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ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Tom Tinsley, an early leader in the convenience store industry, passed away Oct. 16 in Austin, Texas. Tinsley, founder of Quick Shop Market Inc. and former president of NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, was 94.
He began his retail career in the 1930s when he joined his father's grocery store, which offered hot foodservice and gasoline, according to NACS. Twenty years later, Tinsley moved into the convenience store industry when he opened Quick Shop Market Inc. in 1959. The move was the start of the c-store business in eastern Missouri.
"I could put in five or six convenience stores with the capital it would take for one supermarket. The way I was looking at it, I could scatter my losses. If I had a bad location in a supermarket, I had it, but if I had a bad location in five or six convenience stores, it wouldn't be so bad," he told NACS in 2001 interview.
Tinsley attended his first NACS Annual Meeting in 1963 and became the association's secretary/treasurer in 1964. He served as NACS president in 1968.
During Tinsley's term as NACS president, the association held its first international NACS Annual Meeting, which was held in Montreal and drew a then-record 950 attendees. That year NACS also approved funding for a Management Development Seminar series of videos that expanded NACS' education offer and created today's video presence. In addition, NACS examined how the industry could create more industry-specific research. After a few trials, a chart of accounts was developed and released in 1969, standardizing industry categories and leading to the first NACS State of the Industry in 1970. Most important, in 1968, NACS established the Legislative Committee, according to NACS.