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    How Long Will the Economic Slowdown Last?

    'CSNews' 2009 Forecast Study, with special guest Sonja Hubbard, provides a glimpse of the rough conditions ahead and critical insight for c-stores to make business decisions.

    NEW YORK -- While reduced strain in world credit markets have eased some fears of a total economic meltdown, high unemployment and tightened consumer spending promise to make 2009 a difficult year for c-store retailers.

    In a special CSNews Webcast next month, a leading economist and the CEO of one of the nation’s most innovative convenience store chains will look at the impact of reduced consumer spending on key c-store product categories and spotlight opportunities for growth amid the chaos.

    The Webcast, which will be held live at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 14, will feature Maureen Maguire, president of ThinkResearch and CSNews’ research partner for its annual, industry-exclusive Industry Forecast Study. Maguire will discuss macroeconomic conditions in 2009, and the effect they will have on the sales growth of six major categories of c-store revenue: motor fuels, packaged beverages, tobacco, snacks, malt beverages and confections.

    Special guest will be Sonja Hubbard, CEO of E-Z Mart Inc., the Texarkana, Texas-based chain of more than 300 c-stores. Hubbard, who is also chairwoman of NACS—The Association for Convenience and Petroleum Retailing, will discuss how c-stores will cope with this difficult environment.

    Attendees of the live, Webcast presentation will be able to direct questions on the forecast findings to the speakers and get answers immediately. The Webcast will also be archived for later viewing.

    This special Industry Forecast Webcast is sponsored by Ruiz Foods.

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