Convenience Matters

By National Association of Convenience Stores

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Whether it’s for food, fuel, drinks or snacks — about half of the U.S. population is at a convenience store every day. We sell 80% of the country’s fuel and we are 4% of the total U.S. economy. We’ll talk about what we see at stores — and what the future may hold — as long as it’s convenient.

Episode Date
#134 Addressing Food Waste With Feeding America

While convenience stores grow their fresh food offer, they also need to figure out what to do with the leftovers. Feeding America's network of 200 food banks and more than 60,000 pantries and meal programs serves virtually every community in the nation and stands by ready to help match good food with those who need it. 

Feeding America welcomes inquiries from c-stores about food donation programs. To learn more about best practices, how to get started and additional partnership opportunities, visit Feeding America.

Hosted by:

Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NACS
and Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS

Aug 13, 2018
#133 Fueling Natural Gas Growth

When we think of gas stations, we think of petroleum. But, natural gas is quickly rising in popularity, especially for truck and commercial fleets, because of its flexibility and environmental benefits. Find out how natural gas is making its mark on the future of fuels.

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS
and Donovan Woods, Director of Operations, Fuels Institute

Aug 06, 2018
#132 The Importance of Advocacy for Your Business

It is vital to make your voice heard with legislators. After all, if you're not telling your side of the story, lawmakers are making it up for you. In this episode, we talk with a retailer who is making a difference on Capitol Hill and in the convenience industry.

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS
and Stephanie Sikorski, Vice President, Marketing, NACS

Jul 30, 2018
#131 Building Your Own Box to Beat Your Competition - Part II

Best selling author, Steve Miller, talks about how to create an unfair advantage over your competition by making your business unique. In this episode, learn about hunting moose, the color orange, tradeshow excellence and more.

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS
and Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NACS

Jul 23, 2018
#130 Building Your Own Box to Beat Your Competition - Part I

Best selling author, Steve Miller, talks about how to create an unfair advantage over your competition by making your business unique. In this episode, we will visit disruptive technologies, competitive strategies and giving the rock-star treatment.

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS
and Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NACS

Jul 16, 2018
#129 Fueling Change

At the Fuels Institute FUEL2018 Annual Meeting, fuels expert Tammy Klein looks in her crystal ball to see how regulations, politics, vehicle and technology improvements affect fuels, cars and consumers.

Hosted by:

Donovan Woods, Director of Operations, Fuels Institute
and Britt Brewer, Marketing Manager, NACS

Jul 09, 2018
#128 A Conversation with Scott Hartman of Rutter's

The Rutter family has been in the convenience business for more than 50 years, in the dairy farm business for nearly 100 years and farming for more than 270 years. With that much history, it's not surprising that Rutter's has been internationally recognized for its success. President & CEO Scott Hartman shares his successes in foodservice, technology and more.

Hosted by:

John Eichberger, Executive Director, Fuels Institute
and Stephanie Sikorski, Vice President, Marketing, NACS

Jul 02, 2018
#127 A Conversation with Roy Strasburger

With decades in convenience retail, industry icon Roy Strasburger will shine light on the changes he's seen in the industry around the world. From fighting bees in Texas to serving mayonnaise shrimp in Norway, Roy shares ideas and advice from his years of experience.

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS
and John Eichberger, Executive Director, Fuels Institute

Jun 25, 2018
#126 Preparing for Disaster

The Red Cross helps people during and after emergencies and disasters to get back on their feet as soon as possible. Learn how to prepare yourself, your business and your customers before chaos strikes.

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS and Donovan Woods, Director of Operations, Fuels Institute

Jun 18, 2018
#125 Selling More Fresh Produce in Convenience Stores

NACS works with the United Fresh Produce Association and their members to help convenience stores grow sales of fresh produce. Hear what is new and exciting in the world of produce from United Fresh’s President and the Director of Convenience Store Sales at Fresh Del Monte Produce.

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS and Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NACS

Jun 11, 2018
#124 Fuel for Thought

How do retail fuel providers meet the needs of customers and their vehicles? In this episode, experts discuss the intricacies of fuel quality, octane, engines, and fuel efficiency.

Check out more detail on these topics and guests at

Hosted by:

Donovan Woods, Director of Operations, Fuels Institute and Britt Brewer, Marketing Manager, NACS

Jun 04, 2018
#123 Encouraging Women in Retail Leadership

Women face an uphill battle to the top levels of convenience retailing and CPG companies. The Network of Executive Women recently released a report that examines the path of female leaders in the industry and speculates why so many are leaving the channel. 

Read the full referenced report, The Female Leadership Crisis.

Hosted by:

Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NACS
and Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS


May 28, 2018
#122 The Effects of More Electric Vehicles on Utilities

Can the electric power infrastructure handle the rapid growth in electric vehicle usage in the US? Hear how utility companies are preparing for increased energy usage anticipated by 2030.

Hosted by:

John Eichberger, Executive Director, Fuels Institute and Donovan Woods, Director of Operations, Fuels Institute

May 21, 2018
#121 Pilot Flying J Gives from the Heart

Pilot Flying J is transforming the image of the typical trucker and truck stop by giving back to the community, raising nearly $1 million for the American Heart Association.

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS and Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NACS

May 14, 2018
#120 What’s Predictable in an Unpredictable Fuels Market?

The only thing certain in the current fuels market is uncertainty. From issues related to oil supply and demand to the status of fuels-related regulations, here's what you need to know for what could be a bumpy 2018 summer-drive season. Check out resources to help make sense of it all at

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS

May 07, 2018
#119 Your People Are Your Best Assets

Evolving cultural, local and workplace norms are impacting how organizations need to hire and retain talent. Hear ways to make your people your greatest benefit.

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS
and Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NACS

Apr 30, 2018
#118 Clean Stores are Good for Business

NACS has developed a close partnership with Keep America Beautiful to help encourage retailers, vendors and consumers to keep sustainability efforts top of mind. Find out how to get involved.

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS
and Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NACS

Apr 23, 2018
#117 Slow Evolution of Fuels Market Expected

According to the Fuels Institute, the vehicles and fuels market will evolve slowly without the influence of a strong external factor, such as policy or regulations. What does this mean for gas stations?

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS and John Eichberger, Executive Director, Fuels Institute

Apr 16, 2018
#116 Calculating Healthy Choices

How do you decide if a product meets criteria for being healthy? Registered dietitian, Amaris Bradley with the Partnership for a Healthier America, is going to walk us through how to use the online NACS PHA Healthier Product Calculator and what it means for merchandising.

Learn more and check out the calculator at

Hosted by:

Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NACS and Stephanie Sikorski, Vice President, Marketing, NACS

Apr 09, 2018
#115 Global Initiatives on Fuels and Vehicles

Countries around the world are racing to phase out gasoline and diesel vehicles. What does this mean for fuel retailers?

