Avanti November/December 2022

Page 1

THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES November/December 2022 Closing The Gap Resolving The Issues With Ongoing Dialogue Making Tomorrow Better Than Today Labor Remains One Of Our Biggest Issues How Franchisee-Friendly Changes To California Law May Affect You Workers’ Compensation Insurance Questions & Answers The Bridge Is Getting Built Your Donations Go A Long Way 4th Quarter Board Directors Meeting Summary Page 30
© 2023 The Coca-Cola Company.
FEBRUARY 8TH & 9TH 2023 COME VISIT OUR BOOTH AT THE 7-ELEVEN EXPERIENCE
Calories 80, Carbs 2g, Protein 0g, Fat 0g 1. https://wallethub.com/blog/st-patricks-day-facts/10960 2. Nielsen Total US xAOC, Ending 3/19/22 The #1 Ranch Water / Agave Seltzer2 Lone River Variety 12PK $2 OFF in P2 Flavor Program (AZ, CA, FL, ID, NM, NV, OK, OR, TN, TX, VA, WA) GUINESS EXTRA STOUT 6 x 11.2 OZ. BOTTLES SLIN: 100391 GUINESS DRAUGHT 6 x 11.2 OZ. BOTTLES SLIN: 100056 GUINESS DRAUGHT 4 x 14.9 OZ. CANS SLIN: 100952 CARRY & DISPLAY GUINNESS FROM FEBRUARY THROUGH MARCH 13 Million pints will be poured worldwide1 54% of Americans Celebrated St Patrick’s Day Last Year1 $5.87 Billion was spent last St Patrick’s Day1 PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. Far West Spirits LLC, Houston TX. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. Diageo Beer Company USA, New York, NY. Calories 126, Carbs 9.6g, Protein 1.1g, Fat 0g LONE RIVER VARIETY 12 PK 12.0 OZ. CANS SLIN: 106312 LONE RIVER ORIGINAL 19.2 OZ. CAN SLIN: 106261 ONLY 80 CALORIES ONLY 126 CALORIES PER 12oz. MORE SALES, MORE PROFITS WITH LONE RIVER RANCH WATER ST PATRICK’S SEASON IS GUINNESS SEASON!
SLIN 243505 SLIN 242911 SLIN 243913 UNIT UPC THE O RI GI NAL UNIT UPC PRESSED COCONUT UNIT UPC PI NE AP PL E ELECTROLYTES AND NUTRIENTS FROM SIMPLE INGREDIENTS ORDER ALL 3 OFFICIAL PLANOGRAMED SKUS TODAY

HAND-PICKED ON THOUSANDS OF SMALL FARMS

6 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 WA OR CA NV CO IL VT ME NY States we are available in HOW TO ORDER California • Colorado • Illinois • Maine • Nevada New York • Oregon • Vermont • Washington

THE BEST TOBACCO-FREE ALTERNATIVE

Offer your customers even more convenience with an empty pre-rolled palm leaf wrap that is installed with a premium corn husk filter tip. Every pouch includes our signature bamboo packing stick which eliminates the need to roll your own, now you just pack itTM

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 7

REASONS TO BELIEVE

Michelob ULTRA® is up 22.9% vs YA in dollar sales

(SOURCE: YTD WEEK ENDING 12.4.22 FROM 7-ELEVEN’S IRI)

Michelob ULTRA® trips are +17% vs YA

(SOURCE: YTD WEEK ENDING 12.4.22 FROM 7-ELEVEN’S IRI)

Michelob ULTRA® is growing more (+4% vs YA) with Hispanic consumers

SCAN HERE TO ORDER NOW ENJOY RESPONSIBLY © 2023 Anheuser-Busch, Michelob Ultra® Light Beer, St. Louis, MO [95 calories, 2.6g carbs, 0.6g protein and 0.0g fat, per 12 oz.] • PHX
MICHELOB ULTRA® 18PK CANS SLIN# 100138 BEER STYLE Light Lager COLOR Straw FEATURES Superior Light Beer ABV 4.2% CALORIES 95 INGREDIENTS
rice, hops, water
Barley,
AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 9 AVANTI is published by the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees for all independent franchisees, store managers and interested parties. National Coalition offices are located at 3645 Mitchell Road, Suite B, Ceres, CA 95307. For membership information, call 855-444-7711 or e-mail nationaloffice@ncasef.com. The views and opinions expressed in the articles and columns published in AVANTI Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees, its officers or its Board of Directors. THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES Contents Your Donations Go A Long Way By Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Making Tomorrow Better Than Today By
Chairman Labor Remains One Of Our Biggest Issues
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Questions & Answers
Engineering Consultant, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group How Franchisee-Friendly Changes To California Law May Affect You By Tom Ayres—Warner, Federico & Ryan, LLP The Bridge Is Getting Built By Nisar Siddiqui, Midwest FOA Vice President Member News............10 Bits & Pieces..........37 Legislative Update.......37 SEI News...................59 Vendor Focus.....62 FOA Board Meetings.....64 FOA Events.....................66 DEPARTMENTS NCASEF Board Elects New Vice Chairs NCASEF Chairman Visits Michigan FOA NCASEF Charity Golf Event Raises Funds For CMN Hospitals Midwest FOA Donates To Center For Blind Children FOAC Spreads Holiday Cheer To Charities FOAs End The Year With Holiday Celebrations 29 THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES MakingImprovingProgress The System For All Stakeholders Register Today! NCASEF 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland August 7-10, 2022 15 19 23 25 4th Quarter Board Directors Meeting Summary Page 30 NCASEF 47th Annual Convention & Trade Show Caesars Palace • Las Vegas, NV July 30-August 2, 2023 17 27 28 40 42 44 Save The Date! THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES September/October 2022 Overcoming System Obstacles To Improve Profitability Communication & Teamwork Are Key Working On The Challenges Support Durbin’s Efforts To Lower Swipe Fees A Decrease In Gross Profit On Merchandise Change Kids’ Health. Change The Future. Reduce Harm On Nicotine Products The Value Of A Self-Inspection Program 61
Sukhi Sandhu, NCASEF
By John Harp, CSP, ARM—Risk

7-Eleven Is Most Popular ‘Grocery Store’

A new survey from international research firm YouGov reveals that the most popular grocery store among Americans is 7-Eleven, reported Eat This, Not That. The convenience retailer scored a 62 percent popularity rating on YouGov’s third quarter of 2022 grocery survey, just ahead of runners-up Aldi and Kroger (61 percent each), with Trader Joe’s (58 percent) and Whole Foods Market (53 percent) coming in at 4th and 5th place, respectively. Honorable mentions in America’s top 10 included Albertsons, Safeway, Piggly Wiggly and, notably, Circle K, one of 7-Eleven’s chief convenience chain rivals.

While the survey doesn’t go into detail as to why Americans voted the way they did, it does provide a demographic breakdown showing how each retailer fared among individual age groups and genders. Millennials (born 1982-1999) gave 7-Eleven its highest popularity

score of 65 percent, while Generation X (born 1965-1981) and Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) favored the midwestbased supermarket chain Kroger.

7-Eleven also proved most popular among male respondents, while females preferred the Germanowned discount chain Aldi.

C-Stores Attracting More Foodservice Visits

Convenience stores are the beneficiaries of more consumers looking for a beverage or a bite to eat on their way somewhere, according to a new report by The NPD Group. Visits to convenience stores for foodservice items, like beverages and prepared foods, were up 2 percent in the three months ending November compared to a year ago, the study shows. Consumer spending on foodservice menu items at convenience stores was up 8 percent for the combined months of September, October, and November versus a year ago.

The breakfast and morning snack

continued on page 12

NATIONAL COALITION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES

NATIONAL OFFICERS & STAFF

Sukhi Sandhu NATIONAL CHAIRMAN 855-444-7711 • sukhi.sandhu@ncasef.com

Joe Rossi

EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN 312-501-4337 • joer@ncasef.com

Rehan Hashmi VICE CHAIRMAN 847-845-8477 • rehan711@yahoo.com

Teeto Shirajee

INTERIM VICE CHAIRMAN 954-242-8595 • teeto.shirajee@yahoo.com

Nick Bhullar

INTERIM VICE CHAIRMAN 626-255-8555 • bhullar711@yahoo.com

Romy Singh TREASURER 757-506-5926 • romys@ncasef.com

Shawn Howard VENDOR RELATIONS ADMINISTRATOR 855-444-7711 • shawnh@ncasef.com

Eric H. Karp, Esq. GENERAL COUNSEL 617-423-7250 • ekarp@wkwrlaw.com

John Riggio MEETING/TRADE SHOW COORDINATOR 262-394-5518 • johnr@jrplanners.com

The National Coalition Office

The strength of an independent trade association lies in its ability to promote, protect and advance the best interests of its members, something no single member or advisory group can achieve. The independent trade association can create a better understanding between its members and those with whom it deals. National Coalition offices are located in Ceres, California.

3645 Mitchell Road Suite B Ceres, CA 95307 855-444-7711

nationaloffice@ncasef.com

John Santiago MANAGING EDITOR 267-994-4144 • avantimag@ncasef.com

April J. Key GRAPHIC DESIGNER lirpayek@gmail.com

The Voice of 7-Eleven Franchisees November/December 2022

©2022 National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees

Avanti Magazine is the registered trademark of The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees.

10 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 Member News
“A new YouGov survey reveals that the most popular grocery store among Americans is 7-Eleven.”

3,500 LIGHTS UP TO LONG-LASTING PERFORMANCE FOR

Thanks to our unique triple-tank technology, DJEEP lighters deliver up to 3,500 lights. Paired with striking designs, textures and finishes, they offer a premium option like no other.

COLLECTION © 2022 BIC USA Inc., Shelton, CT 06484
BIC DJEEP BOLD SLIN:322481 SRP $3.89-$3.99

continued from page 10

periods, or morning meal daypart, which accounted for almost 25 percent of foodservice visits to convenience stores, grew traffic by 3 percent and was a key contributor to total visit growth in the quarter ending November. The evening snack period, which increased by 4 percent, was also vital to foodservice traffic growth at convenience stores during the period. Traffic at lunch, typically most popular for convenience store foodservice, was up 2 percent compared to a year ago. At dinner, foodservice visits also increased by 2 percent year-over-year. Traffic at the afternoon snack daypart was flat compared to a year ago.

Local C-Stores Important To Communities

American consumers regard their local, independent convenience stores and bodegas in near unanimous high regard with 94 percent of them calling them somewhat important (34 percent), very important (34 percent) or extremely important (26 percent) to their friends and community, reveals a new SurgePays, Inc. survey. More than half (51 percent) visit convenience

The of In is H 7-Eleven Franchisee Insurance Program

stores (including community markets, neighborhood stores, corner stores, bodegas and tiendas), followed by grocery stores (25 percent), gas station stores (5 percent) and drugstores (3 percent); 16 percent indicated they don’t shop at any of these merchant types.

In terms of frequency of shopping at their favorite local convenience store, 59 percent do so between one and six times weekly— more than one third (35 percent) visit 1-2 times weekly; 17 percent visit 3-5 times weekly with 7 percent frequenting their store 6 or more times weekly. The top five items consumers typically buy at their preferred local independent store are snack food (71 percent); coffee/beverages (50 percent); everyday food/meals (48 percent); milk (47 percent); and lottery tickets (32 percent).

continued on next page

NOVEMBER Member News
aondigital.com/en-us/7eleven/

Joe DePinto Featured

As A Top Franchise Leader

SEI President and CEO Joe DePinto was recently featured by franchise news website 1851Franchise.com as one of its Top Franchise Leaders. According to the article, DePinto is a “highly regarded individual in the business world. He has served as head of 7-Eleven since 2005, is Board Director and previously served as vice president of operations. He also serves on a number of

continued from previous page

advisory boards and groups and is a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army.”

DePinto has received numerous recognitions in the industry for his work keeping the brand on a path of continued success and expansion, the article notes, including the McLane Leadership in Business Award by Texas A&M University, being recognized as Convenience Store

Products magazine’s Retail Leader of the Year, labeled as an “Industry Titan” by Women’s Foodservice Forum and was an honoree for Nation’s Restaurant News’ Golden Chain Awards.

NCASEF Chairman Urges Congress To Pass Swipe Fee Reform

NCASEF Chairman Sukhi Sandhu recently penned an op-ed piece for Payments Dive in which he urges Congress to pass the bipartisan Credit Card Competition Act, which would rein in soaring credit card swipe fees while enhancing competition and addressing the Visa-Mastercard duopoly. As Sandhu explains, “Swipe fees

continued on page 36

SIMPLE. AFFORDABLE. ONLINE.

We don’t just sell insurance. Our programs are specifically created for the 7-Eleven franchise.

As your dedicated insurance partner, we understand the risks and requirements of operating a 7-Eleven franchise.

