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    Shaping the Year Ahead

    While the Convenience Store News Forecast Study (pages 18 to 38) paints an optimistic picture of the year ahead, there are several major factors that may impact industry events in 2007.

    While the Convenience Store News Forecast Study (pages 18 to 38) paints an optimistic picture of the year ahead, there are several major factors that may impact industry events in 2007.

    Some of these factors are people, like Peter Sodini of The Pantry and Joseph DePinto of 7-Eleven Inc., who are among a cadre of chief executives who are fueling a Darwinization of the industry, as bigger, stronger chains buy up smaller operations.

    Some are companies, like Tesco, the global grocery giant that hopes to re-define convenience food retailing when it makes its U.S. debut in California this year.

    Some are events themselves, like the Democrats' takeover of Congress that will change the regulatory and legislative agenda for convenience stores.

    And, some are inexorable trends, like the healthy living and organics movement, and the growing ethnic diversity of the nation that will impact the fortunes of convenience retailers in 2007.

    The staff of CSNews, in consultation with industry experts, has carefully sculpted a list of these key influencers and organized them into 10 categories:
    The Consolidators
    Competition From Abroad
    Organics and Fresh Foods Go Mainstream
    The New Definition of Convenience
    Diversification of Consumers and Workforce
    Dealerization" by Big Oil
    An Uncertain Consumer
    The New Drug Store
    Gas Price Volatility
    The New Congress

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