Hosted by:

John Eichberger, Executive Director, Fuels Institute and Donovan Woods, Director of Operations, Fuels Institute

Apr 02, 2018
#114 Working with the Red Cross in Times of Crisis

On average, an American Red Cross volunteer responds to a disaster every 8 minutes in communities across the country, from major events like hurricanes and earthquakes to life-altering events like house fires. We share ideas for what NACS members can do to support relief organizations before, during and after a crisis.

Learn how to get involved directly with the American Red Cross at

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS and Stephanie Sikorski, Vice President, Marketing, NACS

Mar 26, 2018
#113 Inside the Mind of Today’s Car Customer

What consumers think doesn’t translate into what they’ll purchase at the dealership. Join us as we chat with Jessica Caldwell, Executive Director/Strategic Analytics of Edmunds and take a deeper dive into consumer purchasing trends.

Hosted by:

John Eichberger, Executive Director, Fuels Institute and Donovan Woods, Director of Operations, Fuels Institute

Mar 19, 2018
#112 Convenience Stores Can Help Solve Childhood Hunger

No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. Hear how convenience stores, vendors and restaurants can help end childhood hunger by working with the No Kid Hungry campaign.

Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and eat healthy summer meals, and that families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Learn more at

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS and Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NACS

Mar 12, 2018
#111 Effects of Oil Market Dynamics

Trends related to oil supply and demand have enormous implications for the convenience and fuel retailing industry, whether it’s how changes in oil prices affect gas prices or consumer sentiment. API’s Chief Economist Dean Foreman shares insights into 2018 market dynamics and what they might mean for retailers.

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS and John Eichberger, Executive Director, Fuels Institute

Mar 05, 2018
#110 Networking for Kids

The 'C' in C-Store can stand for more than convenience. In this episode, it stands for community, caring, and children. Hear how getting involved with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals can benefit stores, the community and most importantly, kids.

To learn more, get involved or to donate, please visit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. 

Hosted by:

Jeff Lenard, Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives, NACS and Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NACS

Feb 26, 2018
#109 Price Matters

We interviewed consumers to find out if price really matters to them when buying gas and cars. Are customers really as concerned about the cost of getting around as we think?

Feb 19, 2018
#108 Convenience Across the Pond

Convenience stores around the world eventually contend with the same regulations and challenges and while retailers in some countries are at one end of the spectrum, another is just getting started. Hear how to keep up with changing tides and what a big blue banana has to do with anything.

Feb 12, 2018
#107 Autonomous Cars, Holograms, Big Brother and Hackers

The International Consumer Electronics Show is the world's gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Hear what CES had on display from the latest trends in vehicles to technology and gadgets designed to make life more convenient.

Feb 05, 2018
#106 H2O to Go

Convenience stores sell 50% of all single-serve bottled water in the U.S. NACS and Partnership for a Healthier America team up to help Americans buy – and drink – more bottled water.

Jan 29, 2018
#105 A Conversation With Aloha Petroleum

Hawaii is a great place to visit and a great place to work, especially with Aloha Petroleum. Hear from their CEO as he talks about jobs, culture, community and spam croissants.

Co-hosted by Jeff Lenard and Carolyn Schnare.

Jan 22, 2018
#104 New Vehicle Technologies and Urban Design

Emerging technologies are having profound effects on how we live, move and spend our time in cities, but also increasingly on urban form and development itself. Listen in as we discuss the secondary impacts of emerging technologies on urban design and transportation.

Jan 15, 2018
#103 Amazon Takes on Convenience

Convenience is generally a good thing, alleviating problems and saving time. Is a fully-automated store like Amazon Go a competitive threat to brick-and-mortar convenience stores or the way of the future?

Jan 08, 2018
#102 Gas Prices: Causes and Consequences

Oil prices heavily influence the price of gasoline and diesel fuel at gas stations. How can you anticipate this to better serve your customers? 

Jan 01, 2018
#101 Fresh Ideas in European Convenience

Convenience stores in Europe differ from those in the United States in operations, look and feel, and foodservice. Hear from an expert in European retail as he details trends, best practices and cool ideas.

Dec 25, 2017
#100 Pardon the Disruption

Chip Conley has disrupted the hospitality industry twice, most recently at Airbnb. Chip explains how companies can predict a new wave on the horizon and surf that wave to competitive advantage.

Dec 18, 2017
#99 Strategizing Innovation

Convenience is in the eyes of the beholder and unless you retailers think ahead, those eyes will be looking elsewhere. With a strong strategy and embraced innovation, convenience stores can be the retail powerhouse of the future.

Dec 11, 2017
#98 Road Trip!

Polar opposite in their food preferences, this odd couple took a road trip to the Chicago NACS Show to sample convenience store food around the country. Frank likes healthy stuff, Al loves delicious stuff. Hear if they found items to match each one's criteria along the way.

Dec 04, 2017
#97 Exploring Convenience Food and Drink Trends

Who can top having exactly what you need, exactly when you want it better than convenience stores? Hear how convenience retailers can own convenience, especially in the areas of food and beverages.

Nov 27, 2017
#96 Stories from Houston's Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas and Louisiana in September 2017. The staff at Texas Food and Fuel Association (TFFA) and its members worked tirelessly for days and weeks to prepare and provide recovery resources for fuel retailers in Texas who suffered damages—as well as for communicating information about refining operations and fuel supply, since 32% of the U.S. refining capacity was knocked offline at the onset of the storm.

Nov 20, 2017
#95 Dispensing Advice with Leaders of PEI

Hear from the leaders of the Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) about issues important to the equipment industry, fuel retailers and general public customers. Topics covered include data security, fuel dispensing technology, international engagement, and consumer protections.

Nov 13, 2017
Special Episode Live from the NACS Show Expo: Facility and Tech Equipment Specialists

The 2017 NACS Show Expo is one of the largest in the U.S. with exhibitors displaying products and new ideas. We talked with a few exhibitors who supply equipment for convenience stores and gas stations.

Nov 08, 2017
Special Episode Live from the NACS Show Expo: Pump Security Specialists

The 2017 NACS Show Expo is one of the largest in the U.S. with exhibitors displaying products and new ideas. We talked with Dave Jacobs of FlintLoc Technologies about keeping gas pumps safe and secure from skimmers and fraud.

Nov 08, 2017
Special Episode Bonus Material from LIVE With NACS Leaders at 2017 NACS Show

We continued recording after the LIVE session (Episode #94) finished and captured some interesting Q&A from the live NACS Show audience. Hear about the making of the podcast, further insights on business and fuel operations from the hosts and guests in this special bonus episode.

Nov 06, 2017
#94 LIVE With NACS Leaders at 2017 NACS Show

Whether looking at metrics, innovation or simply the impact on the community, RaceTrac Petroleum and Kwik Chek Food Stores are preeminent retailers in the communities they serve. We talk about their new initiatives and, more importantly, the trends driving decisions with RaceTrac Petroleum President Billy Milam and Kwik Chek Food Stores President and CEO Kevin Smartt.