Exclusive program for 7-Eleven franchisees

Guaranteed coverage regardless of claims history

Manage certificates of insurance online, 24/7

Concierge support to answer any questions

Learn more at aondigital.com/en-us/7eleven/ or call (847) 629-4711

Member News
“SEI President and CEO Joe DePinto was recently featured by 1851Franchise.com as one of its Top Franchise Leaders.”

Change Kids’ Health. Change the Future.

Ruth-Evelyn may have been born without arms—but that doesn’t stop her from creating beautiful drawings using only her feet. She worked with therapists and specialists at her local children’s hospital to develop the strength needed to eat, get dressed on her own and even ride a bike independently. There’s no doubt about it: Ruth-Evelyn will accomplish anything she sets her mind to!

Thanks to donations, Ruth-Evelyn received critical care at her local children’s hospital and now lives with a custom orthotic allowing her to fulfill her greatest dream: ride a bike without arms!

CMNHospitals.org

Give Today!

Your Donations Go A Long Way

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) is unrelenting in our desire to ensure every child has a healthier future. Through the power of our network, we unite communities to raise unrestricted funds needed by our member children’s hospitals for their most urgent needs. By increasing awareness and raising millions of dollars, our collective impact grows, ensuring kids have access to holistic, best in class care to unleash their future potential.

Funds raised by CMN Hospitals are unrestricted. Each member hospital and community are different and so are their needs. These unrestricted funds allow the member hospital, who best understand their needs, to use those funds accordingly.

Key Funding Areas

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ fundraising partners and programs are the key to positively changing kids’ health and redefining positive outcomes for communities. Through our collective efforts, we provide member hospitals with the critical funds they need to advance pediatric healthcare at-large, ultimately improving individual patients’ health, protecting our children’s futures, and enhancing our communities.

member hospitals in our network:

• 14 percent helps provide charitable care to patients.

• 24 percent goes to improve lifesaving equipment.

• 8 percent provides education for patients, families, and the community.

• 23 percent provides advancement services that support innovative programs and projects.

• 7 percent supports research and treatment for how we care for children.

• 24 percent contributes to patient services for patients’ and families’ overall well-being.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals categorizes types of funding into six different areas. They are defined as:

Charitable Care: In 2018, 4.3 million children didn’t have health insurance and 37 million children relied on Medicaid to cover their health-related expenses(1). When a pediatric patient is on a public health insurance program in the United States, children’s hospitals are not reimbursed for the full cost of caring for the patient(2). Philanthropy helps close this funding gap (U.S. Hospitals only).

Education: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provide education services for patients, families and the community. This includes support for a patient’s educational and schooling needs and community programs that educate local families on healthy lifestyles, CPR training and car seat safety. Education also includes services for hospital staff to best treat and prevent illnesses in children.

Advancement Services: When one child’s health issue is solved at one hospital, it can transform how that issue is handled across the world, saving more patients and protecting our collective future. Donations that fund advancement services support innovative programs and services as well as expansion projects that aim to advance treatment and care well beyond that local hospital.

Based on our 2021 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Impact Survey, we are proud to share the impact our fundraising dollars have across the

Equipment: When Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals improve life-saving equipment, they address the challenging health issues of today while preventing and preparing for those to come. Equipment includes medically necessary patient items such as giraffe beds and state-of-the-art pieces such as ECMO machinery and flash CT scanners.

Research: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals pioneer research and treatments that transform how we care for children.

Patient Services: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals ensure children are not only healthy physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Such services include child life (hospital-based therapy

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 15
“NCASEF and local FOAs are raising critical funds for children’s hospitals across the U.S. to help fulfill their most urgent needs.”
continued on page 17
“These unrestricted funds allow the member hospital, who best understand their needs, to use those funds accordingly.”

Your Donations Go A Long Way

continued from page 15

you donate through NCASEF or your local FOA, 100 percent of the donation goes to your local member hospital.

Source: Based on estimates provided in response to the 2021 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Impact Survey. (1) U.S. Census Bureau. Uninsured rate for children in 2018. https://www.census. gov/library/stories/2019/09/uninsuredrate-for-children-in-2018.html.

focusing on development of a child and helping them and their families cope under stressful situations), art therapy, pet therapy, outdoor gardens and playgrounds, pastoral care, counseling, case management and more that prepare patients to grow up to be successful members of the community.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is proud to be the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees’ charity of choice. NCASEF and local FOAs are raising critical funds for children’s hospitals across the U.S. to help fulfill their most urgent needs. We make all this possible at the local level. When

(2) Data Examines Medicaid Underpayment in Children’s Hospitals. Children’s Hospitals Association. 2018. https:// www.childrenshospitals.org/Newsroom/ Childrens-Hospitals-Today/IssueArchive/Issues/Fall-2017/Articles/DataExamines-Medicaid-Underpayment-inChildrens-Hospitals

NCASEF Board Elects New Vice Chairs

NCASEF Board members elected three new Vice Chairs during its fourth quarter meeting on November 18, 2022 in San Diego, California. Congratulations to (from left to right) Teeto Shirajee (President, South Florida FOA), Nachhatar (Nick) Bhullar (President, Southern California FOA), and Rajneesh (Raj) Singh (President, Texas FOA). Teeto Shirajee and Nick Bhullar served as interim Vice Chairs throughout 2022.

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 17
“Through our collective efforts, we provide member hospitals with the critical funds they need to advance pediatric healthcare at-large, ultimately improving individual patients’ health, protecting our children’s futures, and enhancing our communities.”
18 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 TRIDENT Pocket Pack Original 28 Sticks SLIN# 142645 TRIDENT Pocket Pack Tropical Twist 28 Sticks SLIN# 141553 TRIDENT Pocket Pack Spearmint 28 Sticks SLIN# 141556 © Mondelēz International group SPICE UP FRONT-END SALES POCKET PACKS TRIDENT Pocket Pack Cinnamon 28 Sticks NEW CINNAMON WITH BUY TWO TRIDENT POCKET PACKS, GET 400 BONUS POINTS TRIDENT POCKET PACKS $3.00

Making Tomorrow Better Than Today

When I, along with the other newly elected NCASEF officers, began serving our terms in January of 2022 we set a goal of developing open communication with SEI so we could work together to improve the 7-Eleven business for all stakeholders. Another focus of our administration was to change the culture of our National Coalition to emphasize more collaboration among Board members, and to build stronger relationships with our vendors and supplier partners.

and work on solutions for things such as supply chain issues, and the meetings provide a platform for introducing new items.

We brought back the charity golf tournament, which besides raising funds for our charity of choice—Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals—also provides a venue for vendors and franchisees to network and socialize. Additionally, we implemented structured NCASEF committees and aligned them with SEI departments to highlight and address systematic issues. The committee members then provide feedback to SEI upper management for solutions. These committee members, in turn, bring that information and updates to the NCASEF Board members.

One of the outcomes of all this— especially our open communication and dialogue with SEI—is the progress made in resolving the AR Gap issue, which has resulted in millions of dollars not being pushed to franchised stores and millions

Overall, I believe we are in a better place today than we were on January 1, 2022. On the organization side, we provided a platform via our quarterly meetings for all three stakeholders—FOA leaders, vendors, and SEI management—to share strategies for the 7-Eleven business. SEI now has several of their top people attend our Board meetings to discuss issues, provide updates, answer questions, and take suggestions from Board members. We also improved our Affiliate Membership Program and turned our focus to working with vendors to grow sales and improve the overall business. Through our Affiliate Member meetings—which we have increased to three per year instead of twice a year— franchisees and vendors get to discuss

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 19
SUKHI SANDHU, NCASEF CHAIRMAN
“One of the outcomes of all this—especially our open communication and dialogue with SEI—is the progress made in resolving the AR Gap issue.”
continued on page 21
“On the organization side, we provided a platform via our quarterly meetings for all three stakeholders—FOA leaders, vendors, and SEI management—to share strategies for the 7-Eleven business.”
CELEBRATING ONE BILLION IN RETAIL REVENUE Stock your shelves with proven moneymakers. ZYN is the first and only nicotine pouch to break one billion in retail sales. Increase your bottom line with America’s #1 nicotine pouch. FOR TRADE PURPOSES ONLY. | Source: IRI Total US Multi-Outlet, YTD Ending 11-06-22. | ©2023 Swedish Match North America LLC Call 800-367-3677 or contact your Swedish Match Rep to learn more.

Making Tomorrow Better Than Today

continued from page 19

of dollars of AR Gap credits issued to stores. SEI Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer Jack Stout announced at our last Board meeting that he is devoting all of his attention to tackling and resolving the AR Gap issue once and for all, and has a full-time team dedicated to the task. Another positive outcome is the continuation of the 7Now delivery fee subsidy, which SEI had temporarily suspended but reinstated after NCASEF leadership met several times with corporate to emphasize the importance of the subsidy until the program really takes off and becomes successful.

Something we also worked on and secured was SEI giving a store operational credit of $200 for the last five months of 2022, with an additional $1,500 for the month of November and another $1,500 for the month of December.

More recently, we negotiated a policy change with SEI to reduce the gross profit split (GGPS) charge by 100 basis points for traditional franchised

stores, effective January 2023. For franchisees with multiple stores, every traditional store will receive a GGPS reduction of 150 basis points. These changes will remain in effect until further notice and for no less than one year.

Furthermore, we worked with SEI to implement a Gross Income Support (GIS) program for lower volume stores. It was at $200,000 in the beginning of 2022, but I am proud to announce that we negotiated with SEI to increase it to $280,000. This will hopefully provide more stability for lower volume stores and give them enough breathing room to improve and grow their sales. This will kick in with the April 2023 accounting period.

We have also worked with SEI to discount the franchise fee to make it more appealing for franchisees to franchise stores. This can help to increase goodwill because it will allow the potential buyer to invest the saved funds from the franchise fee more towards the goodwill amount.

We will continue to have ongoing conversations with SEI on enhancing

our franchise business model and to improve systematic issues such as IT, store safety, fuel profitability, 24/7 hours, etc. I want to assure you all that your NCASEF leadership is fully committed to giving 110 percent to address issues, identify opportunities, and increase the bottom lines of all stakeholders.

I believe that the hard work and dedication of our team is what has brought us to where we are today, and I am confident that we will continue to be successful in the future. Our focus remains on increasing sales and gross profit dollars, driving down costs, and addressing systematic issues. Together, we can continue to make progress and improve the 7-Eleven brand.

I am honored to be a part of this team and I am grateful for all the support we have received in 2022. Let’s make 2023 an even better year!

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 21
SUKHI SANDHU CAN BE REACHED AT 855-444-7711 or sukhi.sandhu@ncasef.com
“Furthermore, we worked with SEI to implement a Gross Income Support program for lower volume stores.”
“Among the other issues we are presently engaged in, we are working on permanent changes and amendments to our franchise business model.”
“I believe that the hard work and dedication of our team is what has brought us to where we are today, and I am confident that we will continue to be successful in the future.”

From the Store on Main, to the Nationwide Chain, McLane Has You Covered

For more than 127 years, McLane has been building our nationwide distribution network to fulfill the needs of businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a single store, an emerging chain, or a nationwide operation, our world-class infrastructure, unrivaled buying power, and proven technology can be utilized to diversify your offerings and grow your business.

To learn more about McLane’s solutions for businesses of all sizes, visit mclanegrocery.com

© 2022 McLane Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
FOODSERVICE MERCHANDISING PRIVATE LABEL TECHNOLOGY

Labor Remains One Of Our Biggest Issues

Many franchisees have been facing a significant labor shortage in recent years. This has had a major impact on our business, making it difficult for us to keep our stores running smoothly and efficiently.

increase in labor costs. Since we now have to pay higher wages to attract and retain employees, our overall labor costs have gone up. This has had a significant impact on our bottom lines and has made it more difficult for many of us to turn a profit.

One of the main challenges we have encountered as a result of this labor shortage is the difficulty in finding and retaining good employees. With the unemployment rate being low, it has become increasingly difficult to find qualified and reliable workers who are willing to take on the responsibilities of working in a retail environment. Additionally, many of our current employees are being poached by other companies offering higher wages or better benefits, making it difficult to retain a stable workforce. Many workers are even choosing to work for companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, which offer more flexible schedules and higher pay.

Another issue we are encountering as a result of the labor shortage is the

In addition to the difficulties in finding and retaining employees, the labor shortage has also made it more challenging to keep our stores fully stocked and organized. With a shortage of employees, it has been difficult for many of us to keep up with the demands of our customers, making it harder to provide them with the products and services they want and need.

Despite these challenges, we need to find ways to overcome this dilemma so we can keep our stores running as effectively as possible. Our franchisor has helped us try to find suitable employees by implementing the Hire Right job aid. Many of us are having a lot of difficulty finding employees to work the third shift hours, so allowing those stores to close for several hours overnight would also be helpful. Presently, SEI is permitting stores to close overnight on a case-bycase basis, but a more blanket approach might be called for.

