallet, the largest c-store chains (in store count or in average square footage) generated the most traffic.
Website readers were also drawn to news about changing consumer behavior and important category news as they made their own plans to adapt to market changes.
These are the top 10 most-read headlines of Convenience Store News Online for 2022, based on website hits:
1. IQOS Will Not Return to U.S. Market in 2022
Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA subsidiary had to remove the heat-not-burn product from the market in November 2021 due to an import ban and cease-and-desist orders from the U.S. International Trade Commission. In early 2022, Altria CEO Billy Gifford noted that although the company did not expect to bring IQOS devices back that year, the company continued to believe that heated tobacco products could play an important role in harm reduction.
2. PHOTO GALLERY: Buc-ee's Opens Its Inaugural Store in Kentucky
On April 19, the retailer opened the doors to its travel center in Richmond, Ky., its first location within the state of Kentucky. Located at 1013 Buc-ee's Boulevard, at the northeast corner of I-75 and Duncannon Lane, Buc-ee's Richmond occupies more than 53,000 square feet and offers 120 fuel positions
3. 7-Eleven & Speedway Deal Leads to Corporate Restructuring
7-Eleven Inc. downsized its corporate workforce by eliminating approximately 880 jobs in July. The move was part of finalizing its organizational structure more than a year after the company completed its acquisition of Enon, Ohio-based Speedway LLC for $21 billion and primarily included roles at the convenience retailer's support centers and field support operations in Enon and 7-Eleven's hometown of Irving, Texas.
4. Convenience Store News Names 2022 Top Women in Convenience
The ninth-annual awards program celebrated its largest class of winners yet by honoring five Women of the Year, 36 Senior-Level Leaders, 40 Rising Stars and 10 Mentors. Winners from the retailer, wholesaler and supplier communities were chosen based on nominations received from their peers.
5. Five Consumer Behavior Trends That May Last Into 2023
The combination of rising prices, increased costs of living and ongoing social upheaval prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted consumers to grow thriftier and change their behavior, according to NielsenIQ, which identified five key trends that could last into the new year: a change in priorities; reduced discretionary spending; staying at home; selective shopping; and private label preferences.
6. Couche-Tard & EG Group in Talks Over Potential Merger
The two international c-store retailers reportedly traded proposals that would have put EG's value around $16 billion. News of the possible tie-up came more than six months after United Kingdom-based EG Group began exploring options that included a sale.
7. 7-Eleven Unveils Bigger-Than-Ever Plans for Slurpee Day 2022
The retailer planned an extra-large celebration for its 95th birthday on July 11, aka 7/11. For the first time ever, the convenience store operator held Slurpee Day at all 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores and gave customers 11 days to redeem their free small Slurpee drink and enjoy special deals on their favorite snacks.
8. Circle K & Mountain Dew Partner on Exclusive Flavor
Circle K teamed up with PepsiCo Inc. to announce the exclusive release of Mtn Dew Purple Thunder, a new beverage combining blackberry and plum flavors. Mtn Dew Purple Thunder was released in both 20-ounce bottles and as a fountain drink.
9. Sheetz Gets Into the Subscription Game
The retailer launched a subscription service for its "fryz" for $9.99 a month, available through the Sheetz mobile app. As part of the subscription, customers can order fries via the app every two hours and with no limit on how many times they can use the subscription from month to month.
10. Buc-ee's Makes Its Debut in South Carolina
Buc-ee's opened its first travel center in South Carolina on May 16. Located in Florence at the northeast corner of Interstate 95 and North Williston Road, the site features thousands of snack, meal and drink options for travelers on the go. Favorites, including Texas barbeque, homemade fudge, kolaches, Beaver Nuggets, jerky and fresh pastries, are also available.