I HONESTLY BELIEVE
THAT WE DON’T JUST
SELL FUELS. WE
PROVIDE MUCH MORE
THAN THAT. WE MAKE
A DIFFERENCE IN
The final day of the NACS how, Steve Loehr accept- ed the gavel from outgoing Chairman Brad Call and
began his tenure as your 2014-2015
NACS chairman. He then launched into
a discussion about the three things that
Kwik Trip finds most important to focus
on: food, fuels, people.
First off, Kwik Trip sells a lot of bananas — about 44 million pounds a year
or 400 pounds per store, every day of
the year. The stores also sell a lot of other produce, such as apples, oranges, lettuce, onions and potatoes. The company
partnered with a local hospital to create
Reputational Attacks on Our Industry
“It’s about repositioning or refreshing the view that many
people — regulators and customers alike — have about our
industry,” said Armour, sharing a few derogatory comments
many c-store operators have heard:
n We are purveyors of death because we are the largest sellers
of tobacco products.
n We addict people to gambling because we are the largest
sellers of lottery tickets.
n We enable drunk driving because we sell both motor fuels
and alcoholic beverages.
n We contribute to obesity because of the food and beverages
n Our stores are dirty and crime ridden and the jobs we pro-
vide are dead-end ones in high-risk environments.
Armour outlined the NACS plan to address these reputational attacks:
1. Tell the positive story of the industry. “We’ve begun to
do that with our new NACS In Store program in which we
invite elected officials to work a few hours in one of stores
and learn what our industry is really all about.”
2. Tackle the perception of the industry’s dead-end jobs.
“We know that 1 in 9 adults in our country have worked in
a convenience store, that these former workers have many
positive impressions about their time working in our industry.” And for those who never worked in a c-store store,
a recent NACS survey found that 86% of them believe that
c-stores provide good first jobs.
3. Create new opportunities for stocking and selling
fresh products. “The collaboration we announced earlier
this year with United Fresh, the trade association repre-
senting the produce supply chain, is an early step in this
initiative,” he said. “We want to help you improve your
access to fresh products, re-positioning your offer and
getting credit for being a place for fresh food and healthy
options, while obviously remaining the preferred place for
your customer to indulge themselves.”
NACS is working on strategies to help retailers fight zon-
ing restrictions by helping retailers “dispel the myths that
inhibit your ability to obtain approvals to build stores and
get permits, building the case for why a community should
want to have a convenience store in their town instead of
why they wouldn’t.”
And finally, NACS will continue telling the positive stories
about the industry’s deep-rooted commitment to supporting
the community. “You don’t just do business in those commu-
nities, you live in them and you’re vitally engaged in them. …we
are an essential partner with first responders, providing food,
fuel and support to FEMA, EMTs, the Red Cross and police
and fire departments. And we also provide enormous support
to our local schools and charities,” he said.
“We are making this a better world, and it’s a great story