C-stores in Japan are also facing this labor problem, and they’re experimenting with contact-free selfcheckout stations. The self-checkout stations are already being utilized by other c-store chains in the U.S., so maybe it’s time this technology is adapted by 7-Eleven. Perhaps there are other tasks in our store that we could automate to help reduce the number of workers we require. A growing number of retailers are offering more flexible scheduling

options, but that only seems plausible with bigger stores with larger staff.

The labor shortage has had a significant impact on our stores, particularly by driving up our labor costs and reducing the level of service we can provide, so we need to develop strategies to overcome this problem before other factors like inflation and crime make the situation worse. We need to ensure that our stores can continue to thrive in the face of this challenge.

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 23 JOE ROSSI CAN BE REACHED AT 312-501-4337 or joer@ncasef.com
“Perhaps there are other tasks in our store that we could automate to help reduce the number of workers we require.”
“The labor shortage has had a significant impact on our stores, particularly by driving up our labor costs and reducing the level of service we can provide, so we need to develop strategies to overcome this problem.”
JOE ROSSI, NCASEF EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIR
“With the unemployment rate being low, it has become increasingly difficult to find qualified and reliable workers who are willing to take on the responsibilities of working in a retail environment.”

Up to 50% of consumers enjoy a bar as a part of their breakfast*, so offer them what they’re looking for! RXBAR A.M. is an easy onthe-go breakfast idea that’s a perfect way to start the day. With a short list of simple, delicious ingredients like creamy nut butter and wildflower honey, each bar delivers 10g protein from egg whites, nuts and seeds. Give your customers the soft & crispy texture they prefer* with NEW RXBAR A.M.

24 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022
AVAILABLE NOW!
better
B.S. Learn more at KelloggsAwayFromHome.com *Source: 2020 Health and wellness trends in America –Consumer Insights and Trends Report ®, ™, ©, 2022 Kellogg NA Co.
Mornings taste
without the
®

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

1. What is workers’ compensation insurance?

This insurance is protection for employees who are injured or become ill during the course of their job. It can be the result of an incident—like a back strain lifting a case of water—or injury from an assault.

Workers’ compensation insurance offers five basic benefits:

• Medical care for the injured worker.

• Temporary disability benefits to help pay for lost wages while the injured employee is recovering.

• Permanent disability benefits if an employee can’t return to work.

• Supplemental job displacement benefits that pay for skill enhancement or retraining if the injured worker can’t return to the job they had before the injury.

• Death benefits that are paid to a spouse, children, or dependents if the worker dies as a result of jobrelated injury or illness.

• Payroll

• Location

• Industry and risk factors

• Claims history (an important and unique benefit of the franchisee program)

3. Do I have to buy workers’ compensation insurance?

Workers’ comp is required in every state except Texas. However, your franchise ownership agreement might require you to purchase the insurance regardless of state requirements. More than half of all states require employers to carry coverage if they have one or more employees. Yes, even a small business needs workers’ comp.

In some states (i.e., Ohio, Washington, North Dakota, and Wyoming) workers’ compensation is only available through a state fund.

If you do not obtain workers’ comp insurance, the penalties can be significant. It can lead to allegations of criminal noncompliance in some states. It can also lead to fines that vary depending on the number of employees, the reason for noncompliance, and the amount of time a business was noncompliant.

4. Who does workers’ compensation insurance cover?

been injured outside their job role, selfinflicted injuries, injuries or illnesses from drugs or alcohol intoxication, or injuries sustained after an individual’s employment has been terminated.

This insurance can also cover you as the business owner, but in many states the owner is not required to be included. If you have the option, choosing whether to include yourself in the policy is personal. If you regularly work in the store it’s best to include yourself, but check with your broker or agent for advice.

5. How is workers’ compensation different than group health?

2.

How much does workers’ compensation cost?

Your cost is based on several factors:

A workers’ compensation policy covers employees who’ve been injured or become ill from the job during employment-related activities. Which employees are eligible depends on each state.

It does not cover employees who have

Workers’ compensation insurance is state-regulated coverage for workers who get injured or ill on the job. Group health insurance is coverage for preventative care and medical expenses for injuries or illnesses not occurring in the workplace. Most health insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for conditions covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

6. What should you expect from your

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 25
continued on page 26
“Workers’ comp is required in every state except Texas. However, your franchise ownership agreement might require you to purchase the insurance regardless of state requirements.”
“If you do not obtain workers’ comp insurance, the penalties can be significant. It can lead to allegations of criminal noncompliance in some states.”

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

continued from page 25

insurance company?

Your insurance company understands the specific risks your business faces and supports risk management to help manage costs.

Important elements for success your broker and insurance company can offer:

• Safety program information that is consistent with retail and the type of hazards commonly found in the stores.

• Store audits, safety training resources, safe work practices review, and post-injury management procedures. All of these are essential to reducing injuries and managing costs.

• Advocating fair and effective claims handling.

• Review your store for employee and customer safety risks. Survey your store to identify potential hazards and how they might affect employee or customer safety. After the assessment, follow up to make sure the hazard has either been eliminated or that training is provided to help prevent the risk from happening.

• Provide the right tools. Simple items like safety cutters, good floor mats, or quality step ladders, can help prevent injuries.

• Report the claim as soon as possible. Report it to the insurance company even if you’re not sure it’s a viable claim.

8. How can I fight workers’ compensation fraud?

rooms. Questionable injuries tend to happen where there are no witnesses or camera coverage.

• Communicate a zero-tolerance policy for workers’ compensation fraud. Tell your employees about the costs of workers’ compensation fraud and explain that it could lead to serious consequences.

• Encourage employees to share suspicions. Creating an environment where people can speak out will help detect fraudulent behavior.

• Let your claims adjuster know your suspicions. When it’s serious enough, the claims staff may hire a private investigator to conduct surveillance. This might determine a situation where the claim can be denied or fraud can be pursued.

7. How can I prevent or manage workers’ compensation claims?

• C onsult the experts. There are proven best practices to mitigate injury risks. MSIG or your insurance company/broker has the knowledge and resources to improve risk control in your store.

• Train continuously. Don’t just train new employees. Make sure everybody is receiving ongoing awareness so they are up-todate and reminded of safety procedures, especially related to crime.

Workers’ compensation fraud occurs. Employees can exaggerate the claim or allege the injury happened at work to receive benefits while staying out of work. Statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau report that workers’ compensation fraud costs employers over $7.2 billion annually. Here are some things you can do to minimize fraud:

• Look for warning signs. Was the injury reported shortly after the employee’s day off? Did it happen immediately following a job termination? Were there any witnesses? Does the claimant have a history of suspicious claims? Was the injury reported late? Are they refusing X-rays or other diagnostic tests? These can all be warning signs of fraud.

• Assure your surveillance system includes the vault and back

9. What are common workers’ compensation terms?

There is plenty of jargon associated with workers’ compensation insurance. Here’s a basic wordlist of terms:

• Accepted claim/admitted claim: A workers’ compensation claim in which the injury or illness is covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

• Alternative work/light duty: A modified job offered to an injured employee that gets them back to work but not in the same role they performed when injured.

• Claims administrator/adjuster: The individual at an insurance company who handles an injured worker’s claim.

• Impairment rating: The percentage estimate of how much an injury has affected the use of an injured

26 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022
continued on next page
“This insurance can also cover you as the business owner, but in many states the owner is not required to be included.”

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

continued from previous page

did before the injury or illness. These payments are available for a limited time, ending when a worker makes a full recovery.

• Temporary total disability: Payments to an injured employee who is unable to work at all for a temporary period. The benefits stop when the employee can resume working.

worker’s body. It can include physical impairments or mental impairments, and be permanent or temporary, severe or mild.

• Independent medical examination (IME): A medical exam performed by a physician not chosen by the company or the injured worker. This step is typically taken after a dispute arises over the extent of an injury.

• Permanent disability: Payments to an injured employee when an on-the-job injury permanently limits the kinds of work they can do and/or their ability to earn a living.

• Temporary partial disability: Payments to an injured employee who can still work, but not at the same rate or level that they

Summary

Workers’ compensation insurance is an essential part of your insurance program and protects your employees and the business. It can be confusing, but it’s there for peace of mind knowing your injured employee will be cared for with no direct out-of-pocket expenses, which is why it’s important to choose your insurance company and broker wisely. Also, your claims adjuster is your expert at navigating the rules and requirements of effectively applying the proper benefits. Work with your adjuster and contact them when you have any questions.

Best Practices for Cost Control:

• Report all work-related injuries or illnesses within three days.

• Maintain communication with your adjuster.

• Maintain communication with employees that are on leave or disability.

• Help make an early transition back to work.

• Help reduce claims and keep costs down by promoting safety and preventing accidents.

NCASEF Chairman Visits Michigan FOA

NCASEF Chairman Sukhi Sandhu met with members of the Michigan FOA on November 4 in Dearborn, Michigan to discuss local issues affecting area franchisees. Overall, it was a very productive meeting, according to Michigan FOA President Ali Haider.

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 27
JOHN HARP CAN BE REACHED AT 908-604-2951 or jharp@msigusa.com
“Statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau report that workers’ compensation fraud costs employers over $7.2 billion annually.”

NCASEF Charity Golf Event Raises Funds For CMN Hospitals

Franchisees and vendor partners gathered at the Riverwalk Golf Club in San Diego, California on November 15, 2022 to participate in NCASEF’s Charity Golf Tournament benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The event, which took place prior to the fourth quarter Affiliate Member and Board of Directors meetings, raised $10,711 for the organization, with all proceeds going to the local Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

28 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 Member News Get On The Avanti Mailing List! Are you a franchisee and would like to receive your own copy of Avanti—The Voice of 7-Eleven Franchisees? You can get on our mailing list by sending a request to avantimag@ncasef. com with your name and store address, and we’ll be sure to include you in future mailings. THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES Moving The Brand Forward Collaboration Among All Stakeholders Is Key Working Together Will Benefit All 7-Eleven Stakeholders It’s All About Teamwork Workers’ Compensation Insurance Questions & Answers THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES Supporting CharitiesAnd Community Service 7-ElevenFranchiseesMakeADifference GivingBackToOurCommunities AndOurCustomers WeAreMoreThanANeighborhood ConvenienceStore ChangeIsTheOnlyConstantShiftingSands Overexertion/BackInjuries TheSpring2022Affiliate MemberDirectory Page34 THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES May/June 2022 Making Progress Improving The System For All Stakeholders We’re On It Staying Fully Stocked Franchisee Exits Don’t Leave Money On The Table Slip, Trip, And Fall Prevention The Power Of Partnership Second Quarter Board Of Directors Meeting NCASEF Committee Reports Register Today! NCASEF 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland August 7-10, 2022

How Franchisee-Friendly Changes To California Law May Affect You

California recently changed its franchise laws in ways that benefit franchisees. With over 1,700 7-Eleven franchised stores located in California—almost 24 percent of the U.S. total—that’s a Big Gulp-ing deal. Here is a brief summary of the changes and how they may affect California 7-Eleven franchisees:

First, let’s say you want to buy an exist-

that wants to sell. Under Section 25(b) (2) of the 2019 and later forms of franchise agreement, 7-Eleven was already supposed to approve or disapprove of transfers within 60 days, but it was not obligated to give anyone a reason for disapproval—now it does.

ing store from a franchisee. The new law requires the franchisor to notify you of its decision to approve or disapprove of the transfer within 60 days of receiving the required information. The franchisor must provide a written copy of the criteria by which it will judge the transfer so that both buyer and seller understand what is required. If the franchisor disapproves, it has to tell you why. And the reasonableness of that decision is a “question of fact requiring consideration of all relevant circumstances.” This is a significant change because the franchisor now has obligations to the prospective buyer of an existing franchise in California—not just the existing franchisee

Second, let’s say you decide not to renew, or the franchisor terminates your franchise agreement. The new law requires the franchisor to negotiate with the franchisee about the value of the store inventory before it is offset against whatever the franchisee may owe. Therefore, if you do not reasonably agree with the settlement of the open account when you close out under Section 28 of the franchise agreement, then 7-Eleven has to work with you or go to court to get a final adjudication establishing the amount you owe.

Third, let’s say there is a declared state of emergency from a storm, earthquake, fire, or pandemic. The new law prevents the franchisor from modifying the franchise agreement or asking you to sign a general release in exchange for any assistance it may give (like adjusting the gross-profit split). The new law also prohibits the franchisor from requiring you to waive any of the protections afforded under California law.

Fourth, let’s say you need financial assistance from the franchisor. The new

law prohibits the franchisor from refusing to provide it based on your age, ancestry, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.

Fifth, let’s say someone who was selling you the franchise opportunity told you something that wasn’t in the FDD and it led you to sign the franchise agreement. The new law voids any document that you may have also signed saying you did not get that information or you did not rely on it.