Nov 06, 2017
Live from the NACS Show Expo: Celebrities

The 2017 NACS Show Expo is one of the largest in the U.S. with some exhibitors displaying their products and new ideas. We interviewed a couple of celebrity superstars telling us about their items.

Nov 02, 2017
#93 How Convenient Tech Can Kill

The Internet of Things has taken over humanity and all those convenient devices and appliances can team up to take you out. Hear how to stay safe in this special Halloween episode of Convenience Kills, um...Matters.

Oct 30, 2017
Special: William Shatner's Take on Convenience Stores

William Shatner candidly talks with NACS' Henry Armour and Jeff Lenard about the convenience store industry image, stores of the future and the Prime Directive.

Oct 25, 2017
#92 The Practical Future for Convenience Stores

Michael Rogers, former Futurist-In-Residence for the New York Times and media-acclaimed journalist, looks into the future of personal and business technology and tells us what it means for convenience stores and their customers.

Oct 23, 2017
#91 Keeping Convenience Stores Beautiful

NACS and Keep America Beautiful are helping convenience stores learn to manage trash and improve recycling. Convenience stores are more than just "America’s Trash Cans," they can be valuable community environmental neighbors.

Oct 16, 2017
#90 Partnering for Human Trafficking Awareness

The Blue Campaign and NACS are working together to raise public awareness about human trafficking. Tune in to learn how you can educate customers and employees to recognize human trafficking, report suspected instances and save lives. 

Oct 09, 2017
#89 Keep on Trucking

There are roughly 34 million trucks registered for commercial use in the United States hauling about 10.5 billion tons of freight and logging almost 450 billion miles each year. Hear what keeps them moving when we talked with experts from the American Trucking Associations.

Oct 02, 2017
#88 The Ultimate Lottery Winners

Massachusetts-based Pride Stores is well known in the area for their community giving and made national headlines selling the winning $336 million Powerball ticket in August 2017. Company Founder, Bob Bolduc, talks about the importance of giving back to neighbors and supporting customers.

Sep 25, 2017
#87 Is It the End for Gas Stations?

Internationally, governments have pledged to end liquid fuels dominance by going all-in on electric vehicles (EVs). Will we see the U.S. go this route? We discuss a recent Fuels Institute study that might tell us what this means for the traditional gas station.

Sep 18, 2017
#86 How to Go Viral and Change Your Life

A year ago, Frank Beard devised a unique experiment to eat nothing but gas station food for 30 days. The experience caught the media’s attention and now Frank still eats at gas stations – but with a job that pays him to do just that.

Sep 11, 2017
Special Episode: Fuel Supply and Demand

One week after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, the fuel supply chain continues to be affected around the United States. As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida, fuel demand will become a hot topic. Find out what this means for convenience stores and consumers in this special episode recorded on September 5, 2017.

Sep 05, 2017
#85 Transforming Mobility

Today's mobility system is centered around privately-owned, individually-driven, gas-powered personal vehicles that sit unused 95% of the day accounting for 15% of U.S. emissions that increase pollution, traffic congestion and infrastructure pressure. What emerging technologies and societal trends could create opportunities for a re-envisioned mobility future?

Sep 04, 2017
Special Episode: Hurricane Harvey's Effect on the Fuel Market

Hurricane Harvey's effect on the fuel infrastructure is now being felt across the country. Find out what this means for gas stations and consumers in this special episode recorded Aug 31.

Aug 31, 2017
#84 Partner with the Red Cross

Disasters – large or small – can strike anytime and anywhere devastating homes, families and communities and American Red Cross volunteers are always ready to help. In search of donations of money, goods and gratitude, hear how you can make a difference and get involved with the Red Cross.

Aug 28, 2017
#83 Tomorrow’s Vehicles: Projections Through 2025

Regulations affecting vehicles in the United States and Canada have the potential to dramatically reshape the transporta­tion industry by 2025. The manufactured vehicles and required fuels could influence the landscape of the fuel supply and distribution industry in the coming decade.

Aug 21, 2017
#82 Protecting Your Food Brand

It only takes one instance of food borne contamination - or rumor of contamination - to essentially kill your food brand and business. Hear how you can protect your customers and your reputation.

Aug 14, 2017
#81 Urbanization - The Effect of Urban Development on Vehicle Travel and Fuel Demand

Leveraging more than 100 years of public data, experts evaluate the relationship between transportation capabilities and where and how people live. Hear insight into the dynamics that might shape living conditions as populations in urban environments expand.

Aug 07, 2017
#80 Bringing Ethanol and Electricity to Market

We talked with Kum & Go’s VP of Fuel, James Peroli, about selling E-15, customer reactions and his opinion on the future of mobility.

Jul 31, 2017
#79 A Conversation with Cumberland Farms

Cumberland Farms took a novel approach to growth – it downsized its store count considerably so it could reinvent itself around key initiatives and put a focus on people.

Jul 24, 2017
#78 Fueling With Purpose

We talked with Pete Davis, Founder and CEO of GreenPrint about consumer brand preference for sustainability and corporate social responsibility and how that affects fuel retailers.

Jul 17, 2017
#77 Getting Crafty with Beer Sales

The craft beer segment has been growing steadily with smart retailers devoting more cooler space to local favorites. On this episode, we talk with Virginia’s Port City Brewing Company about growing sales through clever marketing and community engagement.


Jul 10, 2017
#76 How Would You Introduce a New Transportation Energy System?

Winners of the 2017 Fuels Institute Case Competition, Georgetown students Mary Fay and Jesse Spodak, discuss how their model for a new transportation energy system would rely on liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power fleets of autonomous, light-duty vehicles for shared use in urban areas.

Jul 03, 2017
#75 A Conversation with Aramark

Small format retailing around the world differs in shapes and offerings, but one thing remains the same – delivering convenience and striving for excellence. We talked with industry icon, Frank Gleeson, about the state of European convenience retail and NACS as an international trade association.

Jun 26, 2017
#74 Miracles by Speedway

With more than 2,700 stores throughout the eastern U.S., Speedway knows that it takes differentiation and benchmarking to be the best at what they do. Glenn Plumby will share some stunning figures about the convenience industry released by NACS Research. Glenn also will share how deeply Speedway is committed to community involvement as the largest contributor within the convenience store industry to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in addition to United Way.

Jun 19, 2017
#73 Talking Shop With The SupermarketGuru

Hear what’s hot in supermarkets, retail and trends that convenience retailers need to be aware of to stay on top of their game from the SupermarketGuru, Phil Lempert.

