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NATIONAL REPORT — New competitors to the convenience and fuel retailing industry, retailer growth plans and innovative ways to serve and connect with customers were among the topics most important to CSNews Online readers last month. In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of July, based on reader views:
1) Couche-Tard Ready to Make More Acquisitions
Despite making several, large recent acquisitions, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has the wherewithal to make additional purchases, President and CEO Brian Hannasch stated during the company's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call. "We continue to grow, and do not intend to slow down any time soon," Hannasch said. "We don't just look at strategic opportunities, but we also look at potential acquisitions to see if there is anything we can learn from them."
2) Why Amazon's Private Label Program Can Hurt C-stores
Amazon Inc.'s planned private label grocery program could affect convenience store retailers more than any other retail channel, according to the findings of a new study fielded by Carbonview Research, sister company of Convenience Store News. In Carbonview's study of 1,015 primary grocery shoppers, 44 percent of respondents said they would buy private label products less frequently from c-stores if products from Amazon's private label program were offered to them.
3) Dollar General Getting Into Fuel Business
Dollar General Corp. is entering the fuel business following its purchase of 41 Walmart Express sites throughout 11 states. Of these 41 stores, 37 of the locations have fueling stations, which Dollar General will continue to operate. As part of the transaction, the company anticipates relocating 40 of its existing sites into the purchased sites by October and entering one new market.
4) Parker's Embarks on Billion-Dollar Growth Plan
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Parker's is in the midst of a five-year strategic plan to exceed $1 billion in annual sales, CSNews Online has learned, and the company is currently trending ahead of its goals. Since December, Parker's has opened seven new stores and will have opened a total of 17 new stores in 13 months by Jan. 1, 2017.
5) Tackling Tobacco: June 2016 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup
Tobacco legislation and regulation is constantly under review at the local, state and federal levels. CSNews Online highlights the latest proposals and approved changes happening across the United States.
6) Friendly Competitor Turns Into Acquisition for Wallis Cos.
Wallis Co. is adding 33 convenience stores to its portfolio. The company signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of U-Gas Holdings Inc., including 19 U-Gas and 14 Dirt Cheap branded convenience stores. The deal also includes a Gigi's Commissary.
7) PHOTO GALLERY: The View From Maverik's New Base Camp
After several years of being housed in low-slung, warehouse-looking buildings in North Salt Lake City, Maverik Inc. moved its headquarters — which it calls Base Camp — to a 13-story building smack in the middle of Salt Lake City. With the convenience store chain's first non-gas store occupying the ground floor, Maverik's new offices take up four upper floors of the striking building, where a large, red Maverik Base Camp logo is painted on the outside of the entire top floor.
8) How Should C-stores Get Going Around Pokémon Go?
Charmander, Squirtle, Kakuna and Pikachu. If you're a mobile-gaming youth or a nostalgic adult, these names may mean something to you. And if you're a convenience store retailer, they should mean something to you, too. Although it only became available in the United States on July 6, Pokémon Go has quickly become the most sought-after, craze-over, augmented reality mobile game that brings the 90's Pokémon franchise to the 21st century via Niantic, a Google startup that developed the game.
9) 7-Eleven Steps Up Services With First Drone Delivery
The convenience store chain teamed up with drone delivery service Flirtey to complete the first fully autonomous drone delivery to a customer's residence. This delivery marked the first time a U.S. customer received a package to their home via drone, representing a historic milestone, according to the companies. The delivery was conducted in celebration of 7-Eleven's 89th birthday.
10) Luxury Goods Company Seeks the Riches of C-store Business
There is a new player in the convenience store industry and it's looking to make a big impression over the next year. The Guess Corp., through a subsidiary, is seeking to acquire at least 1,000 convenience store/gas station units over the next 12 months. Its plans call for the acquisition of an average of 100 units per month, which may include branded and unbranded units.