Sixth and finally, the new law covers any franchise agreement that has been signed, renewed, or amended after January 1, 2023. We’ll see how 7-Eleven reacts, but Section 31(g) of the 2019 and later form of franchise agreement states that it, along with the “Exhibits, Amendments, and Addenda … contain the entire, full and complete agreement.” That should mean that if you’re asked to sign any amendment to the franchise agreement, then you are now protected by the new law—even if you signed your franchise agreement years ago.

If you have any questions about the new California law or anything else relating to your franchise agreement, you can reach me at tayres@wfrllp.com and 617-970-0063.

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 29 TOM AYRES CAN BE REACHED AT 617-970-0063 or tayres@wfrllp.com
“[If] you decide not to renew, or the franchisor terminates your franchise agreement, the new law requires the franchisor to negotiate with the franchisee about the value of the store inventory before it is offset against whatever the franchisee may owe.”
“The franchisor must provide a written copy of the criteria by which it will judge the transfer so that both buyer and seller understand what is required. If the franchisor disapproves, it has to tell you why.”
“The new law prohibits the franchisor from refusing to provide [financial assistance] based on your age, ancestry, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.”

Cooperation And Progress Highlight

It was practically standing room only in the ballroom of the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter in Southern California as franchisees, vendors and SEI guests gathered to attend the fourth quarter Affiliate Member and Board of Directors meeting, held November 16 to 18, 2022. A day before the meetings, the group participated in the NCASEF Charity Golf Tournament at the Riverwalk Golf Club. The event benefitted the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego via NCASEF’s partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

During the Affiliate Member meeting, Vendor Relations Committee Chairman Jivtesh Gill addressed vendors and explained that NCASEF’s goal is to develop a robust relationship between stores and vendors, bridge

the communication gap between all stakeholders, and to give vendors a return on their investment when they participate in NCASEF events. He added that the Vendor Relations Committee can help promote their latest innovations and assist with new product introductions, as well as educate them about store systems. He also advised vendors to develop relationships with the local FOAs so they could help resolve issues with products or deliveries.

Board members and vendors then divided into four Group Breakout Workshops—Brokers and Wholesalers, Service Providers, Beverage Vendors, and Food Service and DSD Vendors— wherein they discussed store and product issues from both points of view and worked on solutions. The groups

30 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022

4th Quarter Board Meeting

provided a summary of their discussions once the Affiliate Member meeting resumed.

After the Breakout Workshops recap, SEI guests Jack Stout (Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer), Bruce Maples (Senior Director of Franchisee Relations and Engagement), and Gary Kuns (Vice President of Logistics) spoke to the room. Jack Stout mentioned how the new relationship between SEI and NCASEF has been very productive, and then gave a presentation on what SEI has been doing to improve franchisee profitability. He also said 7-Eleven has had an astounding year in sales and margins, but costs have been increasing, and for franchisees costs are rising faster than sales. Nevertheless, he said, 7-Eleven is outperforming the

marketplace.

The Affiliate Meeting ended with a Table Top Trade Show featuring 31 exhibiting vendors. The trade show venue was packed shoulder-to-shoulder with franchisees eager to see the new products and deals, and to place orders on the spot.

Day one of the Board of Directors meeting kicked off with a session with SEI upper management. Corporate guests included Jack Stout, Bruce Maples, Gary Kuns, Carl Weaver (Senior Director of Logistics), Arron Yount (Senior Director of Franchise Sales and Systems), Davina Stevens (Director of Analytics and Audits—Asset Protection), and John Evans (Director of Accounting). The big topic of discussion was the AR Gap. Jack Stout said he is taking on the AR Gap

continued on page 32

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 31

issue full-time, and the goal is to resolve this issue once and for all. He also said SEI has staff dedicated solely to solving the AR Gap issue.

Gary Kuns and Carl Weaver gave an update on what’s being done on the delivery check-in side to resolve the AR Gap. They said they’re asking for franchisee input throughout the process, and that the Store Check-In Simplification process is constantly being improved with franchisee representative input. Additionally, SEI is performing audits of McLane deliveries at the store level. John Evans said SEI has advanced over $7 million in AR Gap credits to franchisees to date.

The SEI team then took questions from Board members on such topics as AR Gap credits, driver check-in errors, mis-picks, drivers arriving late and during store busy hours, McLane delivery data not available instantly (takes 48-72 hours), the gasoline commission, gasoline register integration, the swell allowance, honor shortages, high audit variations, and 7Boss issues. The SEI team also announced an additional $3,000 store operational credit for November and December ($1,500 for each month), and said the credit is in response to rising operational costs for franchisees.

Throughout the meeting, the Logistics/Simplification, Store Profitability/Fuel, and Accounting/Finance Committees presented their reports, and vendor presentations were made by Storck, PepsiCo, Blue Triton Brands, BeatBox, and RJ Reynolds.

On the second day of the Board meeting, Chairman Sukh Sandhu announced that, given all the anti-tobacco legislation popping up nationwide, NCASEF will form a Tobacco Legislation Committee to work with tobacco manufacturers to fight these measures. The meeting had over 250 attendees during the Affiliate Member meeting, with 60+ vendors registered. He also said the Table Top Trade Show was very

32 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022
continued from page 31

successful, and that extra money was raised during the charity golf tournament via individual donations that will be given to Rady Children’s Hospital/Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Teeto Shirajee, Nick Bhullar and Raj Singh were announced as the new Vice Chairmen, each to serve a term of two years. Later, the NCASEF General Counsel Eric Karp made his presentation, Mr. Karp provided a rundown of SEI’s and Seven & I’s financials based on publicly available records.

Board members then moved on to cover additional items, such as 7Now-related issues, getting support from SEI on employee hiring, the gasoline commission, allowing some stores to close for several hours overnight, insurance companies cancelling policies without notifying franchisees, and Speedway/7-Eleven encroachment.

Mr. Sandhu ended the meeting by citing some of the accomplishments made by the NCASEF Board in the previous 11 months, such as suspending 7Clean and CEV during a tough, labor-challenging environment, convincing SEI to provide operational support to stores, negotiating the MASC process and getting over $7 million worth of credit issued to stores, convincing SEI to continue the 7Now subsidy, and making sure millions of dollars in AR Gap were not pushed down to the stores.

During the meeting, the Government Affairs/Community Relations, Facility Maintenance, Membership, Election, Digital/IT, and Charity Golf Committees presented their reports. Vendor presentations were made by Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, and Molson Coors.

The next Affiliate Member and Board meeting will take place March 7-10, 2023 at The Westin in New Orleans (French Quarter).

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 33
Relax responsibly ® . Corona Extra® Beer. Imported by Crown Imports, Chicago, IL *Source W/E 10.23.22, L52weeks, 7 Eleven Unify IRI Drink responsibly. Modelo Especial® Beer. Imported by Crown Imports, Chicago, IL. *Source W/E 10.23.22, L52weeks, 7 Eleven Unify IRI 24pk 18pk 18pk Corona Extra 12-oz. Bottle 18-Pack Modelo Especial 12-oz. Can 18-Pack Modelo Especial 12-oz. Can 24-Pack Modelo Especial 12-oz. Bottle 18-Pack Corona Extra 12-oz. Can 18-Pack #1 BRAND & GROWING* +17.3% $ and +12% in Units #3 BRAND & GROWING* +8.8% $ and +5.5% in Units

Modelo Chelada 12oz Variety Pack

Featuring our fruit-forward flavors: Mango y Chile, Naranja Picosa, Limón y Sal and Piña Picante! The Variety Pack will drive incremental growth by capturing new drinking occasions for your shoppers!

responsibly.

Drink
Modelo Chelada® Limon y Sal Flavored Beer. Imported by Crown Imports, Chicago, IL Drink
Modelo Chelada® Flavored Beer. Imported by Crown Imports, Chicago, IL Modelo Chelada Variety 12-Pack 12oz Can - 102711 Modelo Chelada Limon & Sal 12-Pack 12oz Can - 107080 Modelo Chelada Pina Picante 24oz CN - 105596 Modelo Especial Chelada 24oz CN - 104108 Modelo Chelada Mango Chile 24oz CN - 105851 Modelo Chelada Naranja Picosa 24oz CN - 107457 101040 Modelo Chelada Limon & Sal 24oz CN SLIN Modelo Chelada Variety 12-oz. Can 12-Pack Modelo Limon & Sal 12-oz. Can 12-Pack
responsibly.

continued from page 13

Credit Card Competition Act sponsored by Senators Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and Representatives Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Lance Gooden, R-Texas.

have been climbing for years, rising 112 percent over the previous decade. In 2021 alone, swipe fees increased by 24 percent over the previous year, totaling a staggering $137.8 billion.” These increases have had a devastating effect on small business owners and their customers.

“To stay in business now, we must make difficult choices, including forgoing filling open positions and increasing prices on our products,” writes Sandhu. “Some small businesses have even resorted to charging an additional checkout fee for using a credit card. That means higher prices for consumers who are already feeling the squeeze from inflation.” He further states that U.S. swipe fees are among the highest in the world—1.5 times more than in the U.K. and 1.35 times more than in China. However, he adds, lawmakers have come to the aid of small businesses and consumers by introducing the Credit Card Competition Act, which will serve as a lifeline for small businesses desperately in need of help when passed.

Congress Asked To Support Credit Card Competition Act

As Congress headed into its lame duck session in mid-November, more than 1,800 merchants from across the country called on lawmakers to pass legislation that would bring long-sought competition to credit card “swipe” fees that drive up costs for consumers. In a letter sent by the Merchants Payments Coalition to all members of the House and Senate, merchants asked lawmakers to support the

The legislation would require that credit cards issued by the nation’s largest banks be enabled to be processed over at least two unaffiliated networks—Visa or Mastercard plus a network such as NYCE, Star or Shazam. American Express or Discover could also be the second network, but not networks supported by foreign governments like China’s UnionPay. The banks would decide which two networks to enable on a card and merchants would each then decide which to use when a transaction is made, requiring networks to complete over fees, security and service.

TV Ads Urge Congress To Pass Swipe Fee Reform

The Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC) recently aired a series of TV commercials urging Congress to reign in rising credit card swipe fees by passing the bipartisan Credit Card Competition Act, sponsored by Senators Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and Representatives Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Lance Gooden, R-Texas. One 30-second commercial aired during the holiday season and stated that “soaring credit card ‘swipe’ fees are limiting what consumers can afford to buy this holiday season.”

A previous commercial highlighted Visa’s sponsorship of competition at the FIFA World Cup while refusing to allow competition over swipe fees. Another addressed how lack of competition means Visa and Mastercard “can charge whatever they want.”

According to the MPC, the Credit Card ompetition Act would end Visa and

Mastercard’s longstanding monopoly over how transactions on cards issued under their brands are routed for processing. Instead, cards from the nation’s largest banks would be required to be able to be routed over at least one competing network in addition to Visa or Mastercard’s networks. Banks would choose which networks to enable but merchants would then choose which to use, meaning networks would have to compete over fees, security and service, saving merchants and their customers an estimated $11 billion a year.

C-Stores Investing In Branded Merch

Grocers and convenience stores that have dedicated fandoms like 7-Eleven have recently released new lines of branded merchandise, reported Modern Retail. Selling products embellished with large logos of retailers is a common low-cost marketing tactic among many CPG brands, according to the article. Although these products are largely seen as a marketing play, these branded products in some cases can get so popular that they can produce a significant amount of sales.

7-Eleven, for instance, is using its merch not just to sell to shoppers but also as props

in its social media accounts. In a video posted on 7-Eleven’s TikTok page, content creator Ashley Yi wears a sweatshirt embroidered

36 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 Member News
“More than 1,800 merchants from across the country called on lawmakers to pass legislation that would bring long-sought competition to credit card swipe fees.”
continued on page 39
“7-Eleven is using its merch not just to sell to shoppers but also as props in its social media accounts.”

California’s Flavored Cigarettes Ban Stands

The U.S. Supreme Court in early December denied a request from tobacco company R.J. Reynolds to challenge a California law that bans the sale of flavored cigarettes, reported CNN. The company argued the state law conflicts with a federal law called the Tobacco Control Act that gives the federal Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate the sale of cigarettes. R.J. Reynolds said that without the Supreme Court’s intervention it would be barred from selling its menthol cigarettes—which make up approximately one-third of the cigarette market—in one of the nation’s largest markets. As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, the ban went into effect on December 21.

Legislative Update

On election day November 8, Californians went to the polls and approved Proposition 31 by a 63.5 percent to 36.5 percent margin. The initiative was placed on the ballot soon after Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 793, the Legislature’s bipartisan effort to crack down on

vending machines, including menthol cigarettes, but with exceptions for hookah, premium cigars and loose-leaf tobacco.

