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Apr 18, 2014

Voting Underway for Convenience Retailer of the Year
NACS Insight International Convenience Retailer of the Year Awards recognize the most progressive convenience retail formats from around the world.

Retailers Scramble to Stop Heartbleed Bug
The bug could cause significant disruptions to the Internet over the next few weeks.

War Is Apparently the Answer in the Battle for Breakfast
If fast-foods chains continue battling it out in the breakfast space, are they leaving lunch and dinner open for the taking?

New York Senator Pushes $15 Minimum Wage
State Senator Daniel Squadron says chains such as McDonald’s and 7-Eleven are not passing on higher profits to their employees.

Gulf Coast Crude Oil Inventories Reach Record Level
U.S. Energy Information Administration Gulf Coast inventories reached a record high 207.2 million barrels on April 11.

Wyoming Lottery Holds Workshops for Retailers
Nine workshops are being held over the next two weeks for retailers in the state that want to sell Powerball and Mega Millions tickets.


Apr 17, 2014

NACS CAFÉ Offers Advanced Foodservice Strategy Program
The May 1-2 program helps convenience retailers identify areas of opportunity within their foodservice strategy, as well as common pitfalls.

Vermont Senate Approves GMO Labeling
Measure would make Vermont the first state to require labeling foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.

Why Wawa Wows
Wawa customers cite cleanliness, great food and great coffee as compelling reasons to visit the convenience stores.

New Jersey Legislators Question Raising E-Cigarettes Taxes
Lawmakers argue that raising the tax on electronic cigarettes would impact smokers who are trying to quit tobacco products.

Food Costs Surging
Meat and produce lead price gains in the latest Consumer Price Index.

Florida Craft Brewers Fighting Three-Tier System
A bill that would require craft brewers to sell their products to a distributor is causing a beer war in the Florida Legislature.


Apr 16, 2014

Illinois Retailers Oppose Gas Tax Increase
Convenience store operators say they would be unable to absorb a tax increase.

Wawa Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Philadelphia Mayor Nutter proclaims April 16 as “Wawa Day.”

Coca-Cola Offers Ideas to Jumpstart C-Store Business
The company is offering retailers a free eBooklet, adding vitaminwater® to beverage dispensers and is addressing the importance of clean ice makers.

New York County Raises Tobacco and E-Cigarette Purchasing Age
Suffolk County officials maintain their municipality is the first in the country to raise the minimum age for purchasing e-cigarettes (along with tobacco products) to 21.

Maxwell House Brews Up Brand Refresh
Coffee maker is perking up its 121-year-old brand.

Baskin-Robbins Offering L.A. Franchise Opportunities, Incentives
Company is also offering strong franchise incentives to military veterans.


Apr 15, 2014

Members of Congress Continue Crusade Against E-Cigarettes
The lawmakers are accusing electronic cigarette companies of marketing to children.

NatureBox Delivers
One of the fastest-growing snack food brands won't be found on convenience or grocery store shelves.

U.S. Senator Looks to Speed Up Keystone Approval
Due to the administration’s lack of action, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu is planning to introduce legislation that will speed up the approval process of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Domino's Pizza Introduces Specialty Chicken
The pizza chain is promoting its first new menu item since Handmade Pan Pizza.

Panera CEO Weighs in on Breakfast Wars
"Don't try to beat them. Be who you are,” says Ron Shaich of Panera.

Switzerland Puts World’s Highest Minimum Wage on Ballot
Voters will have their say on whether to boost the rate to 22 francs ($25) per hour.


Apr 14, 2014

Congress Seeks Solution to Abusive Patent Demand Letters
A hearing last week took a look at abusive patent demand letters and explored ways to address this growing problem, which is costing small businesses and threatening innovation.

Paper Versus Plastic Foam
Paper versus plastic shopping bags sees its fair share of debate, but what about paper versus plastic foam beverage cups?

Hy-Vee Opens Smaller Format Store
The grocery chain is tapping into the trend of large retail chains going from big footprints to smaller square footage.

Iowa House Studying Gas Tax Hike
House lawmakers in Iowa step in after a gas tax proposal fizzles in the Iowa Senate.

Frozen Food Makers Looking to Heat Up Sales
The American Frozen Food Institute is finalizing a major PR push that will reinforce the nutritional value of frozen foods.

Walmart Doubles Down on Organic Foods
Mass retailer partners with Wild Oats to sell organic foods at a discount.


Apr 11, 2014

Bipartisan Bill Would Stop State GMO Food Labeling
The measure would put in place mandatory labeling of GMO products.