Jun 12, 2017
#72 Gulf Oil on Weathering a Storm

Hear from fuels expert, Ron Sabia, former president of Gulf Oil, as he talks about the impact of disruptions like hurricanes on fuel supply.

Jun 05, 2017
#71 A Conversation with Casey's General Store

With nearly 1,950 stores in the Midwestern U.S., Casey's General Store's Julie Jackowski talks about the company's past, present and future. Hear how Casey's insists each store feels like home for customers and employees by embracing great tasting food, providing a clean and comfortable environment in their stores and creating a secure business infrastructure.

May 29, 2017
#70 Partnering for Healthier Convenience

NACS has committed to the Partnership for a Healthier America to help guide convenience stores to serve healthier options to customers. As the first retail association to join PHA, NACS has a plan to revolutionize the industry to help curb the American obesity epidemic.

May 22, 2017
#69 Share and Compare

One of the most innovative ideas in the convenience store industry – study groups to help make each other better operators – actually came from another industry.

May 15, 2017
#68 Where Are All the Shoppers?

It’s okay to look in the rear-view mirror, but what’s more important lies ahead for the convenience retail industry. We will talk with Nielsen's retail analyst Todd Hale about what really matters to consumers and where they will be shopping in the coming days.

May 08, 2017
#67 Fuel Future Is Not Rotten

The fuel retailing industry has proven itself resilient in the face of regulations, supply disruptions and demand fluctuations. We talk with former NACS Chairman Tom Robinson to get a retailer's take on the fuels market, regulatory environment and consumer optimism.

May 01, 2017
#66 A Conversation with the NACS Chairman

As the 2016-2017 NACS Chairman, Rahim Budhwani has promised a legacy of caring, giving back and inclusivity. We talked with Rahim about his innovative foodservice offers, his views about the convenience industry's future and the importance of being a part of the community.

Apr 24, 2017
#65 Is Anyone Buying E85?

The Fuels Institute E85 retail market report takes a deep dive into retail daily sales data to uncover whether E85 pricing really matters to consumers.

Apr 17, 2017
#64 For the Love of (Gas Station) Food

Have you ever wondered which gas station serves the best cow tongue in Arkansas or has vegan food in Virginia? Hear from the Gas Station Gourmet guru, Al Hebert, as he shares tales of the best food finds and unique local fare and flare he’s discovered on his travels.

Apr 10, 2017
#63 Gas Prices Affect Consumer Behavior

When gas prices go down, do people drive more? The 2017 NACS Consumer Fuels Survey tackles this question and reveals other insights for retailers.

Apr 03, 2017
#62 ‘C-Store’ Stands for Community Store

“‘C-store’ doesn’t just stand for ‘convenience store’ – it stands for ‘community store’” was arguably the most quoted line from the 2017 NACS Show general session stage. We look at consumer survey data and broader consumer trends that show how communities embrace the “community store” and offer ideas and resources to help you engage more closely in the community.

The hosts build the business case for why community relations is important – and share how NACS can help retailers tell their story in the community.

Mar 27, 2017
#61 A Bumpy Ride Expected for the Fuels Markets

If oil and gasoline prices are in the news, there’s a good chance that Tom Kloza is being quoted. He has covered the downstream oil markets for over 40 years and has been extensively quoted on trends and analysis related to the petroleum industry. We talked to him about some of the big-picture issues that could affect the market in 2017 and beyond -- and also received some suggestions for what retailers can proactively do to address these trends.

Mar 20, 2017
#60 Fight INFObesity with Dietitian Advice

Approximately one-third of all Americans are considered obese, and the percentages are increasing. As more consumers look toward diets and other solutions to gain control of their weight, there is another problem, known as “infobesity.” Simply put, there is too much information about nutrition and it’s becoming more difficult to make the right nutrition choices, especially when there is conflicting information. Like any food product, too much information is unhealthy. We’ll talk about what retailers and consumers can do to find the best food information quickly.

Mar 13, 2017
#59 Swipe Fees: What You Need to Know – and Do

With billions of dollars at stake, the battle over both debit and credit card swipe fees is heating up. A 2016 ruling threw out the proposed $7 billion credit card “settlement” and the banking industry is seeking to overturn elements of the debit card reform that has saved consumers an estimated $6 billion a year. Along the way, the rhetoric has heated up, with some dubious “research studies” floated. We separate fact from fiction and tell retailers what they need to know —  and do — as the issue continues to heat up.

Mar 06, 2017
#58 Insights from the Consumer Fuels Survey
Nearly 40 million Americans fill up their vehicles every day. How they drive, consider gas prices and determine whether to shop inside a convenience store for food, snacks and beverages has a profound impact on the retail channel that sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the United States. In particular, we examine:
·     Consumer behavior at the pump;
·     What retailers can do to change consumer behavior; and
·     Overall driving habits.
Feb 27, 2017
#57 The Big Trends from the Auto Show
If you haven’t been to an automobile showroom in a few years, you’ll be in for a surprise next time you go. Automakers are putting a big emphasis on a few new fuels and power sources, as well as some amenities that make your car feel more like your living room. We’ll take listeners through some of the bigger trends on display from the 2017 Washington Auto Show – and discuss what it means to retailers.
Feb 20, 2017
#56 Cyber Attacks on Your Business

Computer hacking has dominated the political discussion for most of the past year, but hacking goes well beyond politics. From data breaches to malware and ransomware, every business—or even every computer—is vulnerable. What can businesses do to best protect themselves from attacks—and what can they do to prepare for broader threats beyond their control?

The hosts talk to Gray Taylor about all of the potential cyberattacks that businesses face—and what they can do to mitigate their risk to their businesses.

Feb 13, 2017
#55 A Conversation with Sheetz CEO Joe Sheetz

With 500-plus stores throughout 6 states, Sheetz is regarded as one of the most successful convenience retailers in the country. From its popular MTO sandwich program to its work with the Partnership for a Healthier America and its recognition as one of the best companies to work for, Sheetz has a lot of things going for it.  But at the same time, it’s also continually looking to reinvent itself. What are the trends that are driving change and how can retailers take advantage of them?

The hosts talk to Sheetz CEO Joe Sheetz about how the company is continually seeking out new opportunities and addressing challenges that are common to convenience retailers.

Feb 06, 2017
#54 How Mexico’s Deregulated Fuels Market Affects the U.S.

Recent challenges with adjusting to a deregulated market in Mexico have led to an unusual sight: Mexicans coming across the border simply to buy fuel for their vehicles. Recent price increases and shortages are part of the growing pains for the Mexican petroleum market that is in the early stages of adjusting to a deregulated market for the first time in nearly 80 years.

The hosts talk to their guest about how the recent challenges facing Mexico’s deregulated fuels market affects the United States.