Graphic Warnings On Cigarettes Rule Blocked By Judge

e-cigarettes and other products popular with kids. The law bans the sale of certain flavored tobacco products in stores and

A federal judge has blocked an FDA rule requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements that had been challenged by cigarette companies, reported Reuters. The U.S. district judge found that the rule, which was to take effect next October, violated the companies’ rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by compelling speech.

The disputed rule, which the FDA fi-

continued on page 38

Boost Mobile services are now available at 7,500 7-Eleven stores as of December 2022. New and existing Boost Mobile customers can now purchase SIM kits at a participating 7-Eleven store to start new service and ReBoost cards to stay connected. • Inflation has already peaked, but it will remain above preCOVID levels in 2023, according to the chief economist for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa at the Mastercard Economics Institute, reported CNBC. It’ll take a few years to return to 2019 levels, he said. • Seven-Eleven Japan is altering the packaging of certain foods to reduce its carbon footprint, reported Japan

Today. The new white or semi-transparent containers are made from reduced petroleum-based materials that are easy to recycle. The containers for approximately 60 original 7-Eleven fresh foods will be converted as part of the switch. • Mondelēz recently announced it will sell its developedmarket gum business in the United States, Canada and Europe to Perfetti Van Melle Group for $1.350 billion. The sale includes the gum brands Trident, Dentyne, Stimorol, Hollywood, V6, Chiclets, Bubbaloo and Bubblicious, as well as the European candy brands Cachou Lajaunie, Negro, and La

Vosgienne. • The Board of Directors of Swisher recently announced two appointments to its Executive Leadership Team—Neil Kiely was named President & CEO after serving the past year as President, and Jeffrey Brown has taken the position of Executive Vice President of Swisher Sales. • Nearly a decade after Jeff Bezos first announced drone delivery, Amazon is finally ready to start airdeliveries, reported CNBC. The company’s latest drone model—the MK27-2—is designed to drop packages from 12 feet in the air, and was scheduled to begin making deliveries in Lockeford, California, and College Station,

continued on page

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 37 Member News
39
“THE U.S. SUPREME COURT RECENTLY DENIED A REQUEST FROM TOBACCO COMPANIES TO CHALLENGE A CALIFORNIA LAW THAT BANS THE SALE OF FLAVORED CIGARETTES.”

Member News

continued from page 37

nalized in March 2020, would require the use of 11 graphic images, such as images of diseased feet with amputated toes that show possible consequences of cigarette smoking. The warnings must occupy the top 50 percent of the front and back of cigarette packages and the top 20 percent of ads. The tobacco companies sued in April 2020 to block the rule as unconstitutional compelled speech, saying it required them to promote an anti-smoking message. The judge agreed, granting them summary judgment.

Legislative Update

Tobacco Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

Listed below are the latest proposals and approved changes to tobacco legislation and regulation at the local, state and federal levels, as reported by Convenience Store News

INDIANA

• Elkhart—A coalition of local health educators is attempting to build a grassroots support network aimed at reducing tobacco use in Elkhart County by eliminating point-of-sale

tobacco marketing, such as price promotions, discounts on tobacco products, in-store tobacco product displays and retail advertising in stores that sell tobacco.

MAINE

• South Portland—In late December, South Portland became the fourth city in Maine to ban flavored tobacco products, following Portland, Brunswick and Bangor. The ban went into effect immediately for stores that did not hold a tobacco li-

continued on page 52

Exclusive for Franchisees! 2oz FATTY Meat Sticks FIRST ORDER DATE

Texas, by the end of 2022. • McLane Company, Inc. recently announced that it has raised more than $101 million in donations to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) since 1987 through local fundraising efforts, hospital donations, underwriting of CMN Hospitals operations, and supplier campaign support. • The number of self-checkout (SCO) lanes in the U.S. has increased 10 percent in the last five years, with shopper intelligence firm Catalina estimating that they now account for nearly 40 percent of lanes in grocery chains in the U.S.—a number that continues to grow as retailers like Walmart, Kroger, and Dollar General test pilot stores that offer only SCOs. • Consumers are changing their food-delivery habits amid economic concerns and as the industry evolves from the growth it saw during the pandemic, reported the Wall Street Journal. People are spending more cautiously, analysts and industry executives said, and are switching to in-store pickups, ordering fewer dishes and changing what they get delivered.

• Walmart reported an 8.2 percent increase in U.S. third quarter same-store sales as a growing number of affluent shoppers did more of their grocery shopping at Walmart amid rising inflation, reported CNN Business. • 7-Eleven stores in Canada celebrated Reverse 7-Eleven Day on November 11—or 11/7—by offering a free medium Slurpee to customers who visited a store with any clothing item worn backwards. • A record 196.7 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday—up by nearly 17 million from 2021—and spent an average of $325.44 on holiday-related purchases over the course of the weekend, an increase from $301.27 in 2021, according to a new survey by the National Retail Federation. • Keurig Dr Pepper recently announced it has a minority stake in nonalcoholic craft beer maker Athletic Brewing Company. The $50 million investment

continued on page 50

continued from page 36

with the company’s logo. In another video, account moderators show off their outfit of the day but they were dressed entirely with 7-Eleven apparel. 7-Eleven launched its online merchandise shop last August—called 7Collection— and soon followed it up with a festive assortment in November.

Insider Intelligence senior analyst Blake Droesch said that, in most cases, branded merchandise isn’t exactly expected to be a revenue generator, but rather a brand-building tool. He said that during a time when shoppers are more susceptible to switching to different retailers, it’s more important now than ever to maintain their loyalty.

Dollar Tree Increases Focus On Food

As grocery prices continue to soar, more shoppers are turning to Dollar Tree and its banner, Family Dollar, for groceries, reported Winsight Grocery Business. For the second straight quarter, consumables’ same-store sales outpaced discretionary sales at Dollar Tree, the retailer reported in November, with a 9.3 percent comparable in food and beverage, snacks and cookies, and candy. Dollar Tree’s overall same-store sales increased 8.6 percent. At Family Dollar, same-store sales of food and beverages grew 4.7 percent, outpacing the chain’s overall same-store sales growth of 4.1 percent.

also seeing intense interest in its privatelabel items. The company is working on “growing and improving” private-brand performance by broadening the product selection. Dollar Tree said it will focus on over-the-counter drug and health items, followed by paper products and food as it looks to expand its owned brands. Increasing frozen and refrigerated offerings is another major area of Dollar Tree’s focus.

Dwayne Johnson ‘Rights The Wrong’ With 7-Eleven

Family Dollar said it again expects consumables to fare better than discretionary items during the fourth quarter. Dollar Tree said it is making a number of investments in its food merchandising to capture the growing consumer interest. Family Dollar said it is

continued from page 37 continued

Action film star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared a video on social media documenting a recent visit to a 7-Eleven in Hawaii in which he bought out the stores supply of Snickers bars and left them for any hungry customers to take for free, reported People. It wasn’t just a generous move, but an act of redemption. As Johnson explained, 36 years earlier— when he was just 14 years old—he used to go to that very 7-Eleven daily and steal a King-sized Snickers on his way to the gym because he couldn’t afford to buy one. “I was broke as hell,” he explained in his Instagram post of his pre-workout snack, recalling that “the same clerk was there every day and always just turned her head and never busted me.”

While the pro-wrestler turned actor found massive success in the years

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 39 Member News
on
page 40
Credit Dwayne Johnson Instagram

Member News

continued from page 39

following, his shoplifting weighed on him. That’s what prompted him to settle up with that same convenience store location. “Had to ‘right the wrong’ back home in Hawaii after all these years,” the Oahu native wrote on his Instagram post. He also generously picked up the tab for others waiting to pay and posed for selfies with his fellow 7-Eleven shoppers.

FTC Orders Mastercard To End Illegal Business Tactics

The FTC recently announced that it is ordering an end to illegal business tactics that Mastercard has been using to force merchants to route debit card payments through its payment network, and is requiring Mastercard to stop blocking the

use of competing debit payment networks. Under a proposed FTC order, Mastercard will have to start providing competing networks with customer account information they need to process debit payments, reversing a practice the company allegedly had been using to keep them out of the ecommerce debit payment business and, according to the FTC, that violated provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act known as the Durbin

over a process called “tokenization” to block the use of competing payment card networks, the agency alleged. According to the FTC, Mastercard refuses to provide conversion services to competing networks for remote ewallet debit transactions (i.e., online and in-app transactions, as opposed to inperson transactions made by the customer in a store), thereby making it impossible for merchants to route their ewallet transactions on a network other than Mastercard.

Amendment and its implementing rule, Regulation II.

With the post-Durbin rise of debit ecommerce and ewallet debit transactions, Mastercard was flouting the law by setting policies to block merchants from routing ecommerce transactions using Mastercardbranded debit cards saved in ewallets to alternative payment card networks, including networks that may charge lower fees than Mastercard, the FTC alleged. Specifically, Mastercard used its control

Midwest FOA Donates To Center For Blind Children

Board Members of the Midwest FOA recently presented a donation of $1,000 to the Penrickton Center for Blind Children in Taylor, Michigan, which specializes in working with visually impaired children with at least one additional handicap. Presenting the check to the Center were (from second left to right) Midwest FOA Vice President Nisar Siddiqui and Board members Cheryl Nilson and Adnan Siddiqui.

Under the FTC consent order, when a competing network receives a token to process a debit card payment, Mastercard is required to provide them with the customer’s personal account number that corresponds to the token. The order also bans Mastercard from taking any action to prevent competitors from providing their own payment token service or offer tokens on Mastercard-branded debit cards and requires Mastercard to comply with provisions of Regulation II.

Seven & i Sells Department Store Business

Seven & i Holdings plans to sell its Sogo & Seibu department store business to a Fortress Investment Group affiliate for an enterprise

continued on next page

40 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022
“The FTC has ordered an end to the illegal business tactics used by Mastercard to force merchants to route debit card payments through its payment network.”

value of 250 billion yen ($1.77 billion), reported the Morning Star. The retailer and owner of 7-Eleven said that it was difficult to maximize the value of its departmentstore business based on its resources. Sogo & Seibu posted net losses for the past three fiscal years. Earlier this year, San Franciscobased activist investor ValueAct Capital LP asked Seven & i’s board to set up a committee to review strategic alternatives, including the potential sales of units, as it called on Seven & i to focus on its convenience-store business.

Seven & i said it would retain the

continued from previous page

Sogo & Seibu, and that the sale of Sogo & Seibu was expected to be completed on February 1, 2023. The company also said that Fortress would work with Japanese electronics retailer Yodobashi as its partner in running the Sogo & Seibu business.

Gas Prices In 2023 Expected To Fall

The yearly national average price of gas in 2023 is forecast to drop nearly 50 cents per gallon from that of 2022 to $3.49, according to GasBuddy’s 2023 Fuel Outlook. Continuing improvement in refinery capacity will help alleviate gasoline and diesel prices, though high levels of uncertainty remain amidst Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine and continuing economic concerns. A $4 national average remains possible ahead of and during the summer driving season, GasBuddy states.

Avanti Is Your Magazine

Avanti Magazine was created in 1981 by franchisees, for franchisees. It represents your voice within the 7-Eleven universe and requires your participation to remain relevant to the ideas, information, and knowledge floating about the franchisee community. You can contribute to the success of Avanti Magazine by submitting any of the following:

> Articles on any 7-Eleven topic that may be of interest to other franchisees.

> Your FOA events and Board meeting calendars.

> FOA event photos with a short description (who, what, where, when, and why).

> Store or community event photos with captions.

> Any combination of the above.

Please send your submissions to avantimag@ncasef.com.

As former National Coalition Chairman Bill Schuessler famously said, “None of us is as great as all of us together, so let’s stay tightly knit together.”

Highlights from GasBuddy’s 2023 Fuel Outlook:

• The national average price of gas could cool early in the year as demand remains seasonally weak, followed by a rise that starts in late winter, bringing prices to the $4 per gallon range in time for summer. Barring unexpected challenges, prices in 2023 should return to normal seasonal fluctuations, rising in the spring, and dropping after Labor Day into the fall.

• Though most major U.S. cities will see

continued to page 50

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 41 Member News

Member News

FOAC Spreads Holiday Cheer To Charities

The FOA of Chicagoland presented donation checks to three charities during its Holiday Trade Show held on November 10, 2022 at the Holiday Inn in Skokie, Illinois. Beneficiaries included the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, which received $10,711, and the Chicago Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Chicago HOPES for Kids, which received $2,711 each. The funds were raised during the FOA’s Charity Golf event held on May 18, 2022. The FOA of Chicagoland presents donations to its charity partners every year during its Holiday Trade Show.

