Renewable Fuel Helps C-Stores Stay on Top of the Sustainability Trend

By Jon Scharingson, Renewable Energy Group Inc.

If it seems like the sustainability trend is everywhere, that’s because it is.

  • Walmart recently launched Project Gigaton, with a stated goal of reducing emissions in its supply chain by 1 gigaton by 2030.
  • The Hershey Company is on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, which select companies based on their long-term economic, social and environmental asset management plans.
  • LEED certification has become an aspiration for many convenience stores opening new buildings.
  • California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) calls for the use of cleaner-burning transportation fuels. (Read the new REG white paper on biodiesel’s role in the LCFS by downloading it here.)

From fleets to individual drivers, from companies to public organizations, the sustainability trend has taken hold and shows no sign of slowing down. Forward-thinking c-stores are already tapping into their customers’ desire to be green by adopting sustainable practices both inside their stores and out.

“I think the sustainability factor is very important,” Jim Pirolli, Vice President of Fuels at the Kum & Go c-store chain, said in a CSD blog post I wrote last fall. “Reducing carbon emissions and replacing fossil fuels with something that’s more environmentally friendly is a message that a lot of people can get behind, whether they’re fleets or individual drivers.”

One of the environmentally friendly solutions his company offers is biodiesel blends ranging from 5 to 20 percent at its diesel dispensers. “Everything we do on fuel is based on customer demand and quality, foremost,” Pirolli said

Perhaps the best glimpse at the future of sustainability and fuel is found in California, where so many trends start. The LCFS aims to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 10 percent by 2020. Obligated parties and fleets are turning to biodiesel as a solution. Biodiesel volumes in California increased 1,196 percent over the past six years, and the average biodiesel blend level in the state recently experienced a 65.7 percent year-over-year increase.

These stats and other insights are found in the new white paper from REG, “Lower Carbon Intensity Solution — How Biodiesel Has Become the Answer to Emission-cutting Initiatives.” Download it by clicking here.

No matter where you do business, you’d be well-served by understanding what’s happening in California. Shelby Neal, Director of State Governmental Affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, says in the white paper that “there is a distinct growth trend with respect to low carbon policies,” and he says they come up frequently in his conversations with lawmakers across the U.S.

I’d welcome the opportunity to talk with you about this or other topics. Contact me at (515) 239-8042 or jon.scharingson@regi.com.

Jon Scharingson is Executive Director, Sales & Marketing, at REG. Visit regi.com for more information.

Share

The post Renewable Fuel Helps C-Stores Stay on Top of the Sustainability Trend appeared first on Convenience Store Decisions.

IDDBA Elects New Officers and Board of Directors

A number of new members have been appointed to the Board of Directors for IDDBA.

iddbaAt the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association’s (IDDBA’s) Annual Business Meeting, the company elected its 2016-2017 Officers and Board of Directors. The company held its meeting in Chicago.

Jewel Hunt, group vice president bakery, Albertsons Cos., was elected as the association’s chairman of the Board. She has served on the Board of Directors since 2010 and has been involved in many committees. John Cheesman, vice president business development, Clyde’s Donuts, will continue to serve on the Board of Directors as past chairman.

Other new officers for 2016-2017 are: executive vice chairman – Erik Waterkotte, senior director of sales, Columbus Craft Meats; vice chairman – Rick Findlay, global executive coordinator of grocery, Whole Foods Market Inc.; and treasurer – Gaetano Auricchio, executive vice president, BelGioioso Cheese Inc.

Three people were also appointed to the Board of Directors: Carter Califri, Norseland Inc.; Dominique Delugeau, Saputo Specialty Cheese; and Carmela Serebryany-Harris, Upper Crust Ltd.

Industry leaders elected to serve three-year terms on the IDDBA Board of Directors are: Curt Coolidge, vice president – In Store Bakery, TreeHouse Foods Inc.; Linda Duwve, vice president sales & marketing, Emmi Roth USA Inc.; Rick Findlay, global executive coordinator of grocery, Whole Foods Market Inc.; Jewel Hunt, group vice president bakery, Albertsons Cos.; Ray Lippert, DecoPac Inc.; Joe Squires, customer marketing director, Land O’Lakes Inc.