California Soft Drink Warning Label Proposal Advances
A state lawmaker wants sweetened soda to carry a safety warning similar to cigarettes and alcohol.

Subway Expands Mobile Ordering
The sandwich chain has begun testing a pre-order app at Manhattan locations.

Pepsi to Launch ‘Real Sugar’ Selections
This summer, Pepsi products sweetened with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup will hit shelves.

Consumers to Shake Off Winter Blues This Easter
After an unusually cold winter in many parts of the United States, everyone is ready to celebrate spring.

Nigeria to Toughen Tobacco Rules
The bill would add a fine for smoking in non-smoking areas and ban tobacco advertising.


Apr 10, 2014

PCATS Announces Gold Level Sponsors for Annual Conference
Anheuser-Busch, CHS, The Coca-Cola Company, NCR, The Pinnacle Corporation and VeriFone are supporting PCATS at the Gold Level.

Detroit Approves New Ordinance for Digital Surveillance
The new regulations place minimum standards for video equipment at city self-serve gasoline stations.

Kosher Foods Expand Reach
More people are choosing kosher foods for non-religious reasons.

Shell Targets Global Convenience Store Growth
The company is launching a strategy to grow its global convenience retail business and is looking to form long-term partnerships with leading category suppliers to achieve its goal.

McColl’s Launches Expansion Plans
The U.K. convenience store chain has plans to add more fresh vegetables and wine to spur sales.

U.S. Beef Prices Skyrocket
Low cattle herds because of extreme weather have triggered soaring prices for beef.

Did Convenience Stores Kill the Hotel Minibar?
That’s the claim of a Hong Kong hotel manager at least, but the fact is hotel minibars are on the decline.


Apr 9, 2014

Consumer Optimism Steady Even as Gas Prices Rise
However, Americans might change their driving behavior if gas prices continue to climb.

House Subcommittee Examines Implementation of Tobacco Control Act
Members of Congress questioned the efficiency and competence of FDA's ability to bring new products to market.

EIA: Summer Fuels Outlook
U.S. Energy Information Administration says gasoline retail prices will average $3.45 this summer.

Companies Will Shell Out $500 Billion to Fix Data Breaches
Many analysts view this as a diversion of capital funds from innovation to maintenance issues.

EPA Administrator Discusses Renewable Fuel Standards
Administrator Gina McCarthy talked about the RFS during the annual meeting of the North American Agricultural Journalists this week.

Maryland Legislature Approves Minimum Wage Hike
The governor is expected to sign the bill that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2018.

GM Puts $449 Million to Develop Electric Cars
Two plants in Michigan will work on Cadillac ELR and Chevrolet Volt models.


Apr 8, 2014

NACS Asks Congress to Support Online Lottery Legislation
NACS members can encourage their legislators to support the bill, which would protect the industry and consumers from a potential Wild West scenario of Internet gambling.

Health Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Tobacco Control Act
Today the U.S. Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health will examine the regulatory activities of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea Expands East Coast Presence
The company opened its first flagship café in Washington, D.C, a block away from the White House.

McDonald’s and Taco Bell Continue Breakfast Bashing
The breakfast wars look more like a boxing match, with Taco Bell landing the stronger punches.

Stripes Convenience Stores Supports National Guard and Reserve
A “Statement of Support” reaffirms Stripes’ ongoing support for U.S. service members and their families.

Franchise Growth Remains Strong for 2014
A new International Franchise Association report suggests that the franchise industry will create more jobs this year.


Apr 7, 2014

FDA Ready to Rule on Electronic Cigarettes
Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said she expects the agency to release its rule “very soon” on establishing FDA authority over e-cigarettes.

Kloza Goes “Beyond The Screen”
OPIS analyst Tom Kloza outlines the challenges facing fuel retailers in 2014 and beyond at the NACS State of the Industry Summit.

Kentucky Lottery Celebrates Silver Anniversary
Twenty-five years since its debut, the Kentucky lottery has sold more than $15 billion worth of lottery tickets.

New York Attorney General Sues FedEx for Shipping Illegal Cigarettes
Eric Schneiderman announced a $70 million lawsuit against FedEx for illegally shipping 80 million untaxed cigarettes to consumers.

High Gas Prices No Longer Fueling a Decline in American Driving
AAA says that consumers are changing their behavior as gasoline becomes less expensive compared to previous years.


Apr 4, 2014

Congress Passes 40-Hour Legislation
Thanks to NACS grassroots efforts, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would establish 40 hours per week as the threshold for determining full time employment.

FDA Sends Final Menu-Labeling Rules to White House
It’s hard to say how the final regulations differ from the starting place.