42 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022
HI-CHEW bites launches exclusively at 7-Eleven in P1 2023! • Delicious unwrapped bites of fruit flavor in Mango, Green Apple, and Strawberry • 2.12oz Count Good • Gluten Free, No Synthetic Colors EXCLUSIVELY #80539 NEW HI-CHEW bites 72ct Dump Bin Cost before Distributor Mark-up: $61.92 FOA Deal: $6.19 (10% OFF) Net Display Cost: $55.73 Contains: 72ct NEW HI-CHEW bites CONTACT: Raymond Gates 518-812-4478 rgates@morinaga-america.com SHIP DATE: P3 2023 (4/12/23 - 5/23/23)

FOAs End The Year With Holiday Celebrations

FOAs across the country ended 2022 on a high note, celebrating the holidays with family, friends, and colleagues. Some featured mini-trade shows with their festivities, others golf and general meetings, but all had great music, delectable food, entertainment, dancing, and fantastic prize giveaways. Special guests at some of these holiday events included NCASEF officers and SEI management. A good time was had by all, allowing franchisees to wind down and relax before tackling 2023.

Central Florida FOA

44 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022
Detroit FOA

Delaware Valley FOA

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 45

Central Valley FOA

FOA Of Chicagoland

Texas FOA

46 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022

FOA Of Greater Los Angeles

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 47

Greater Bay FOA

48 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022
Greater Oregon FOA

San Diego FOA

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 49
Midwest FOA

continued from page 41

prices top around $4 per gallon, areas of California like San Francisco and Los Angeles could again experience near $7 gas prices in the summer of 2023 if refineries struggle under mandates of unique formulations of gasoline.

• Americans will spend an estimated $470.8 billion on gasoline in 2023, down $55 billion from 2022. The estimated yearly household spend on gasoline will also fall $277 to $2,471.

Retailers Embracing Alternative Payment Methods

In recent years, alternative payment methods have been gaining popularity with both consumers and retailers, reported the National Retail Federation (NRF). In 2021, the five biggest Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) firms (Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, PayPal and Zip) handled $24 billion in purchases made by over 180 million consumers, a tenfold increase from 2019, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Meanwhile, Apple Pay and other digital wallets have gained wide acceptance among retailers while many take PayPal. Furthermore, Venmo—originally

intended for “peer to peer” payments among individuals—is now accepted by CVS, Abercrombie & Fitch, Uber Eats, Hulu and Foot Locker, among others.

Given the growing popularity of alternative payments, they are widely accepted by retailers. Among merchants surveyed by Forrester for NRF’s 2022 State of Retail Payments report, 80 percent take Apple Pay or plan to do so within 18 months, followed by 65 percent for Google Pay. Online, 78 percent accept Apple Pay and 74 percent take PayPal or plan

continued on next page

continued on page 39

represents KDP’s latest move into rapidly emerging beverage categories, following its acquisition of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink cocktail brand Atypique. • Circle K recently launched its first-ever U.S. nationwide advertising campaign, “Fueled by Circle K.” Taking place over the next year, the campaign focuses on Circle K fuel, which is now available in over half of its 7,000 U.S. locations. The campaign will run primarily on digital streaming and social media channels, the company said. • Swisher announced it has promoted Chris Howard to Executive Vice President, External Affairs and New Product Compliance. Howard succeeds Joe Augustus, who announced his retirement after more than 33 years with the company. • Pennsylvania-based convenience retailer Sheetz is planning a major Michigan

expansion with the first location expected to open in the Detroit area in 2025, reported The Detroit News. • Loyalty programs are helping combat inflation as 55 percent of restaurant loyalty customers increased their average check size more than the price of the average item increases, reveals the Paytronix Annual Loyalty Report 2022. The report also finds that anywhere from 5 to 17 percent of overall business revenue is driven by the most loyal 2 to 3 percent of customers. • The Ferrero Group recently announced it will acquire Wells Enterprises, its operations and its strong ice cream brands, which include Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon Classics, Bomb Pop and Halo Top. • Couriers for DoorDash, Uber Eats and other delivery services in New York City would start earning $23.82 an hour in 2025 under a new proposal by the city’s Department of

Consumer and Worker Protection, reported Restaurant Business. It would be a significant raise from the workers’ current average hourly wage of $7.09 before tips. • IKEA parent Ingka Group recently launched a $10 million social fund to help staff members in all 31 of its global markets who need extra financial assistance due to increases in the cost of living, reported Reuters. The funds will be distributed on a case-by-case basis to help employees pay for necessities like utilities and housing costs. • Chevron recently launched checkout-free shopping powered by Grabango at its ExtraMile store in San Ramon, California. Grabango’s computervision technology saves time by offering a fully contactless experience, allowing shoppers to select any non-age-restricted

50 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022
Member News
continued on page 51
“In recent years, alternative payment methods have been gaining popularity with both consumers and retailers.”

product in the store and then exit without waiting in line to checkout. • Many companies are adding new locations as brick-and-mortar shopping rebounds, and leading the pack are the two largest U.S. dollar-store chains— Dollar General Corp. and Dollar Tree Inc.—which combined expect to have opened more than 1,300 net new stores by the end of the fiscal year that ended in late January, reported the Wall Street Journal. • Mondelez International, the maker of Oreo cookies, has pulled its ads off Twitter after Elon Musk acquired the social media site, reported Reuters. The company said it made the decision after noticing a significant increase in hate space on the platform after the Tesla boss took over.

to do so. Nearly half (43 percent) accept at least one BNPL option online. Nonetheless, alternative payments account for only a small percentage of transactions and are no threat to credit and debit cards’ dominance of the payments market. According to the Federal Reserve, 76 percent of in-person purchases were made with credit or debit cards in 2021 while 19 percent were made with cash. Digital wallets made up only 2.6 percent of card payments—not overall payments—in 2020, according to the Fed.

Financial Concerns Widespread Among Consumers

six in 10 (63 percent) consumers say that brand name is not important to them when shopping most categories.

Supermarkets Turn To Private Label Brands To Boost Sales

• Amazon is

• C-store chain Rutter’s recently increased its starting wage to $17.50 per hour, making it the company’s second starting pay increase in 2022 and the seventh in three years. Since December 2019, Rutter’s has raised wages by more than 70 percent. • Canada-based donut chain Tim Hortons’ customers across Canada and the United States can now pay for their orders faster when using the new Scan & Pay feature in the Tims app, which allows Tims Rewards members to pay for orders, earn points and redeem rewards with a single scan. • Weigel’s, which operates 72 c-stores in east Tennessee, recently introduced On Demand Pay through Paylocity, allowing employees to access up to 50 percent of their earned wages early, reported CStore Decisions. The company said the solution aids with employee recruitment and retention.

As prices continue to rise and economic uncertainty looms, financial concerns are widespread among U.S. consumers, but all hope is not lost. Mintel research shows while more than half (51 percent) of Americans say they are currently concerned about the future of the economy, a similar share (48 percent) feel confident their financial situation will improve in the next 12 months. In addition to the future of the economy, inflation is top of mind across the population. Nine in 10 consumers (94 percent) say they are currently worried about inflation, and 67 percent believe the majority of Americans share in these concerns, while a third (34 percent) believe it’s other Americans—rather than themselves—who are financially struggling right now.

Meanwhile, 22 percent of Americans overall—and 31 percent of parents—say they are struggling to cover day-to-day expenses. Mintel research shows that the most common consumer response to dealing with inflation is cutting back on nonessential purchases (40 percent), followed by dining out less often (37 percent). More than six in 10 consumers (62 percent) prefer lower prices over a convenient shopping experience, and 57 percent say they prioritize lower pricing over sustainable brand options. More than

Supermarkets are doubling down on their in-house product lines, seeking to drive growth as inflation-weary shoppers search for value, reported the Wall Street Journal. Sales of private-label products, which are typically cheaper than brand-name equivalents, have surged in recent months as shoppers look for ways to economize amid soaring inflation. In response, big supermarket operators such as Kroger say they are investing in expanding their inhouse offerings across more price points and product categories. Supermarkets typically make a higher profit margin on private-label goods than they do from selling branded products. Pushing lowerpriced products could also enable grocers to win the loyalty of consumers by casting themselves as the shopper’s ally during difficult times.

New Products Discovered In C-Stores, Survey Finds

Over seven in 10 (71 percent) adult consumers, ages 18 and over, say they discover new products and brands in c-stores, according to a new consumer sentiment survey on c-store shopping commissioned by NCSolutions (NCS). Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) say they

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 51 Member News
continued on page 53 continued on page 54 continued from previous page
continued from previous page

Legislative Update

continued from page 38

cense at the time of the ban. The enforcement date is April 1, 2023 for those already selling flavored tobacco products, allowing for existing inventory to be sold.

MASSACHUSETTS

• Dalton—Updated tobacco regulations, which include new restrictions and bans, will go into effect on February 1. The Dalton Board of Health approved a slate of changes to the town’s tobacco ordinance, including bans on flavored rolling papers and new tobacco permits within 500 feet of schools. Regulations on minimum cigar price points—$2.90 for singles and $5.80 for a package of two or more—are also part of the update, as is a one-day suspension for a first-offense tobacco sale to a minor.

MICHIGAN

• Ann Arbor—As of November 17, the University of Michigan has banned the use of all tobacco products on its three campuses. The existing smoking policy on campus will be revised and become the Tobacco-Free University Premises policy. Under the new policy, the use of tobacco products will be prohibited on university grounds, in buildings and facilities, and in university-owned vehicles. Public sidewalks situated along public thoroughfares and privately owned vehicles do not fall under the policy and smoking in these areas will be permitted.

NEVADA

• Carson City—State officials pre-filed a bill to increase the

continued on page 58

52 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022
See you at 7EE in Vegas! Member
News

continued from page 51

shop at c-stores two or more times a week, while overall, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) visit c-stores at least once a week. The survey further reveals that American consumers find shopping at c-stores offers numerous

shopping experience. Sixty-three percent see c-stores as delivering good value for their budgets.

benefits. Seventy-nine percent of shoppers say the stores offer a lot of product variety, while 77 percent say c-stores provide a good

Americans visit convenience stores for various reasons, but the location is number one, cited by 65 percent of consumers. Fifty-nine percent say convenience stores meet their immediate needs, while 54 percent like that they can conduct transactions quickly and be on their way. Nearly one-third (30 percent) say price brings them into the store, while 28 percent enjoy the variety of products c-stores have to offer. Additionally, thirty-four percent shop at c-stores because they are less crowded.

More than two-thirds (67 percent) of

Franchise

The best way to stay informed of the latest changes and challenges to our 7-Eleven system-and the convenience industry, in general-is to join your local Franchise Owner’s Association. FOAs help franchisees share ideas and concerns, and allow us to approach our franchisor and vendor partners with a unified voice. Becoming an FOA member also makes you a member of the National Coalition, which consists of all 41 FOAs nationwide.

To join your local organization, contact the FOA president closest to you, or follow the instructions below to fill out an online membership form. If you cannot find the FOA closest to you, contact nationaloffice@ncasef. com for more information.

We welcome your participation!

consumers feed their sweet tooth with candy purchases from convenience stores, and many rely on c-stores as a place to quench their thirst. Fifty-seven percent of consumers said they purchase on-the-go

drinks like coffee, tea, or fountain beverages at c-stores, while 40 percent buy milk, juice, and other staples. In addition, 32 percent pick up packaged beverages and 23 percent buy beer. Beyond beverages, almost a third (30 percent) pick up prepared foods while in the store. Thirty-seven percent purchase lottery tickets.

continued on page 55

1. Log in to 7Help using 7Hub (secured) in-store or using this link https:/7elevenna.servicenow.com/from any external device.

2. In the search bar type “FOA.”

3. Select the popup suggestion “FOA/ PAC:FRANCHISE OWNERS ASSOCIATION.”

4. Type “NONE” in the “Current FOA” box if you are joining an FOA for the first time or you are not a member of any other FOA.