Other Board members continuing to serve are: Jim Antrup, Dawn Food Products Inc.; Jennifer Johnson, Hormel Foods Corp.; William Klump, Butterball LLC; Eric LeBlanc, Tyson Foods Inc.; Dave Leonhardi, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Inc.; Kevin McDonough, Weston Bakeries; Ed Meyer, Schnuck Markets Inc.; Mark Rudy, Hubert Co.; Peter Sirgy, Reser’s Fine Foods Inc.; Philippe Surget, Lactalis American Group Inc.; Jerry Suter, Meijer Inc.; Dotty VanderMolen, Advantage Fresh; John Wellenzohn, Rich Products Corp.; and Voni Woods, Giant Eagle Inc.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare

The post IDDBA Elects New Officers and Board of Directors appeared first on Convenience Store Decisions.

NRC Completes Sale of Two Portfolios

NRC has completed the sale of a number of convenience stores with gasoline on bahalf of Sunshine Fuel.

NRCNRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC has closed two portfolios through the company’s sealed-bid sale process.

NRC completed the sale of a package of leasehold interests in 21 convenience stores with gasoline in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, along with the sublease/fuel supply interests in said stores for Sunshine Fuel LLC of Palm Beach, Fla. as well as two fuel supply agreements providing gas to two fuel supply-only stores. The properties were leased from third party landlords under long-term agreements, and Sunshine Fuel subleased the sites to individual dealers. The purchaser of the package was Dallas based Empire Petroleum Partner LLC.

“These stores are selling 18 million gallons annually,” said Evan Gladstone, NRC’s executive managing director. “This should be a good fit for Empire as it expands its network into the Central U.S.” he said. The properties were sold using NRC’s well-known sealed-bid sale process.

The second portfolio to close is the sale of four convenience stores with gas and one Papa John’s quick service restaurant in Maryland and Pennsylvania from Thomaston Land Co. of Washington, Pennsylvania to a multi-site operator based in Pennsylvania.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare

The post NRC Completes Sale of Two Portfolios appeared first on Convenience Store Decisions.

Work Zone Cam Documents 7-Eleven Construction

The construction of a new 7-Eleven can now be viewed in a video created by Work Zone Cam.

workzonecam-290x60-wThe construction of a new 7-Eleven store located in Colorado Springs, Colo. was documented by Work Zone Cam, and it can now be viewed in a time-lapse format.

7-Eleven recently opened a new location in Colorado Springs, Colo. Denver-based Entitlement and Engineering Solutions Inc. (EES) partnered with Work Zone Cam to document construction of the new store location, which took place from March 2016 to June 2016. Work Zone Cam’s creative team produced a professional time-lapse movie, displaying the entire three-month construction process in one minute.

EES is the Regional Core Contractor for 7-Eleven in Colorado. This role makes the civil engineering consulting firm the point of contact for all parties involved in a project. By providing the best service to their clients, EES helps them meet their project goals no matter the project scale.

Anyone can observe the construction process with Work Zone Cam’s construction time-lapse movie.

This release was Courtesy of Work Zone Cam. For more information, visit www.workzonecam.com.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare

The post Work Zone Cam Documents 7-Eleven Construction appeared first on Convenience Store Decisions.

House Votes on Six-Month Delay of Federal Overtime Rule

Congress may vote to delay the implementation of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule to June 1, 2017, seeing as nearly 50% of business owners are still unaware of the new rule.

NRF Logo_no Tagline_stack_R

The House of Representatives has announced that it will soon vote on a six-month delay of the Labor Department’s new federal overtime rules, which are currently scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016. The National Retail Federation (NRF) has welcomed this announcement, and hopes that the delay will be approved.

NRF also said it may consider votes on The Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act as Opportunity Index Votes for its annual voting scorecard.

“The Labor Department’s move to double the overtime threshold in one fell swoop is simply too much, too fast for both employers and employees to adjust to without serious collateral damage,” senior vice president for government relations David French said. “Chairman Walberg’s commonsense legislation would give employers, non-profits and schools much-needed time to learn about and comply with the new rules before penalties kick in. Retailers support a brief pause in implementation along with all other options on the table to slow down or reverse the significant harm the Administration’s reckless changes will inflict on workplaces if they go unchecked by Congress.”

The Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act would give employers of all types more time to implement and come into compliance with the final rule by extending the implementation deadline to June 1, 2017. A recent survey by human resources company Paychex Inc., revealed 49% of business owners polled remain unaware of the DOL’s final overtime rule.