Jan 30, 2017
#53 What SNAP Rules Mean for Retailers

Convenience stores are an estimated 45% of all SNAP-eligible locations and will be affected by the new final rules relating to retailer eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)--formerly known as “food stamps”). The new provisions will affect how convenience stores and corner stores are able to continue to are able to continue to participate and redeem almost 6% of the roughly $70 billion program. Here’s what you need to know about the rules and what you need to do about them.

Jan 23, 2017
#52 An Assessment of the U.S. Fuel Distribution Network

There has been much more focus on the “crumbling infrastructure” related to how vehicles travel on the roads and bridges in the United States. But what about the infrastructure that supplies the 12 million barrels of transportation fuel that is required every day? And what are the critical considerations for any new fuels introduced to the market—especially how they must fit into an existing infrastructure?
The podcast examines the research findings in a Fuels Institute report that evaluates the U.S. supply chain, how it works and what limitations/weaknesses exist at each point to accommodate diverse fuel specifications and achiev­ing higher rates of biofuels penetration. Understanding the fundamentals of this complex system is essential for anyone considering introducing a new product into the market or adjusting market dynamics for any reason.

Jan 16, 2017
#51 Consumer Sentiment and Gas Prices in 2017

Consumer sentiment about the economy has traditionally been lockstep with gas prices: when prices fall, consumer optimism increases. But as 2017 begins, consumer confidence is at a record high, according to NACS’ four years of consumer tracking data, while gas prices began to climb in December 2016 and are higher than prices a year ago. With fuel prices largely out of the control of retailers, what do recent market developments mean for fuels retailers in 2017—and what are the broad trends that will shape the industry—both at the pump and inside the store? How might retailers focus on the factors of their business over which they have control in order to attract more customers?

Jan 09, 2017
#50 Foodvenience

What do stand-out convenience stores around the world have in common? Good locations, great food and superb service. Hear about retailing around the world from NACS European partner and managing director of Insight, Dan Munford. From “foodvenience” to dog washes, find out what makes a store memorable and worth the cross-continental trip to visit.

Host Carolyn Schnare, NACS Director of Strategic Industry Initiatives, talks to Dan about convenience retailing excellence around the world and in the United States.

Jan 02, 2017
#49 Assessing Fuels Markets

For fuels retailers and their customers who are used to seeing retail gas prices change a few times a month, Denmark would be quite a shock, with prices changing a dozen or more times a day. That’s just one of many insights that Ian Thompson shared from his international travels in studying fuels markets. One thing is certain--fuel retailing is not easy and is getting even more complicated with the impact of increased competition, de-regulation, volume challenges and ever-diminishing margins around the world. Also hear how deregulation is affecting markets in India, Brazil and Morocco, which are in early stages of deregulation.
The key for retailers is to focus beyond just pricing strategies and look at other offerings to differentiate from their competition.

Co-hosts Stephanie Sikorski and Donovan Woods talk with guest Ian Thompson of Kalibrate about broad trends like competition and deregulation and how it affects the fuels markets around the globe.

Dec 26, 2016
#48 EMV Implementation Extension—But Don’t Put Off Upgrades

Those new “chip” credit card readers that are seen inside some retail stores may not be coming to your local gas station as soon as originally planned—the implementation date to require something known as EMV at gas pumps was extended from October 2017 to October 2020. This announcement is particularly beneficial to the fuel retailing community. What does this implementation date change mean for small and medium-sized retailers that comprise 80% of the convenience and petroleum retail market—and how does this affect your fill-up?

The hosts discuss how the new implementation date for outside EMV affects retailers—and their customers.

Dec 22, 2016
#47 Amazon Go: How It Could Disrupt Convenience Stores

The new Amazon Go retail concept is groundbreaking—an 1,800-foot store where customers use an app to continuously check out and never have to wait in lines. Amazon is just the latest in a long line of retail giants testing the convenience space, including Walmart, Tesco, Target and The Home Depot. How might this affect the convenience store industry? And, how does this revolutionize the concept of convenience, both now and over the next few years?

The hosts discuss how the new Amazon Go retail store concept could revolutionize the retail environment—and what retailers can study to consider implementing at their own stores.

Dec 19, 2016
#46 Doing Good for the Neighborhood

For VERC Enterprises, business goals always come back to serving the community. Nearly 20 years ago, the company tested a program to provide work to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After finding that the program significantly increased culture, it grew to providing employment to other hard-to-place individuals. Today, more than 20% of the 250 employees are individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is just one of the many ways the company seeks to delight customers and celebrate the communities in which it serves.

Co-hosts Jeff Lenard, NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives; and Stephanie Sikorski, Director, NACS Foundation and Mission Marketing talk to Leo about how he delights customers and gives back to the community.

Dec 12, 2016
#45 EPA and Tank Corrosion

EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks is responsible for ensuring that fuel retailers maintain their tank systems to prevent petroleum releases. A 2016 report issued by the Office found that many diesel fuel retailers have experienced excessive corrosion in their systems and that many more may not even know they have a problem. Convenience Matters spoke with EPA about this study, new tank regulations and the relationship between EPA and tank owners.

Co-hosts John Eichberger, Executive Director of the Fuels Institute, and Donovan Woods, Director of the Fuels Institute, talk to the EPA about the Agency’s report on corrosion in diesel storage tanks, underground storage tank regulations and priorities for the tanks program.

Dec 05, 2016
#44 Are You Fit for Fresh?

Customers are increasingly seeking out more fresh items at convenience stores--whether bananas, fruit cups or salads. And this trend is attracting new customers, especially millennials and women. But that doesn’t mean that a fresh offer will work at every store. If you’re not sure if you are ready to expand your fresh offer, review a quick 10-point checklist that Kelly helped develop as part of her involvement on the NACS-United Fresh “Fresh Convenience” task force.

Co-hosts Jeff Lenard, NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives; and
Stephanie Sikorski, Director, NACS Foundation and Mission Marketing talk to Kelly about what stores need to consider before they embark upon a more comprehensive fresh offer in stores.

Nov 28, 2016
#43 No Soup for You

Larry Thomas is known by that iconic character but sometimes it’s about being in the right place at the right time. He got the call to play the part about 7:30 at night and came up with his character in the early morning hours. And over the course of those few hours he created a character so memorable it led to an Emmy, an iconic catch phrase and a product line of, you guessed it, soups. Larry shares his thoughts on the NACS Show, explains how soup can sell in a c-store, and provides a behind-the-scenes account of his time working with the stars of the hit TV show, Seinfeld.

Co-hosts Stephanie Sikorski, Director, NACS Foundation and Mission Marketing; and  
Nat Keller, NACS Director of Marketing talk to Larry about foodservice in the convenience channel with the debut of his new soup line, growing up in an entrepreneurial household, and—of course—what it’s like to have been a part of a show that revolutionized American pop culture.