5. Type in the full name of the FOA that you wish to join (No abbreviation) in the “Future FOA” box.

6. Type in the amount of monthly dues as instructed per local FOA.

7. Type “Please enroll (store number) as a member of (name of the local) FOA.”

8. Repeat Step 7.

9. Press the green submit icon.

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 53
Member News
“Over seven in 10 (71 percent) adult consumers say they discover new products and brands in c-stores.”
do I
an
Join Your Local
Owner’s Association Today! How
join
FOA?
“None of us is as great as all of us together”

Member News

continued from page 51

adding Amazon One palm payment technology to 16 Whole Foods Market stores in the Dallas area, reported Winsight Grocery Business. The technology is available at around 160 Amazon and Whole Foods stores, and it takes less than a minute for customers to enroll their palms at an in-store kiosk. • Wawa recently announced plans to launch its first stores in the states of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The company said these states are part of its

long-term expansion plan to fuel future store growth in adjacent and new markets. These market launches will take place sometime after 2025 with estimated time frames and ranges for number of stores by state to be announced in 2023. • Voters in Maryland and Missouri approved measures to legalize recreational marijuana during the November 8 midterm elections, reported CSP Daily News. This brings the total number of states to

continued on page 55

Delaware Valley FOA President Manzoor Chughtai (right) poses with Pennsylvania governor-elect Josh Shapiro (left) at a campaign stop a couple of weeks before the November 8 election. Pictured in the center is Haqnawaz Chughtai.

continued from page 54

legalize the substance to 21. • Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office recently filed a civil lawsuit against Dollar General, accusing the company of violating a state consumer protections law by advertising goods for one price on store shelves then charging a higher price when the items are scanned at the register, reported The Columbus Dispatch. • Five Below opened 40 new stores nationwide in Q3 with a total of 102 new stores opened year-to-date, reported PYMNTS.com. Roughly 250 stores—or 20 percent of its locations—have been converted to the new Five Beyond prototype in 2022, focusing on items priced above its traditional $5 ceiling. • Grubhub and last-mile robotic delivery company Kiwibot recently announced that they will provide robot delivery services on college campuses across the United States. Kiwibot joins Grubhub’s existing partners, including Cartken and Starship, on nearly a dozen campuses offering robot delivery. • The FDA is studying whether legal cannabis is safe in food or supplements and plans to make recommendations for how to regulate the growing number of cannabis-derived products in the coming months, reported the Wall Street Journal. • DroneUp now offers 30-minute drone delivery of lightweight goods to Walmart customers in Florida, Virginia, Arizona, Utah, Arkansas and Texas, expanding the service’s reach to more than 4 million households, reported Fast Company. Participating stores host delivery hubs staffed by certified drone pilots, and customers pay a $3.99 delivery fee for orders weighing up to 10 pounds. • Midwest supermarket operator Meijer has partnered with Uber Eats to offer ondemand and scheduled grocery

Convenience Retailers Ramp Up Self-Checkout & Fresh Offerings

Convenience retailers are increasingly feeling the pressure from grocery and general merchandise retailers offering a larger assortment of food and essentials through convenient delivery and pick-up options. To stay relevant, the convenience industry is adopting many new strategies that include reallocating store space, ramping up fresh offerings, embracing flexible, speedy checkout, and further investing in their advantage—catering to their local communities, according to a new survey by industry insights firm Incisiv.

But the speed of change remains a problem for most chains, with 74 percent of respondents dissatisfied with their ability to experiment quickly. In addition, convenience has lagged compared to other segments technologically as it has not moved as fast toward unifying experiences across digital and in-store channels.

Additional key findings of the research include:

• 82 percent of c-stores lack a unified architecture across digital and physical commerce, and only 8 percent offer shoppers a unified eCommerce and in-store basket.

continued from page 53

offering.

• 30 percent of c-stores are planning to increase in-store space for fresh food prep, and 25 percent for in-store dining.

• 26 percent of c-stores plan to reduce space allocated to fixed checkout, and artificial intelligence or machine learning assisted self-checkout is set to outpace traditional self-checkout over the next 12-18 months.

• 62 percent of c-store executives consider becoming more relevant to the local community as a critical part of their growth strategy.

• 61 percent of c-store executives are satisfied with their banner’s current capabilities around localizing assortment. However, they must become more adept at high-frequency replenishment, quicker inventory turns, and more frequent store layout resets.

Some Shoppers Unaware Of ‘Shrinkflation’

Consumers are paying the maximum for the minimum more and more these days as many companies are reducing the weight or quantity of products, but keeping prices the same, reported Winsight Grocery Business. This practice has been dubbed “shrinkflation,” but not even half of consumers are aware of it, according to a new report from retail data science, insights and media company 84.51°.

• 72 percent of c-store executives say it is important to differentiate on higher quality fresh food, but only 32 percent are satisfied with their banner’s current

Of shoppers surveyed for the firm’s October consumer digest, 29 percent said they have not noticed any categories that are shrinking pack sizes. Of the 45 percent of shoppers who have noticed shrinkflation, they said they will buy a different brand that hasn’t reduced its size. Nevertheless, 40 percent of consumers said they will still purchase the item at the reduced size,

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 55
continued on page 57 Member News
continued on page 57

WELL-BEING

NEW LOOK! AVAILABLE IN 6 FLAVORS
PROMOTES
NATURAL ENERGY
∆ In combination with a calorie reduced diet designed for weight loss and an active lifestyle, C4 Smart Energy® supports fat loss by increasing caloric expenditure.
BOOSTS METABOLISM & BURNS FAT

and 42 percent said they will purchase it as well, but only if they have a coupon. But 17 percent of consumers said they wouldn’t buy the downsized item at all, while a smaller percentage, 10 percent, said they would actually buy more packages to ensure they have enough of the product.

C-Stores Taking Market Share From QSRs

New research from Cardlytics finds that food sales at convenience stores have increased to over 20 percent and that the category is likely taking market share away from traditional quick-service restaurants, reported Forbes. Since 2019, c-store share has increased from 18.42 percent to 21.39 percent, the report says, noting that all payat-the-pump transactions were excluded. Cardlytics cites c-stores’ advantages as quicker prep time, more variety and shorter wait times. The average wait time at a QSR is about 7 minutes, for instance, while c-stores average 4-minute waits.

There is also the convenience factor. As c-stores upgrade their foodservice offerings to be on par with QSRs, consumers may be more likely to choose the option that is most convenient for them. Speed is one factor, but so is location and additional offerings, like gas or beer. For the latter, the scale will

always tip in c-stores’ favor. In fact, according to a recent report from Bluedot, 70 percent

“Food sales at c-stores have increased to over 20 percent and the category is likely taking market share away from traditional QSRs.”

of consumers enter a c-store when they’re pumping gas, and over 50 percent purchase snacks, while 20 percent buy grocery items and 16 percent get alcoholic beverages. Nearly 60 percent of those consumers believe c-stores to be on par with QSRs.

Grocery Price Inflation Eases

Food price inflation tailed off in December amid continued relaxation in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), reported Winsight Grocery Business. Month-to-month, the December CPI for All Urban Consumers dipped 0.1 percent (seasonally adjusted), the only decrease in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) January report.

Except for flat growth in July, the December decline followed upticks of 0.1 percent in November, 0.4 percent in October and

continued from page 55

September, 0.1 percent in August, 1.3 percent in June, 1 percent in May, 0.3 percent in April, 1.2 percent in March, 0.8 percent in February and 0.6 percent in January.

On a year-over-year basis, the December CPI climbed 6.5 percent (unadjusted), down from a 12-month increase of 7.1 percent in November. The December figure marked the lowest annual gain since October 2021, BLS noted, compared with year-to-year growth in 2022 of 7.7 percent for October, 8.2 percent for September, 8.3 percent for August, 8.5 percent for July, 9.1 percent for June, 8.6 percent for May, 8.3 percent for April, 8.5 percent for March, 7.9 percent for February and 7.5 percent for January.

All six food-at-home food groups remained up in December on an annual basis (unadjusted). The steepest 12-month price hikes came from cereals and bakery products (+16.1 percent), dairy and related products (+15.3 percent), other food at home (+13.9 percent) and nonalcoholic beverages (+12.6 percent). Those percentages compared with +8.4 percent for fruit and vegetables and +7.7 percent for meat, poultry, fish and eggs.

Shortages of eggs at supermarkets and other grocery retailers remain in the headlines, and that’s reflected in December’s CPI for the segment. Egg prices were up by 59.9 percent year-over-year (unadjusted) and by 11.1 percent month-to-month (adjusted).

continued from page 55

delivery service to its stores in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky, reported Supermarket News. • Shell recently acquired Nature Energy Biogas A/S—a producer of renewable natural gas from agricultural, industrial, and household wastes—for nearly USD $2 billion. Shell said

the acquisition will further accelerate its transition to net-zero emissions. • Through a new partnership with pop-up shop marketplace platform Popable, Walmart is now offering short-term leases to small businesses that don’t want to commit to longer contracts, reported Footwear News.

After a company lists its offering on Popable’s website, small businesses can then be paired with their local participating Walmart to connect and enter into an agreeable temporary leasing agreement ranging in length from a month to a year. • PepsiCo recently unveiled a global

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 57
continued on page 60 Member News

continued from page 52

Legislative Update

penalties on retailers who sell to underage consumers. Currently, a retailer found in violation has its license suspended for 30 days on the fourth violation and for 180 days on the fifth violation. The bill amends that to a 30-day suspension on the second violation and a 180-day suspension on the third violation.

NEW YORK

• White Plains—The Westchester County Board of Legislators passed a bill banning the retail sale and distribution of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol, mint and wintergreen. Effective six months after enactment, there will be no criminal penalties to individuals for using flavored tobacco products; however, fines will be issued to businesses found non-compliant.

OHIO

• B exley—The Bexley City Council delayed its vote on banning flavored tobacco products in late December. When the council reconvenes it is expected to vote on the ordinance that would ban all flavored tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and other alternate nicotine products.

• Columbus—The Columbus City Council voted unanimously to end the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored vaping products.

• Toledo—The Ohio State Senate passed a bill on December 14 stopping cities from banning the sale of flavored tobacco products. However, local news reported the next day that Governor Mike DeWine appears primed to veto the bill and supported the Columbus ordinance passed that banned the sale of flavored tobacco products.

OREGON

• Portland—Multnomah County leaders unanimously approved the second and final reading of a proposal to ban the sales of flavored tobacco and vaping products. It was scheduled to go into effect on January 1.

California Fast-Food Wage Law On Hold

A state judge recently put on hold a California law that could raise minimum wages for fast-food workers until a hearing can determine whether it should take effect, reported the Wall Street Journal. Save Local Restaurants, a group of franchisee and restaurant business associations, filed suit in late December against the state’s Department of Industrial Relations challenging its inten-

tion to implement the law on January 1.

The group submitted a petition in early December for a 2024 ballot measure that would overturn the law. The secretary of state’s office is currently determining whether the petition has about 623,000 valid signatures, in which case the law’s implementation would be postponed until the ballot measure vote. In its lawsuit, Save Local Restaurants asked the court to block the state from beginning to implement the law until the secretary of state’s office finishes the petition validation process.

The California law, known as the Fast Recovery Act, is the first of its kind in the U.S. and has emerged as a high-stake battle between organized labor and fast-food chains and operators. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the law in September 2022. It creates a 10-person government-appointed council made up of workers, employers, union representatives and business advocates that could set the minimum wage for the fast-food industry as high as $22 an hour next year and establish new workplace standards. The established minimum wage would then increase annually based on inflation. Currently California’s minimum wage is $15 an hour, and is set to rise to $15.50 in 2023.

Colorado C-Stores Can Now Sell Wine

After counting up the remaining votes from Denver, Proposition 125 changed direction and narrowly passed, letting Coloradans buy a bottle of wine at a convenience or grocery store, reported The Colorado Sun. Grocery and convenience stores with a license to sell beer can begin selling wine March 1. That’s approximately 1,819 licensees as of June 2021, according to the Department of Revenue. They’ll also be able to offer beer and wine tastings.

The measure was losing by less than a percentage point for most of election night on November 8 and the next two days. The “yes” votes jumped ahead on the third evening. The measure statewide finished ahead by more than 28,000 votes, far outside the margin at which a recount would be triggered. The split was 50.6 percent in favor, 49.4 percent against out of 2.43 million votes. With Proposition 125, there will still be rules for alcohol sales. Grocery stores can sell wine, but not through self-checkout. The measure also doesn’t change any other existing rules, such as the prohibition of sales between midnight and 8 a.m., and no alcohol sales to anyone under 21.

58 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 Member News
“A STATE JUDGE RECENTLY PUT ON HOLD A CALIFORNIA LAW THAT COULD RAISE MINIMUM WAGES FOR FAST-FOOD WORKERS.”

SEI Offers A Year Of Free Delivery

SEI used the busy holiday season to aggressively boost adoption of its subscription delivery service, reported Grocery Dive. The company offered one free year of its 7Now Gold Pass to anyone who signed up for the program for the first time between November 25 and 28, or Black Friday weekend. The 7Now Gold Pass, which normally costs $5.95 per month for the standard version, gives members free delivery on more than 3,000 items. It was first rolled out in January 2022. Gold Pass, which offers customers free delivery through the 7Now app, has two versions—a standard version for most customers and a $3.95-permonth student version, which can be accessed with a valid student email. Customers who have previously had Gold but canceled it were not eligible for the offer.

Holiday-Themed Merch Collection

To celebrate the holiday season, SEI debuted a festive assortment of fashionable and cozy gifts on 7Collection, the brand’s online merchandise store. The 7Collection shop’s holiday line featured exclusive 7-Eleven-inspired apparel and accessories including:

• Holiday Sweaters—a festive crewneck sweater inspired by your favorite Slurpee drink or a cozy fleece sweater inspired by your local 7-Eleven store.

• Oh Thank Heaven script necklace—a gold-plated necklace that serves as a statement accessory for true brand fans.

• 7-Eleven Knitted Stripes Beanie—a green, orange and red pom beanie.

• 7-Eleven Sherpa Blanket—an ultra-comfy blanket.

• Classic 7-Eleven Clock—it’s 7-Eleven time, all the time, with this classic clock.