Research conducted for NRF shows that the overtime regulations will force employers to limit hours or cut base pay in order to make up for the added payroll costs, leaving most workers with no increase in take-home pay despite added administrative costs. A separate survey found that the majority of retail managers and assistant managers the regulations are supposed to help oppose the plan.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the U.S. and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare

The post House Votes on Six-Month Delay of Federal Overtime Rule appeared first on Convenience Store Decisions.

Honoring an Icon and a Friend

JohnNewBy John Lostock, Editor-in-Chief

I have been covering the convenience store industry for close to 20 years as a journalist. It has been a rewarding career filled with wonderful opportunities to meet great people.

As I have mentioned many times before, I first found a home in this industry back when my father served as an Esso/Exxon dealer in New York with his two brothers for close to three decades before he retired in the late 1980s. I always enjoyed working with him and liked the people element of the business so I’m much more inclined professionally to value relationships than do, say, people new to the industry, who don’t often seem to appreciate sharing and networking nearly as much as they should.

This is important to me because relationships, education and networking help comprise the foundation on which the National Advisory Group (NAG) is built. And what a solid foundation it is. Having just returned home from the 2016 NAG Conference in Savannah, Ga., I am so grateful for the high level of participation from speakers at leading chains such as QuikTrip, Thorntons, QuickChek, Kum & Go, E-Z Mart, Rutter’s, Maverik, The Kent Cos., Weigel’s, Cubby’s and so many more who shared valuable data that was informative and inspiring.

Lifetime Commitment
While sharing was the order of the day at NAG, the nighttime was reserved for honoring those who have shaped the industry as we know it. Family-owned businesses are the backbone of the c-store industry—a fact Bill Weigel has carried with pride for 56 years. Bill is the chairman of Weigel’s Convenience Stores and his journey in the c-store industry has been a magnificent ride that carries fond memories of inspiration, leadership, great people and an unwavering desire to be successful.

The industry has changed dramatically over the past half a century. Bill has not only changed with the times, he has led the way for many of his industry peers. That’s why we are so proud to honor Bill as the 2016 recipient of the NAG Lifetime Award for Convenience Retailing.

While Weigel’s continues to flourish, Bill’s biggest impact on the convenience store industry has been his influence on his peers to strive for retailing excellence. I have known Bill for more than 15 years and have had the opportunity to spend time with the Weigel’s team in Tennessee. The entire group under Bill’s leadership represents the very best the convenience store industry has to offer. Along with company president Ken McMullen and Bill’s son Kurt, the company’s director of recruiting, I have thoroughly enjoyed the interactions I’ve have had with the Weigel’s team through the years and I’m proud to call them friends.

In addition to being one of the most passionate c-store operators in the industry, Bill is known for his commitment to doing things the right way and always making himself available to help others succeed. He genuinely enjoys seeing others be rewarded for their hard work and is quick to offer words of encouragement to keep you focused and motivated.

Today, Weigel’s operates 63 convenience stores, all within a 100-mile radius of its corporate headquarters in Powell, Tenn. The bright, spacious stores being built now represent state-of-the-art convenience retailing.

The company is also rolling out a dynamic made-to-order foodservice program, recently added a 6,000-square-foot bakery, operates a proprietary loyalty program and is enhancing its retail image to ensure the Weigel’s brand will endear itself to a new generation of convenience store customers.

While Weigel’s has an outstanding operation and has earned the respect of all who have come in contact with the brand, Bill’s legacy will be his hard work, his humility and his instinctive ability to convince others to believe in themselves and exceed their limitations.

Please join me in congratulating Bill Weigel, a true industry icon, with this prestigious award.

Save

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare

The post Honoring an Icon and a Friend appeared first on Convenience Store Decisions.

The American Heart Association Launches +color Initiative

SUBWAY and AHA have launched a new, life-saving initiative in New York City.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has announced the launch of a new initiative to help Americans lead healthier lives. The new initiative, +color, focuses on the positive health impact of fruits and vegetables.

color

The health impact of +color is simple yet significant: It is estimated that if Americans ate the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables every day, approximately 39,900 deaths would be prevented from cardiovascular diseases, stroke and diabetes and $7.6 billion in medical costs could be saved annually.

On Friday, Sept. 23, the AHA and SUBWAY restaurants, with support from Hass Avocado Board (HAB), launched +color in New York City. This on-going initiative will encourage Americans to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet and better understand the critical health benefits this change can mean.