Welcome to the Retail “Twilight Zone”
Nielsen’s Todd Hale predicts that retail winners will focus on their consumers, not their competition.

Fueling Tomorrow’s Vehicles
NACS State of the Industry Summit education session explored several areas of the future of fuels, including consumer behavior and preferences, recent market trends and the role of the government.

Economist Advises Retailers to be Nimble, Quick
Walter Zimmermann demonstrates how to predict bull, bear market trends using pricing tools during a NACS State of the Industry Summit education session.

Family Dollar Expands Food Assortment
The discount retail chain will add more than 400 new food items in U.S. stores.

Specialty Food Sales Break Records
Nut butters, eggs and frozen desserts show big jumps in sales.


Apr 3, 2014

Convenience Stores Hit Record In-Store Sales in 2013
The convenience store industry’s in-store sales have seen rapid growth over the last decade, as consumers seek out more food and beverages on the go, according to new NACS State of the Industry data.

Congress Votes Today on 40-Hour Legislation
Last push is needed to tell Congress to repeal the definition of a full-time employee under the current health-care law.

Watch Out for C-Store 'Disruptors'
While the economy appears to be on the mend, don't ignore several trends, suggests economist Dr. David Nelson at the NACS State of the Industry Summit.

Economist: Signs Point to Impending Stock Collapse
Economist Walter Zimmermann talks bubbles, climate change, energy, Putin and the Fed at the NACS State of the Industry Summit.

Unlocking Opportunities with Shopper Research
A new report from NACS/CCRRC shows how convenience stores can use research and best practices to grow.

Customers Chide Starbucks Into Returning Lemon Cake
After consumers complained about changes to its menus, Starbucks has revamped it to bring back a few favorites.

Global Partners’ Alltown Convenience Stores, CFMS Donate $300,000 to National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The money was raised through a combination of Alltown customer contributions and other fundraising activities.


Apr 2, 2014

Congress Readies Vote on 40-Hour Legislation
NACS-supported legislation is coming to up for a vote on Thursday — make your voices heard through the NACS grassroots website.

End of Windows XP Support Ups Risk of ATM Cyber Attacks
With Microsoft stopping its support of the Windows XP operating system on April 8, ATMs could prove vulnerable to criminal activity.

Quality, Variety Key for Pizza
The consumption of the savory pies is high, with people eating pizza around 3 times monthly.

Ontario's Modest LCBO Kiosk Plan Failed
However, retailers agree that the principle of expanded alcohol retailing is a good one.

Diet Soda Consumption Plummets
Consumers continue to swap diet soda for tea, energy drinks and bottled waters, according to new figures from Beverage Digest.

Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks Rock Asia
The two chains have capitalized on a coffee explosion in South Korea, while looking ahead to China.


Apr 1, 2014

NACS State of the Industry Summit Kicks Off in Chicago
New to this year’s format are Retailer Hot Topic Sessions.

Leadership Skills Development Leads to High Performance
Individuals preparing to take on key leadership roles in NACS retail member companies should attend the upcoming NACS Executive Leadership Program.

New Product Innovations Designed to Spark Sales
Coca-Cola’s 19.2-oz. can and expanded drops portfolio provide retailers appealing options for shoppers.

Cafés Pass QSRs in Growth Speed
From coffee shops to bakeries, cafés have become one of the most popular places for Americans.

In U.K., Fight Over Plain Tobacco Packaging Continues
A new report published this week touts the benefits of plain packaging, while tobacco companies point to increased illegal cigarette trafficking as a big drawback to such a move.

Demographics Play Part in Selecting Prepared Foods
Different age groups want different things when it comes to prepared foods.

Instagram Works Wonders for Small Businesses
The social media photo-sharing site has been a boon for retailers.


Mar 31, 2014

NACS Launches Category Management Online Training
As more retail channels continue to aggressively target the convenience shopper, it’s more critical than ever for convenience operators to have the right product mix to meet consumer needs.

Iowa Retailers Encourage Age-Restricted Sales for E-Cigarettes
“As retailers, our members have an important role to play in preventing under-age access to e-cigarettes," says Dawn Carlson of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa.

Stripes Convenience Stores Launches New Campaign for Students to Learn About Fresh Vegetables
The new program gives elementary school students a hands-on experience to understand where food comes from and learn the value of using fresh foods.

Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, Publix Top Supermarket Ratings
Walmart is the lowest scoring in a new Consumer Reports subscriber survey.

Denver Drops Credit Card Swipe Fees
Without the fees, credit card payments surged.