Nov 21, 2016
#42 Understanding Consumers’ Minds

Why do blindfolded taste-test volunteers say that chocolate yogurt tastes like strawberry yogurt? It comes down to psychology and if their minds think it, they react accordingly. NACS Show attendees packed an education session to get insights about how the consumers’ mind works from Adam Brumberg—and we had a chance to dive deeper into how retailers can better understand human psychology to help increase sales of better-for-you items in stores.

Co-hosts Jeff Lenard, NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives; and
Carolyn Schnare, NACS Director of Strategic Industry Initiatives talk to Adam about the psychology behind how consumers make decisions—and what you can do about it.

Nov 14, 2016
#41 Competitive Advantage

“You need to separate yourself from the competition,” stresses Kent Couch. It’s something that he first did with a series of record-setting cluster balloon flights, beginning in 2006. However, the story about his Stop & Go store in Bend, OR, is really about what they have brought home from learning at NACS Shows and through NACS membership. Currently, it’s the wildly popular growler program, with more than 50 taps in the gas station. His store was the first to put in a growler station in the Northwest a few years ago. (Kent said that he got the idea from a NACS Daily article, and he says that it may have kick-started the entire growler craze in the Northwest.)

Co-hosts Jeff Lenard, NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives; and
Carolyn Schnare, NACS Director of Strategic Industry Initiatives talk to Kent about how he finds ideas to grow his one-store business. (Hint: The NACS Show plays a big role.)

Nov 07, 2016
#40 Life Is Good

Everyone at the NACS Show was talking about the NACS Show general session speeches. So it only makes sense that Convenience Matters talked to one of these speakers, Steve Gross. At the heart of his work, Steve helps others discover the power of optimism so that they can build resilience and bring greater joy, connection, courage and creativity to their lives.

Co-hosts Carolyn Schnare, NACS Director of Strategic Industry Initiatives; and
Stephanie Sikorski, Director, NACS Foundation and Mission Marketing talk to Steve about the themes that were part of his highly acclaimed 2016 NACS Show general session presentation.

Oct 31, 2016
#39 Store Tours: South America

The fuels and vehicles markets are truly global in scope and there are a number of fueling trends in South America that are relevant to the United States, from how they fuel vehicles to what fuels are sold, to what consumers do once they come inside the stores. And, as can be expected, there are also some interesting fueling-related issues that have emerged.

Oct 24, 2016
#38 Ethanol Overview

For a lot of consumers, ethanol seems like a new transportation fuel, whether E85, E15 or the standard E10 blend that is in virtually every gallon of gasoline sold today. But it’s actually the fuel that was used for those first automobiles produced in the 1880s. And ethanol is continuing to evolve, with new blends and feedstocks expected to fuel its growth, and an expanded distribution infrastructure that is efficient at delivering ethanol to markets throughout the U.S. Hear some trends you can expect to see in your tank – and get some in-depth analysis of the market.

Oct 17, 2016
#37 The Greatest Show on Earth

Whether you are a first-time attendee or a regular, there is always something new to see and do at the NACS Show. So are there any tips for getting the most out of your experience? Our panelists certainly would know because cumulatively they have attended 50 NACS Shows. What’s their advice–beyond to wear comfortable shoes? It’s really about having a plan for success because all it takes is one great idea that can change your business.

Oct 10, 2016
#36 Beer

The hosts discuss how beer sales have evolved at convenience stores, with more of a focus on local brands and growlers.

Convenience stores have long been a leader in beer sales. Not only do they sell more than half of the beer purchased in the United States, they are also leading the movement toward more local beers and growler programs. And there are some significant opportunities for retailers to continue to grow sales, with new concepts emerging, such as “crowlers” – growlers in cans.

Oct 03, 2016
#35 The Survey Says…

The hosts discuss how NACS looks at survey data around consumer sentiment and other broader issues related to overall image of the industry and gas prices.

Do consumers say what they do--or do what they say? That’s always the big challenge in both creating the right survey questions and finding the right demographics to get the most representative answers possible. NACS solves this challenge by working with one of the pre-eminent polling groups in the country--Penn Schoen Berland—whether to learn about economic sentiment, consumer food preferences, perceptions of convenience stores or how they shop for fuel. Hear about how polling can shed light on not just consumer preferences but in voter preferences for the upcoming election.

Sep 26, 2016
#34 Pulling Together

The hosts discuss how NACS works with the Project on Nutrition and Wellness to create tool kits and programs to better the convenience retailing industry.

On paper, the concept sounds like herding cats: bringing together disparate groups, sometimes even those who are polar opposites, to address a critical problem for the common good. Yet in the case of Convergence, which spawned the Project on Nutrition and Wellness, it works. The group has brought together individuals and groups — with expertise in consumer behavior, marketing, public health, nutrition education and public policy — and worked with NACS to create a major, unified shift in demand for healthier foods at convenience stores.

Sep 19, 2016
#33 Will Fuel Efficiency Standards Survive the Midterm Review?

The hosts discuss the midterm evaluation of the CAFÉ standards that were developed to require the vehicle fleet to average 54.5 mpg by the year 2025.

The clock is ticking as automakers and the fueling industry look to increase fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg by the year 2025. But a lot has changed since CAFÉ standards were imposed in 2008 when gas prices topped $4 per gallon. Recognizing potential changes in the marketplace, a midterm review was part of the initial implementation plan, with discussions opened this summer and a final decision to be announced April 1, 2018.
The big question is whether these standards should be adjusted in light of new trends related to automobile sales and fuel consumption.

Sep 12, 2016
#32 Committed to Improve

Over the past few years, leading food and beverage companies have removed more than 6 trillion calories from their products – or approximately 80 calories per person per day. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation led this effort that has now expanded to hundreds of like-minded companies and organizations (including NACS) that seek to continue this work through innovative and collaborative efforts in schools and communities across the country. Its Together Counts healthy lifestyle school curriculum has helped reach more than 35 million students.

Sep 05, 2016
#31 Will Tesla’s Reality Meet Its Dreams?

On paper, Tesla’s had an amazing year. It has 400,000 pre-orders for its new 3 series, at a time when annual EV sales from all EV auto makers are about 115,00 a year. And its stock price is rising, even as the company begins to experience growing pains. Is it possible that its promise will be greater than its success? And more important, how does what happens with Tesla affect the future of EV in the United States?

Aug 29, 2016
#30 Thirty Days of Gas Station Food

There’s a perception that “healthy eating” doesn’t take place when you eat out. Restaurants, gas stations, fast-food establishments — they’re all spoken of as if they’re part of the problem. But are they? Frank Beard, an endurance athlete from Iowa, wanted to do something extreme and change the conversation, drive. So he recently conducted an experiment. To prove that it’s possible to stay healthy while eating out, he consumed only gas station food for 30 days. Find out what happened.

Aug 22, 2016
#29 AAA Evaluates Fuel Performance

AAA suggests that consumers will find value – and pay extra – for Top Tier gasoline. We discuss recent findings and surveys that support these claims.

