Industry Roundup: The Top 10 Most-Read Stories of July 2020


NATIONAL REPORT — Speedway LLC and its potential buyers pushed the sale of the 3,900-store chain to the top of news. 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 Reportedly Positioning to Acquire Speedway
Alimentation Couche-Tard had reportedly begun the process of selling 1,250 of its sites located near Speedway stores to preemptively address competitive concerns raised by the Federal Trade Commission. However, 7-Eleven Inc.'s parent company Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd. announced in early August that it successfully reached a deal to acquire Speedway.

2) Three Major Convenience Channel Players Expected to Submit Rival Bids for Speedway
Alimentation Couche-Tard, Seven & i Holdings, and TDR Capital were the reported final potential buyers of Marathon Petroleum Corp.'s retail arm.

3) Another Possible Suitor for Speedway Chain Emerges
The London-based private equity firm owns EG Group and entered the U.S. convenience market by acquiring The Kroger Co.'s c-store business in 2018, followed by the purchase of Cumberland Farms the next year.

4) GPM Investments Set to Grow as Parent Company Enters Proposed Tie-Up Pact
GPM Investment LLC's parent company inked a letter of intent for a business combination with Haymaker Acquisition Corp. II, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company. The business combination would result in 100 percent of both GPM and Arko Holdings Ltd. combining with Haymaker with substantial rollover from existing equity holders.

5) FDA Orders 10 E-Cigarette Companies to Remove Unauthorized Products From Market
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent warning letters to three companies for illegally marketing disposable e-cigarettes: Puff Bar, HQD Tech USA LLC and Myle Vape Inc. The FDA's review of the companies' websites found that each firm is selling or distributing unauthorized tobacco products that were first introduced or modified after Aug. 8, 2016 — the effective date of the deeming rule that extended the FDA's authority to all tobacco products.

6) Circle K Fuel Brand Grows as Couche-Tard Implements Forecourt Initiatives
The Circle K Fuel brand is now available at more than 2,300 sites across North America, and Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is piloting some modified branding strategies with its fuel partners that place the brand more prominently on its canopies.

7) Couche-Tard Expands New Fresh Food Concept Across North America
Like all convenience store retailers, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has adjusted its operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it has not taken its foot off the gas when it comes to key initiatives, such as the rollout of its new food program throughout North America. The new program, which Couche-Tard calls "Fresh Food Fast," presents a significant organic-growth opportunity, with expectations for both top-line and margin improvement, according to President and CEO Brian Hannasch.

8) Wawa to Test Drive-Thru at a New Garden State Store
Wawa Inc. intends to offer drive-thru service for the first time at a planned Westampton, N.J., store. The future site, located at Rancocas Road and Highland Drive, will also have three parking spaces reserved for curbside pickup.

9) Convenience Store News Introduces 2020 Class of Future Leaders in Convenience
The 2020 class of honorees in Convenience Store News' Future Leaders in Convenience awards program includes 20 young c-store retailer executives who are already demonstrating they possess the traits of great leaders. Now in its third year, the goal of this annual awards program is to celebrate and help develop the next generation of convenience store industry leaders by recognizing the achievements of a select few emerging leaders, while providing a forum for talented young businesspeople to hone their leadership skills.

10) Cancelled: NACS Show 2020 Will Go Virtual
The 2020 NACS Show is the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused the cancellation of live events across industries and venues throughout the country. NACS stated it would be directly communicating to registered attendees and exhibitors no later than Aug. 7 to quickly facilitate full refunds for the event.