+color is also critical to helping the AHA achieve its 2020 health impact goal of improving the health of all Americans by 20% by 2020. According to a 2015 study in Circulation, young adults who eat more than five daily servings of fruits and vegetables may have less atherosclerosis than those who do not. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, the average intake of fruits and vegetables for adults under 50 years of age is about half of the recommended intake ranges. Adding one more cup of fruits or vegetables per day closes the gap by approximately 50%.

“Through +color, we’ll empower communities and consumers of all ages, especially millennials, to eat more fruit and vegetables. We want to push the perceived limits and perceptions around what people think is healthy to what is actually going to help them improve their diet. It’s about adding colorful, nutritious and vitamin-packed fruit and vegetables to meals instead of choosing unhealthier options,” stated Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, RD,  professor of Nutrition, The University of Vermont and past chair, American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. “It’s about showing America how easy it is to get more of these vital foods into their diet each day and how easy it is to share this information everywhere they go with everyone they know. This information has the power to help save lives.”

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has also been shown to reduce risk of stroke, certain types of cancer and risk of death from all causes. That’s why the AHA and SUBWAY restaurants are inviting Americans to join in this transformative effort by encouraging everyone to start today.

As the inaugural national sponsor of +color, SUBWAY restaurants continues their long-term commitment to healthier eating by uniting in this effort with the AHA. SUBWAY restaurants will ensure consumers understand how their vegetable offerings contribute to the +color initiative by highlighting how the vegetable options available at SUBWAY restaurants can help them add more fruits and vegetables to their meal. In addition, SUBWAY restaurants will support this new initiative through an in-store promotion in 2017.

“SUBWAY restaurants is inspired to join the American Heart Association on this exciting journey to encourage Americans to eat more vegetables and promote healthier eating,” said Lanette Kovachi, registered dietitian nutritionist, SUBWAY restaurants Global Dietitian. “At SUBWAY restaurants, Americans can choose from millions of our handcrafted sandwich combinations to create their own custom sandwich, which can offer up at least two extra servings of vegetables to their diet. Each of the six fresh vegetable varieties offered at SUBWAY are a perfect complement to the +color initiative.”

The centerpiece of +color is an extensive series of entertaining videos, social media events and digital interactive information that make it easy to adopt these healthy changes. This can be accomplished by watching and sharing +color content, and adding more fruits or vegetables each day. As a national supporter of +color, HAB’s Fresh Avocados – Love One Today will be a part of the launch as the official “recipe host.” HAB will help expand the initiative’s reach with avocado heart-check certified recipes and tips about the nutrition benefits of avocados.

Expansion of the initiative will kick off at AHA Heart Walks nationwide this fall. Additional elements of +color will include content for fun kids, as well as opportunities for worksites to engage with its employees.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare

The post The American Heart Association Launches +color Initiative appeared first on Convenience Store Decisions.

NRF Opposes Overtime Rules

The NRF has files a suit to fight against the new harmful overtime rules that are scheduled to go into effect later this year.

NRF Logo_no Tagline_stack_R

On Tues., Sept. 20, the National Retail Federation (NRF) filed a suit in the U.S. District Court in opposition of the new federal overtime rules that are scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2016. The NRF filed the suit on behalf of the millions of employers and employees who will be affected by the changes.

“The Labor Department’s extreme and reckless changes to the overtime rules will hobble the career paths of millions of Americans trying to climb the professional ladder,” said NRF senior vice president for Government Relations David French. “Retailers are already struggling to implement this new government mandate before the swiftly approaching deadline, and the automatic update included in the rule would make them do this same dance every three years for as long as they are able to remain in business. This is a massive government overreach of executive authority, and the courts need to put a stop to it.”

Research conducted for NRF shows that the overtime regulations will force employers to limit hours or cut base pay in order to make up for the added payroll costs, leaving most workers with no increase in take-home pay despite added administrative costs. A separate survey found that the majority of retail managers and assistant managers the regulations are supposed to help oppose the plan.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the U.S. and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare

The post NRF Opposes Overtime Rules appeared first on Convenience Store Decisions.

NRC Hires New Managing Director

Former NRC employee returns as the company’s new managing director.

mike_bohnertMike Bohnert has joined NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC to lead the company’s business development initiatives as managing director.

“NRC has had a long and highly successful business relationship with Mike,” said Evan Gladstone, executive managing director at NRC. “When Mike came on board in 2001, he was instrumental in generating relationships with some of our biggest clients, including ARCO ampm and Sunoco, as well as the sale of over 1,100 stores for Clark Retail Enterprises and Swifty Serve Corp.”