AAA is viewed by millions of Americans as their advocate with regards to solid choices concerning their driving investments. In July 2016, the organization published a report advising drivers to seek out retailers who sell “Top Tier” gasoline. Auto makers have been promoting Top Tier gasoline since the early 2000s and have recently boosted their efforts to recruit more retailers to sell certified Top Tier gasoline. What is Top Tier gasoline, why is it considered better for your engine and should retailers sign up to sell it?

Aug 15, 2016
#28 Fueling a Clean Transportation Future

As great strides are made in developing vehicles that have fewer emissions and are more energy efficient, it’s important to also ensure that the processes to extract energy sources is equally clean.  

The motor fuels that power today’s vehicles are as clean and as uniform as they ever have been. But, that’s not the case once you go further “upstream.” Today’s global oil supply chain is undergoing rapid a transformation, as inexpensive and easily accessed oil reservoirs are drying up, forcing major industry players to locate, extract, and refine ever-riskier, costlier and dirtier sources of oil. The new report, “Fueling a Clean Transportation Future,” looks at the issues facing the oil industry and what we can do to ensure what oil we do use doesn’t get dirtier.

Aug 08, 2016
#27 What’s in a Name?

There is probably no one element of starting a business that is more discussed – and debated – the company name. For convenience retailers that challenge is even more pronounced because they operate in an industry with more than 90,000 companies. And since everyone knows that convenience stores are quick (or kwik, qik, or quik) and easy, how can someone find a name that sets the store apart? A NACS Magazine cover story examined this topic and naming experts suggested both a process to define a business and suggested a few names that they said were perfect for the industry.

Aug 01, 2016
#26 Warm Weather Heats Up Sales

Overall, convenience store sales from June through August are about 5% higher than the rest of the year, according to NACS sales data. And the sales of packaged beverages – soda, water, juices, teas and sports and energy drinks – are nearly 18% higher over the hot summer months. Warm weather and longer daylight hours are the reason behind the growth in sales, but there are some other factors that drives summer sales.

The hosts discuss the dynamics of convenience store sales over the summer months – what items sell more and why?

Jul 25, 2016
#25 How Does the Renewable Fuels Standard Affect Me?

Mandates require ethanol to be blended into transportation fuels and today 10% of all gas sold is actually ethanol. What’s next with both mandates and consumer demand for ethanol?

The Renewable Fuels Standard, otherwise known as the RFS, has been around for more than a decade. But the idea of using renewable fuels like ethanol has been around since the first automobile in the 1880s – which actually was fueled by ethanol. Today, ethanol comprises about 10% of the total fuel sold in the United States, but there are some changes coming that will affect both retailers and their customers. Learn what you need to know.

Jul 18, 2016
#24 Texas Convenience Stores

Texas has the most convenience stores and also is a leader in driving innovation. Who are the companies leading the charge and why?

Texas dominates the convenience store industry. It is where the industry began in 1927 and today is home to more than 15,600 convenience stores, or one of every 10 convenience stores across the country. The ideas and the execution also make Texas unique, from stores with delicious tacos and even lobster bisque to innovative designs and some very unique offers.

Jul 11, 2016
#23 Gas to Go

Silicon Valley seeks to disrupt the retailing business with a number of initiatives. What are their odds of success?

A number of emerging companies are seeking to disrupt the retail fueling business by offering gas on demand: click on an app, order your fuel and wait for your fill-up. Company promises proclaim “Welcome to life without gas stations” and “Never stop for gas again.” But is this an industry that can be disrupted by technology; and what are the challenges that these businesses face in replacing the country’s 39 million fill-ups each day?

Jul 04, 2016
#22 We Card

We Card was founded to minimize youth access to tobacco. More than two decades later, it’s working, and there are a number of new initiatives to further its success. The hosts share clips from interviews conducted at NACS Day on the Hill to learn the importance of advocacy – and how others can get involved.

NACS was a founding member of the pioneering We Card program that was launched in in 1995 to help introduce the concept of responsible retailing on a massive scale. Today, convenience stores verify identifications for age-restricted products 4.5 million times a day – almost triple the 1.8 million IDs verified by TSA on a daily basis. TheWe Card program has provided retailers with over one million in-store educational kits and has trained over 375,000 retail employees nationwide.

Guest: Doug Anderson, president of The We Card Program  

Jeff Lenard, VP of Strategic Industry Initiatives for theNational Association of Convenience Stores;
John Eichberger, Executive Director, Fuels Institute

Jun 27, 2016
#21 Fresh Convenience

Two years ago, NACS and United Fresh partnered to develop tools to increase the sale of fresh produce in convenience stores – and the partnership has been successful in its objectives.

With more than 154,000 locations across the country, convenience stores are increasingly seen as a convenient destination for consumers to buy fruit and vegetables. And part of that reason is because NACS and the United Fresh Produce Association have worked together to significantly increase the sales of fresh produce in convenience stores. The groups have jointly developed toolkits and created task forces to continue to further their work.

Guest:  Tom Stenzel, President and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association

Jeff Lenard, VP of Strategic Industry Initiatives for theNational Association of Convenience Stores;
John Eichberger, Executive Director, Fuels Institute

Jun 20, 2016
#20 Advocacy Made Easy

While it may sound cliché, members of Congress really do want to hear from their constituents. NACS, like many leading associations, makes it easy for its members to come to Washington, learn the process and the issues and then have productive meetings with their elected officials. Whether you are a first-timer at an annual day on Capitol Hill or a regular – or even a supplier member, the process works. We’ll get to tips and advice from a variety of attendees – and provide context for how others can get engaged.

Jun 13, 2016
#19 Shared Travel: Revolution or Evolution?

Smartphones have gone well beyond transforming how people communicate and share moments from their lives on social media – they are now transforming how people share things, whether renting homes, selling goods or even sharing cars. The allure to shared travel comes down to one central fact: the average vehicle is used about 5%, on average, each day. Will shared travel disrupt the market – and if so, who will lead this change?

Smartphones have revolutionized how we use a variety of products. Can they also affect how we use our vehicles? The hosts will discuss the findings from a new Fuels Institute research paper.

Jeff Lenard, VP of Strategic Industry Initiatives for the National Association of Convenience Stores;
Donovan Woods, Director of Operations, Fuels Institute

Jun 06, 2016
#18 Seeing Is Believing

The idea sounds crazy to other retail channels: go to a store and possibly disrupt operations to film and share your best ideas that your competition can then see during a general session at the NACS Show. Yet, most convenience retailers happily agree to be profiled because the convenience store industry is used to sharing areas and making each other better. In the past two decades, the Ideas 2 Go video program has visited 38 states and five countries.

NACS has shared retailer ideas on video for decades. What can you learn from these videos and how can you make better videos on your own?

