Convenience Store News

NOV 2014

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82 Convenience Store News | NOVEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM C O N V E N I E N C E S T O R E N E W S @ @ N A C S S H O W Taking Out the Garbage NACS Show 2014 kicks off multifaceted plan to improve industry's reputation A Convenience Store News Staff Report T here is a lot of "garbage" being spewed about the convenience store industry, NACS President and CEO Hank Armour told attendees of the 2014 NACS Show, held Oct. 7-10 in Las Vegas. This "garbage" includes that c-store operators are purveyors of death because they sell tobacco products; that they addict people to gambling because they sell lottery tickets; and that they contribute to the nation's obesity crisis because they sell items that allow con- sumers to indulge. "Now doesn't all of that just chap your ass," Armour said to rousing applause from the crowd, bor- rowing a quote from former NACS Chairwoman Sonja Hubbard of E-Z Mart Stores Inc. With these mistruths being perpetrated, "our future is at risk unless we do something about it," he stressed. NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, intends to do just that. Armour unveiled a multifaceted, long-term plan to address and correct these reputational attacks on the c-store industry and instead present the facts: • C-stores create opportunities; • Are responsible retailers; • Local governments depend on them; • Communities depend on them; and • They sell choice. The plan, among other things, calls for highlighting the many positives of the industry; tackling the misper- ception of dead-end jobs; addressing the nutritional What's Trending in Motor Fuels Alternative fuels were the talk on the NACS Show floor. Although compressed natural gas (CNG) and E15 must over- come infrastructure hurdles, industry executives said both should make a dent in the fuels landscape for one main reason: price. Scott Minton, CNG business development manager for OnCue Marketing LLC, explained during the "Fuels Outlook: Natural Gas" educational session that the Stillwater, Okla.- based retailer sells CNG at 15 locations at a current average price of $1.69 per gallon. "We saved Oklahoma customers about $5 million last year and expect to save an additional $6 million in 2014," he said. "Little of that money is going to savings accounts. Customers are going inside our stores and spending money on in-store items like Snickers bars." Sales of CNG dispensers have grown dramatically in recent months, with orders continuing to come in by the bushel full, according to one fuel dispenser executive. Regarding E15/88 octane fuel, it sells for 5 cents to 10 cents cheaper than standard E10 petroleum, Mike O'Brien, vice president of market development for ethanol advocacy group Growth Energy, noted during the "Ethanol: How Could You" educational session. "There are zero consumer complaints and the publicity is good," he said. "The common theme is that the lower price point and higher octane of E15 is a competitive advantage for retailers."

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