One in Five Admit to Purchasing Illegal Smokes in Ireland
Those surveyed said they knowingly purchased smuggled cigarettes.


Mar 28, 2014

NACS Members Urge Congress to Redefine Full-Time Employee
Next week Congress is planning to vote on a bill that would repeal the definition of a full-time employee under the current health-care law.

Placing Healthier Options in Your Stores
Michigan retailers hear from NACS about how to sell healthy options.

Walmart Sues Visa Over Swipe Fees
Retailer argues Visa conspired with banks to fix swipe fees.

Connecticut Passes $10.10 Minimum Wage
The Nutmeg State becomes the nation’s first to cross the $10 minimum wage threshold.

Smokers’ Rights Group Sues New York City Over E-Cigarette Ban
Group claims the city’s ban violates the “one subject” rule of the city charter because it addresses both cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

Mars Chocolate Opens New Facility to Produce M&M’s and Snickers
The new $270 million facility, which will bring 200 new jobs to Topeka, is one of the largest investments in the company’s history.

Dunkin' Donuts Introduces LTO PEEPS Donuts
Dunkin’ Donuts partners with confectionary favorite to launch a limited-time-only treat.


Mar 27, 2014

NACS Issues Call to Action on Full-Time Employee Legislation
Next week Congress is planning to vote on a bill that would repeal the definition of a full-time employee under the current health-care law.

U.S. Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Ban Online Lottery Sales
Bipartisan bill would reverse a 2011 Department of Justice decision that expanded online gaming.

Calorie Counting Bill Advances in Louisiana
Bill would apply to restaurants with 15 or more locations in the Bayou State.

E-Cigarette Bans Advance in Minnesota and Georgia
A Minnesota bill would prohibit vaping indoors and in all public spaces; the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation making e-cigarettes an age-restricted product.

Banks Sue PCI Auditor Over Target Breach
In a rare move, two banks are suing a QSA over a data breach involving a retailer it had validated as PCI compliant.

Caribou Coffee Expands Lunch Menu
Coffeehouse launches a new line of premium, toasted lunch sandwiches.


Mar 26, 2014

NACS Releases Compensation Report of 2013 Data
This year’s report provides the latest snapshot of compensation levels, turnover and benefits metrics for the convenience and fuel retailing industry.

States Seek to Stem Tide of Cigarette Smuggling
Illegal smokes are being transported up and down the East Coast’s I-95, nicknamed Tobacco Road.

Biofuels Industry Asks for Tax Credit Extension
The industry wants four tax credits to receive multiyear extensions.

American Coffee Consumption Drops
While only a slight decrease from the year before, Americans are sipping less coffee each day.

Navy Considers Tobacco Sales Ban
The move would eliminate the sale of tobacco on all Naval ships and bases.

Chicago Retailers Propose Paper Bag Tax
The Illinois Retail Merchants Association wants the City Council’s consideration of a plastic bag ban to be accompanied by a nickel or dime tax on paper bags.

California Chefs Bare Knuckles in Glove Fight
State foodservice workers are flouting a ban on bare-hand contact with food that will be enforced in July.


Mar 25, 2014

Illinois Lawmakers Sour on Sugary Beverage Tax
State lawmakers fail to embrace a tax that would impose a penny-per-ounce on sugar-sweetened drinks.

Super-Sized Gas Stations Fuel Anger of Locals
Locals are resisting efforts by retail companies to build mega stations, opposition that NACS maintains is fueled by “what-ifs.”

Florida Lawmakers Get Behind Gas Pump Assistance Bill
Proposal would require Florida stations to post contact information so people with disabilities could call for assistance.

Bill to Limit Online Lottery Sales Advances in Minnesota Senate
Legislators seek to do away with online scratch-off games, which launched last month.

Starbucks to Sell Alcohol at Thousands of Stores
Thousands of Starbucks nationwide will begin a daily happy hour at 4:00 pm.


Mar 24, 2014

Appeals Court Overturns Debit Rule
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has overturned a lower court’s 2013 decision that would have rewritten the Federal Reserve’s rule for implementing the Durbin Amendment.

Cigarette Smuggling Runs Rampant in United States
In New York, 57% of cigarettes are illegally imported from other states, according to new Tax Foundation research.

A-B InBev Bites on Hard Cider
The brewer is tapping into the growing popularity of hard cider with a new addition to its portfolio.

Growlers, Beer Sampling Come Before Florida Legislature
An old Prohibition-era packaging law in Florida allows for 32-ounce and gallon-sized growlers but not 64-ounce growlers.

Wendy’s Rolls Out Mobile App Nationwide
The QSR has been testing its mobile app for the past year.