Jeff Lenard, VP of Strategic Industry Initiatives for the National Association of Convenience Stores;
Carolyn Schnare, NACS Director of Strategic Initiatives,


May 30, 2016
#17 Finding New Ideas

Convenience retailers are always looking for new products or concepts to delight their customers. Sometimes they are able to incorporate them into an existing business – and sometimes it leads to an entirely new business.

Richard talks about how he finds new ideas and even new business opportunities, such as his new concept, the Bottle Shop.

May 23, 2016
#16 Skimming: What You Need to Know

Fuel dispensers have become one of many targets for thieves looking to steal credit and debit card information by “skimming,” an aggressive tactic used to illegally obtain consumer card data for fraudulent purposes. How real is the threat and what can you do to minimize it?

A discussion about the threat that skimming poses to consumers and retailers and what is being done to mitigate risks.

Jeff Lenard, VP of Strategic Industry Initiatives for the National Association of Convenience Stores

May 16, 2016
#15 How Are Americans Spending Their Gas Price Savings?

The extended period of lower gas prices has certainly been embraced by Americans, who also overwhelming say that low prices are good for the U.S. economy. But there are significant variations in what consumers say they are doing with their savings. More than half of all consumers say that they are either saving more or paying off debts. But are their winners in retail – and convenience stores are near the top of that list. We’ll examine why.

The hosts discuss the results of NACS consumer surveys that look at what consumers are doing with their gas price savings and if these consumers see any negatives related to lower prices.

Jeff Lenard, VP of Strategic Industry Initiatives for the National Association of Convenience Stores;
Donovan Woods, Director of Operations, Fuels Institute

May 09, 2016
#14 The State of the Industry Is…

The U.S. convenience store industry had a very good year in 2015, with record in-store sales and profits. Retailers are also optimistic about their sales in 2016, both because of their enhanced food offer and broader consumer trends.

Hosts Jeff Lenard, VP of Strategic Industry Initiatives for the National Association of Convenience Stores and Stephanie Sikorski, Director, NACS Foundation and Mission Marketing are joined by guest Dae Kim, NACS Vice President of Research for a discussion of both the trends within the convenience store industry and broader economic trends that affect the industry as a whole.

May 02, 2016
#13 You Can Go Home Again

The convenience store industry is full of family businesses,whether multi-generational or a husband and wife team. The Hub Convenience Stores in North Dakota is one such family business and more – it is Jared and DeAnn Scheeler’s return to their hometown to build a new business.

Jared and DeAnn talk about some of the unique elements of running a family business – especially when it’s a new concept in a new location.

Apr 25, 2016
#12 Convenience Stores as Safe Places

The old mindset was to discourage teens from hanging out outside retail locations. But today a number of them encourage teens to come to their business — at any hour — so that they can be in a safe haven if they find themselves in a situation where they need help. Convenience stores are playing a role in helping young people find a safe place — and it is literally changing lives.

Apr 18, 2016
#11 The Ultimate Good to Go

Convenience stores must be incredibly nimble to respond to customer demand, especially related to fresh and prepared food. In some cases, stores are evolving beyond their physical location with food trucks, like the pit beef concept that is drawing raves in the Columbia, MD, area.

Apr 11, 2016
#10 Defining the Future of Fuels

From electric charging to ethanol to compressed natural gas and hydrogen, new fueling options continue to gain traction in the marketplace. As these and other new fueling options emerge as viable alternatives to traditional gasoline and diesel fuel, it is critical that policymakers and industry leaders have access to the latest research related to consumer vehicles and the fuels that power them.

Jay talks about his role in leading the Fuels Institute, which incorporates the perspective of interested stakeholders affected by this market, as well as his lengthy career in the convenience and fuels retailing industry, from his early days opening a store to his outreach during the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Apr 04, 2016
#9 We’re in This Together

Even though they compete as much as any other retail channel, convenience retailers also share ideas and speak as one voice to improve the industry and better serve customers. Peter looks at some of the ways retailers can get engaged in their communities, with NACS and with their elected officials on Capitol Hill.

Mar 28, 2016
#8 How Do You Sell Healthy?

Five years ago, it was unusual to see fresh fruit in a convenience store. Today, it’s unusual to not see bananas and other healthy items in stores. Why the shift and what is the profile of the consumer demanding better-for-you options in convenience stores?

Mar 21, 2016
#7 Convenient By Design

Can design make you thirsty or hungry? Don’t rule it out, because store design is one of the most critical elements in retail. And at convenience stores, design is even more critical because the experience has to be fast. We’ll talk about new design trends and how they vary around the world.

Mar 14, 2016
#6 Gas Prices: The Questions You Want Answered

Nearly 40 million Americans fill up their gas tanks on a daily basis, oftentimes searching for a good price and convenient location. There is arguably no product that consumers think more about on a daily basis — yet at the same time is so misunderstood. We’ve answered some common questions we get asked about gas prices, including:

  • Why are gas prices higher in the summer than in the winter?
  • How come gas prices are cheaper in some areas of the country?
  • How much does a retailer make on a gallon of gas?
  • Is there a difference between branded and unbranded gas? What about octane levels?
  • What’s the best time to buy gas?
  • Can cell phones cause fires at the pump?
Mar 07, 2016
#5 Congress Goes to Work

It’s one of the most innovative programs of its kind. Members of Congress visit convenience stores, and work behind the counter. They learn about the industry, meet constituents and gain an appreciation of what’s important in communities. And now presidential candidates are participating.

Feb 29, 2016
#4 Convenience Stores in the Movies

“Clerks” is the most famous example of a movie about convenience stores but they are the setting in a plenty of other movies. Why? Because convenience stores are where people gather and that moves along the narrative. An acclaimed article about the topic was in NACS Magazine, featuring an interview with 2016 Oscars host Chris Rock.

Feb 22, 2016
#3 Is Hydrogen the Next Big Fuel?

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. We will never run out of it. But will we run our cars on it? There are a number of high-level initiatives that are seeking to make hydrogen-fueled vehicles a reality.

Feb 15, 2016
#2 Making the Healthy Choice the Convenient Choice

Working with the Partnership for a Healthier America, more than 1,000 convenience store locations across the country have committed to offering an expanded selection of fresher, healthier choices, helping jumpstart the industry’s efforts as they begin to focus on increasing access to more nutrition options.

Feb 08, 2016
#1 New Cars and New Fuels

Convenience stores sell 80% of the gas purchased in the country, but what will those vehicles look like in the coming years? You’ll hear about new vehicles and technologies that will shape the future automotive landscape with a report from the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Jeff Lenard, VP of Strategic Industry Initiatives for the National Association of Convenience Stores;
John Eichberger, Executive Director of the Fuels Institute

Donovan Woods, Director of Operations for the Fuels Institute

Jan 29, 2016