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    Year in Review -- 1Q 2010

    C-stores’ jockeyed for increased profit margins through technology and emerging product categories like fresh food.

    The New Year started as the previous one ended, with consumers reeling from the worst recession since the Great Depression and convenience stores bracing for another year of “restrained consumer spending,” as predicted by Nielsen Co.’s James Russo at the CSNews Forecast Council.

    The major stories of the first quarter of the year centered around c-stores’ jockeying for increased profit margins through technology and emerging product categories like fresh food. 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto made big news as well, appearing on an episode of the TV show, "Undercover Boss," and garnering favorable publicity for his chain as well as the industry in general.

    On the legislative front, legislation of great importance to the convenience store industry passed the U.S. Senate, which approved stiffer regulations to combat the sale of bootlegged cigarettes.

    Below are the top two stories per month based on user views at www.csnews.com. To read the complete story, click on the link below each blurb.

    JANUARY

    Stan Sheetz Opens Up: From Technology to Hummus

    President and CEO Stan Sheetz recently spoke with SmartPlanet.com on a range of topics from the latest use of technology at the convenience store retailer and why he doesn't want managers counting money, to what he does when he stops at a Sheetz location. click here for full story.

    CSNews Exclusive: Getting Fresh is Major Opportunity and Challenge for C-store Channel

    The food industry is in a state of transition as consumers continue to look for convenient and healthy food choices, often a difficult combination to find, according to Sherry Frey, vice president of account services for the Perishables Group, a Chicago-based marketing and consulting firm in the fresh industry. click here for full story.

    FEBRUARY

    Nielsen: "New Normal" Impacts Alcohol Beverages

    While there are recent signs that the U.S. economy has righted itself and is on a path to recovery, the road ahead faces significant headwinds that will make a true reversal protracted. click here for full story.

    Oprah Showcases 7-Eleven's Joe DePinto 7-Eleven Inc. CEO Joe DePinto appeared on "Oprah" yesterday, discussing his experience going undercover as a store employee named "Danny." click here for full story.

    MARCH

    Senate Passes PACT Act The Senate unanimously passed the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act) March 11, which would help prevent tobacco tax evasion and underage purchasing by consumers through a ban on remote sales of tobacco. click here for full story.

    CSNews Exclusive: 7-Eleven CEO's Appearance on 'Undercover Boss' has Lasting Influence

    A week or so after Joe DePinto's February appearance on CBS' "Undercover Boss," in which he worked incognito in several stores, at one of the chain's bakeries and on a delivery truck, Jim Brown, CEO of 7-Eleven Stores in Oklahoma, which is not affiliated with 7-Eleven Inc., told his local newspaper the program was "like an hour-long commercial," though interesting to watch. click here for full story.

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