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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In addition to being convenient, convenience store operators also want to be part of the community. NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, is providing the tools to help reach that end.
The newly published "Community Toolkit" provides ideas and examples of numerous community-focused areas that retailers of all sizes can implement. It is the fourth toolkit that has been developed as part of the NACS reFresh initiative to help retailers tell their positive stories in their communities.
The online, interactive toolkit provides examples of how retailers are making a difference in their communities by giving back to local community-focused groups, supporting local or national groups making a difference in communities or by offering more local products to customers.
It also includes dozens of links to groups already partnering with convenience stores, as well as examples of how stores are succeeding with these partnerships, according to NACS.
"From sponsoring youth sports teams to conducting food drives, convenience stores strengthen the communities that they serve, contributing nearly $1 billion a year to charitable and community groups," said NACS Director of Strategic Initiatives Carolyn Schnare.
"And being a good neighbor is not just a good business practice. Your efforts will position your company and employees as champions for the community and will resonate within the community. This toolkit is designed to give retailers examples of how they can get more engaged — and tell their stories within their communities," she added.
The community resource joins NACS' "Site Approval Toolkit" to provide strategies for retailers seeking zoning approvals, a "Public Relations Toolkit" to provide resources for enhancing a company's business and "How Stores Work," a toolkit that provides data around more than a dozen convenience store issues related to how they serve their communities.
Alexandria-based NACS advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily and has sales that are 10.8 percent of total U.S. retail and food service sales.
NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.