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    C-store Industry Descends on Atlanta for NACS Show 2016

    Four retailers share with CSNews what they’re after.

    By Renee M. Covino, Convenience Store News

    ATLANTA — What do retailers get out of the NACS Show? In a nutshell, up-to-the-minute educational sessions, great networking opportunities, keeping up with product trends, staying ahead of competitive threats, and walking away with at least one great idea for the following year. Here, four retailers share more specific insights in regards to discoveries made at past NACS Shows and their intentions for this year’s event.

    Steve Loehr
    Vice President of Operations Support
    Kwik Trip Inc., La Crosse, Wis.

    DISCOVERY: Coffee machines
    “We have gathered many great ideas at past shows. One in the past year was to put Franke [coffee and espresso] machines in all of our stores, which has been a resounding success.”

    2016 INTENTION: In search of contacts for a new category manager
    “We are very excited about this year’s NACS Show! Our whole category management team will be there looking for new ideas, especially in the food and beverage area. We have a new member on that team, Category Manager Scott Falkenberg, and we are looking forward to him meeting many industry leaders at the event. Our store engineering team will be there, too, looking for the latest and greatest in the fueling area, [while] our IT [information technology] folks will be looking at the latest in loyalty and equipment.”

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    Steve Mercurio
    Regional Vice President of Wholesale Operations
    CrossAmerica Partners LP, Allentown, Pa.

    DISCOVERY: Credit card fees solution
    “One of the best contacts we made at a recent show was meeting the First Data representative to iron out our credit card fees and POS [point-of-sale] options for our unbranded locations.”

    2016 INTENTION: Putting faces to names
    “The greatest value of the NACS Show is the exposure it provides to new concepts, technologies, industry trends and networking. Specifically, meeting people you have talked to over the years, but have never met face-to-face.”

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    Kyle T. Williams
    Vice President, Merchandising
    Murphy USA Inc., El Dorado, Ark.

    DISCOVERY: Phone accessories program
    “One of the best ideas we discovered at the NACS Show is our phone accessories program. Phone accessories have generated millions of dollars in sales.”

    2016 INTENTION: In search of continuing industry knowledge
    “I hope to discover new and innovative product lines to grow sales. I will take advantage of the general sessions, as well as the breakout sessions, to enhance my knowledge base and achieve my goal of continuous improvement. The NACS Show gives the retail community the ability to keep abreast of emerging trends in the marketplace, and capitalize on those trends. The NACS Show also gives me the ability to network with industry leaders to discuss and resolve current industry challenges. I plan to attend as many sessions as possible. I will break down the expo – [tackling] half each day.”

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    Roy Strasburger
    President
    Convenience Management Services Inc., Temple, Texas

    DISCOVERY: Healthier products and presentation
    “The biggest idea that we’ve been working on over the last few years is in regards to fresh food/healthy food products and presentation. We think our customers are looking for healthier options and we want to meet those needs.”

    2016 INTENTION: See, attend and meet
    “We attend the NACS Show to accomplish three things: to see what new products and services are trending; to attend the education workshops to learn new processes and trends; and to meet with our clients.” 

    By Renee M. Covino, Convenience Store News
    • About Renee M. Covino Contributing Editor Renée M. Covino is a veteran researcher, editor and writer with more than 30 years of experience in the mass retail sector. Her articles and columns have appeared online and in print for dozens of industry trade magazines, newsletters, metro newspapers, Fortune 500 company reports and college textbooks. Covino is a self-named “store connoisseur” who not only writes about retail, but happily supports it.

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