“My partner, Denny Ruben, and I are extremely pleased to welcome Mike back to his key leadership role on the NRC team,” Gladstone continued.

Mike Bohnert joins NRC with over 25 years in petroleum and convenience marketing at a variety of companies including Mobil, ARCO and Core-Mark, where he rose to the position of executive vice president. Bohnert provides advisory services to clients on M&A transactions, store divestitures, market withdrawals, acquisitions and strategic planning. His concentration is with energy companies involved in petroleum marketing and convenience retailing, wholesale fuels distribution and oil distribution. Throughout his career, Mike has managed and overseen business transactions exceeding $1 billion.

“It is great to be back at NRC. The company has done so well and the improvements to the process are incredible. Truly a world class operation. Evan, Denny and the team have created something very special; I am super excited to be back,” said Bohnert. “During my career, now over 25 years, in our industry, I was able to obtain a lot of experience in retail operations, payment systems, fuel distribution and, of course, real estate. Having a diverse background in our industry has really helped me understand the complete operation of the retailer, which gives me a full understanding of the entire business in analyzing the entire real estate project. Hope to see everyone at NACS – NRC will have a booth,” he added.

NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC provides a full array of real estate and financial advisory services to the convenience store and petroleum industries, and specializes in the accelerated sale of commercial real estate. NRC’s breadth of experience in the convenience store arena includes portfolio evaluation and analysis; refinancing, recapitalization & sale-leaseback financing options; and merger and acquisition advisory services. Since its inception in 1989, NRC has sold more than 15,000 properties. Clients include globally recognized companies in a variety of industries, including leading financial institutions (GE Capital, Stancorp Mortgage Investors and Fifth Third), industrial companies (YRC Worldwide) and petroleum and convenience store companies (7-Eleven, Sunoco, BP, The Pantry, Circle K).

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare

The post NRC Hires New Managing Director appeared first on Convenience Store Decisions.

Financial CHOICE Act Receives Bipartisan Opposition

NACSNACS has declared its commitment to fighting to keep swipe fees low in the interest of consumers and merchants.

The House Financial Services Committee has voted to report the Financial Choice Act (H.R. 5983), and the National Association for Convenience Stores has released a statement expressing the Association’s disapproval of the legislature and its disappointment in the Committee.

Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president of government relations at NACS, issued the following statement in regards to the House Financial Services Committee’s vote:

“NACS is deeply disappointed at the House Financial Services Committee’s vote to report the controversial and misnamed ‘Financial Choice Act’—which includes repeal of the highly effective, pro-competition and pro-consumer debit swipe fee reform—but given the bipartisan opposition that arose even as the bill was rammed through Committee, repeal efforts should not move forward.

“While the bill’s sponsors inserted the acronym CHOICE in the bill title—standing for ‘Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs’—the Act as currently constituted would instead generate more costs and lost opportunity for entrepreneurs, higher prices for consumers and greater monopoly profits for the credit-card giants by eliminating competition in the debit-card arena.

“Along with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle who have already stood against this ill-considered measure, NACS will continue to fight to keep the interests of merchants and consumers ahead of the credit-card Goliaths, who already benefit from the highest swipe fees in the world.

“Specifically, we’ll keep doing everything in our power to build on the strong opposition to this bill and ensure that members of Congress and the Senate recognize the success of this vital reform in re-establishing competition in the debit-card market. Repeal of swipe fee reform would put Visa and MasterCard right back into the price-fixing business by making it impossible for smaller card networks to compete, and would dramatically increase costs for convenience store owners, for whom swipe fees are already, on average, their fastest-growing expense. And it would quickly wipe out the nearly $6 billion in savings consumers have experienced each year thanks to the reform.

“In the end, it is clear that the bill in its current form lacks the support necessary to get through Congress, given its potential harm to competition, consumers and small business.”

Swipe fee reform, enacted in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform package, required centrally price-fixed swipe fees on debit transactions to be “reasonable and proportional” to the cost of processing the transaction and ensured competition among debit networks. Repeal would allow unlimited price-fixing of fees and let the credit card giants block their competitors from having a chance to try to get business from merchants.

According to a report by the Merchants Payments Coalition, reductions in debit fees driven by swipe fee reform put nearly $6 billion in consumers’ hands through lower prices in the first year of reform alone and supported more than 37,000 new jobs annually. In addition, small merchants have benefited from greater transparency in debit-card transactions.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare

The post Financial CHOICE Act Receives Bipartisan Opposition appeared first on Convenience Store Decisions.