• 7-Eleven Stocking—a classic red and white holiday stocking.

Winter Wonderland Cocoa Returns

SEI kicked off the holiday season in November with the return of the fanfavorite Winter Wonderland Cocoa, available at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores for a limited time. This beverage is a hot, rich, red-colored cocoa blend mixed with a festive peppermint candy cane flavor. Also available were limitededition holiday cups. Festive green and decorated with holly leaves, these cups were made to hold the delicious Winter Wonderland cocoa or any other hot beverage, such as a mocha made with freshly ground beans and a shot of chocolate. Customers looking

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 59 Member News
continued on page 60
“SEI offered one free year of its 7Now Gold Pass to anyone who signed up for the program for the first time during Black Friday weekend.”

continued from page 59

to enjoy another holiday-themed beverage were encouraged to try this latest recipe hack—the GingerBrewed Coffee. To make this sweet and savory beverage, gingerbread fans were instructed to follow these simple steps: three pumps gingerbread syrup, any hot or iced 7-Eleven coffee brew, and a dash of cinnamon.

Korea Seven Builds Metaverse Store

Korea Seven, the South Korean operator of the 7-Eleven, has set up a virtual store where customers can enter a metaverse platform to attend entertainment events such as festivals and music performances, reported the EconoTimes. The virtual space was created by the local mobile

carrier SK Telecom for Korea Seven. SK Telecom’s metaverse service, Ifland, has already showcased many performances of musicians and indie bands. The mobile carrier utilizes a number of cameras to capture an entire event scene in 360 degrees via the virtual world. Korea Seven’s virtual store has been modelled after its existing shop located at Dong-ah Institute of Media and Arts.

continued on next page

continued from page 57

packaging goal intended to increase the percentage of its total beverage servings delivered through reusable models from 10 percent to 20 percent by 2030. The company said the goal will be achieved through, among other methods, increasing its use of refillable plastic and glass bottles. • Research led by Oregon Health & Science University reveals adolescent cannabis abuse in the United States has increased drastically—by about 245 percent—since 2000, as alcohol abuse among teens has steadily declined over the same period. • Pilot Company and Volvo Group have teamed to develop a high-performance charging network for medium- and heavyduty electric trucks that will be open to all battery-electric Class 8 truck brands. • MidAtlantic convenience chain Sheetz kicked off the holiday season on November 21 by

reducing the price of Unleaded 88 to $1.99 a gallon through November 28, 2022. The price was only available at the 368 Sheetz stores that offer Unleaded 88. • Japan-based c-store chain Lawson recently opened its first store staffed almost entirely by avatars at its self-checkout counters, reported The Register. The unstaffed checkouts show shoppers an avatar on a screen, backed by a remote worker to answer queries or to process those few transactions, such as purchases of tickets, that can’t be done with self-service technology. • The United States Postal Service recently announced that it expects to acquire at least 66,000 battery electric delivery vehicles as part of its 106,000 vehicle acquisition plan for deliveries by 2028. The vehicles purchased as part of this anticipated plan will begin to replace the Postal Service’s

aging delivery fleet of over 220,000 vehicles. • A CVS Health and Morning Consult report shows that 61 percent of adults want more health services to be available through pharmacies. Additionally, 74 percent of respondents said they trust their local pharmacist and pharmacy team, and agree that pharmacists should provide health care services when primary care is unavailable. • California plans to spend an additional $1 billion to bolster its vehicle-charging network as it races to build the infrastructure needed to phase out gas-powered trucks and cars, reported Bloomberg. The five-year program will allocate 70 percent of the funding for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle charging, with the balance for light-duty equipment at or near multi-unit dwellings.

60 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 Member News

continued from previous page

7-Eleven Singapore Unveils 7Cafe Concept Store

7-Eleven Singapore recently unveiled its first 7Café concept store at Jewel Changi Airport, reported Retail News Asia. It has an extended range of 7Café items, at $5.50 ($4.10 U.S.) each. There are also offerings featuring the local flavors of Singapore, like Banana Caramel Smoothie. Warm

pastries and finger food are available at the hot food counter. Savory hot food items include a range of fried chicken favorites including Hot and Spicy Drumlets, Chicken bites with a choice of Red Pepper or Garlic Herb seasoning, Chicken Drumsticks, Nuggets, and Wings. Other light options include sandwiches, burgers, and onigiri.

The grand opening of the Jewel 7-Eleven outlet took place from November 25 to 27. Over the weekend, customers enjoyed a sampling of drinks and snacks, free cotton candy floss and 7-Eleven balloons. There were also chances to walk away with Spin and Win rewards and freebies for completing Jewel Challenge card activities.

The Bridge Is Getting Built

One of the main reasons companies engage in team bonding exercises is to improve communication and collaboration among its employees. Everyone wants to work in a welcoming environment where they can talk openly with each other, collaborate with one another, and feel both seen and heard.

imenting with smaller formats, decreasing profit margins, accounting and deliveries issues, and the list went on.

Throughout it all, we had no open communication with SEI. In my article I stated, “not only National Coalition, but all franchisees across the nation want a healthy relationship with SEI so we can work as a team towards the common goal success,” and I urged our National Coalition leadership and our franchisor to build the bridge of communication and cooperation and “not to burn it.”

“I strongly believe SEI does understand and appreciates that our stores are our bread and butter, and if we prosper, the brand prospers as well.”

Back in 2018, I wrote an article in the May/June issue of Avanti entitled “Did We Burn The Bridge?”

At the time, franchisee morale was down—on a scale of 1 to 10, it was at 1, or at its lowest. We felt overwhelmed by the problems in our system and underappreciated. We were dealing with rising minimum wages, new competitors entering the c-store sector like Amazon and big grocers exper-

Today, nearly five years later, there is clearly evidence that the bridge is being rebuilt, and on a solid foundation of open dialogue, partnership, and trust. The National Coalition officers and Board members have developed a clear line of communication with SEI and dialogue between both parties is ongoing. Our store issues are getting resolved, one by one, thanks to the hard work of our National Coalition leadership and committees. To date franchisees have received about $7 million in AR Gap credits, and SEI is working with the National Coalition to resolve our accounting, delivery, and other issues.

This type of cooperation benefits both franchisees and our franchisor. All franchisees want their stores to be financially strong and to work in an environment where there is open communication between both parties. I strongly believe SEI does understand and appreciates that our stores are our bread and butter, and if we prosper, the brand prospers as well. My hope is that this new relationship between the National Coalition and SEI continues to grow, and the bridge of open communication and collaboration is built to last for a very long time.

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 61 Member News
NISAR SIDDIQUI CAN BE REACHED AT 248-703-0947 or nisarsid1@yahoo.com
“Everyone wants to work in a welcoming environment where they can talk openly with each other, collaborate with one another, and feel both seen and heard.”

Constellation Brands Unveils New Sales-Enhancing Items

Give your alcohol beverage sales a boost with these new offerings from Constellation Brands:

• Modelo Oro—With Modelo Especial being the #1 beer brand in 7-Eleven, Modelo Oro gives customers the option to elevate their light beer drinking experience without sacrificing flavor. At 90 calories, 4.0 ABV and 3 grams of carbs, Modelo Oro is truly the “gold standard” of light beer.

• Fresca Mixed Variety Pack—Fresca was launched in 1966 with the intention that it should be mixed with alcohol, its unique citrus flavor blending perfectly with the flavors from any spirit it’s mixed with. Now, after 55 years of being a go-to spirits mixer, Fresca Mixed finally brings together the bold citrus flavor of Fresca with premium alcohol in a convenient ready-to-drink format. Fresca Mixed adds an 8-pack variety pack featuring four flavors: Original Grapefruit, Pineapple Citrus, Mixed Berry Citrus, and Mango Citrus. Flavor is king in this category, and with variety packs as the largest growing pack type, this 100-calorie, 5 percent ABV, gluten free, no added sugar alcoholic beverage is a hit.

• Modelo Chelada Sandía Picante—Modelo Chelada capitalizes on fruit-flavored trends that have broad consumer appeal to help maintain its status as the #1 Chelada brand in 7-Eleven and nationally. A 6th flavor—Modelo Chelada Sandía Picante—recruits new drinkers and offers a new Watermelon option to the portfolio.

Introducing Trident Pocket Packs Cinnamon

Your customers are looking for a refresh and there’s no better way to “Refresh Your Rhythm” than with new Trident Pocket Packs Cinnamon. Not only do these packs deliver the breath-freshening power Trident is known for, but they also do it longer with 28 sticks in a convenient Pocket Pack! New Trident Pocket Packs Cinnamon, bursting with cinnamon flavor, are the perfect way to spice up your customers’ routine.

Plus, for all your customers who love variety, Trident Pocket Packs also come in well-loved flavors like Spearmint, Tropical Twist, and the ever-popular Original. That’s four solid ways to refresh with twice the gum. The Pocket Packs themselves are innovative, with twice the gum in every pack and a convenient hard case that’s perfect for anyone on the go. These packs make freshening breath quick and easy for your customers.

As an extra incentive, Trident Pocket Packs are just $3 via 7Now, and customers that pick up two Pocket Packs can get 400 7Rewards bonus points instantly! That’s refreshing for their mouths, their wallets, and their reward balances. Stock up!

Two Top-Selling Smirnoff Ice Varieties Now Available Nationwide

Diageo is excited to announce the nationwide expansion of two of its Smirnoff Ice varieties:

Smirnoff Ice Neon Lemonade 12pk (UPC 082000798767)

January FOD in CA, TX, FL, VA, NY, NM, OH, AZ

The Smirnoff Ice Neon Lemonade Variety 12pk can has been a huge hit and 7-Eleven has recently launched it in eight states. Neon lemonades are perfectly sweet and tart, ready to get the party started. By combining the vibes of Miami with the hottest flavors, Smirnoff is bringing a new take on the booming lemonade trend.

62 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022
Increase your alcoholics beverage sales with new Modelo Oro, Fresca Mixed Variety Pack, and Modelo Chelada Sandía Picante. Trident Pocket Packs Cinnamon contain 28 sticks and are just $3 via 7Now.

FMB 12pks are growing +76 percent the last 13 weeks as consumers search for flavor. This 12pk 12oz slim can variety pack features the delicious flavors of Pink Lemonade, Pineapple Lemonade, Peach Lemonade and Blue Razz Lemonade.

Smirnoff Ice Smash Pink Lemonade Single

Smirnoff Ice Smash Pink Lemonade is the highest velocity Smash flavor in the hugely successful Smash franchise. With an FOD of January 9, it has been expanded nationally from its current 11 states. Smirnoff Ice Smash is the fastest growing top 5 FMB Single Brand Family at 7-Eleven and has consistently outperformed the segment with a compounded annual growth rate of +43.5 percent—2x all other key competitors. Pink Lemonade is a great addition to your flavor can line-up.

• Smash Pink Lemonade 23.5oz (UPC 082000798965; SLIN 107746) has been expanded to all states (except FL, SC, MO, WI).

• Smash Pink Lemonade 16oz (UPC 082000799023; SLIN 107747) has been expanded in FL, SC, MO, WI.

Smirnoff Ice Neon Lemonade Variety 12pk and Smirnoff Ice Smash Pink Lemonade Single are now available in 7-Eleven stores nationwide.

FOA Board

Meetings

Central Florida FOA

Phone: 207-415-0924

February 15, 2023—General Meeting

August 23, 2023—General Meeting

November 2, 2023—General Meeting

FOA Of Greater Los Angeles

Phone: 619-726-9016

January 17, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

February 21, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

March 21, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

April 18, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

May 23, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

June 20, 2023—FOAGLA Mini Trade Show

July 18, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

September 19, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

October 17, 2023—FOAGLA Mini Trade Show

November 14, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

Metro New Jersey FOA

Phone: 732-910-8854

March 16, 2023—General Member Meeting/Tabletop Show

May 11, 2023—General Member Meeting/Tabletop Show

September 14, 2023—General Member Meeting/Tabletop Show

Southern California FOA

Phone: 818-357-5985

January 18, 2023—Board of Directors & Members Meeting

February 15, 2023—Board Of Directors Meeting

April 19, 2023—Board of Directors & Members Meeting

May 25, 2023—Board of Directors Meeting

June 21, 2023—Board of Directors & Members Meeting

July 19, 2023—Board of Directors Meeting

August 16, 2023—Board of Directors & Members Meeting

September 20, 2023—Board of Directors Meeting

October 18, 2023—Board of Directors Meeting

November 15, 2023—Board of Directors & Members Meeting

UFOLINY

Phone: 613-486-6266

January 17, 2023—General Membership Meeting

February 28, 2023 —General Membership Meeting

March 14, 2023—General Membership Meeting

April 25, 2023—General Membership Meeting

May 30, 2023—General Membership Meeting

June 27, 2023—General Membership Meeting

September 26, 2023—General Membership Meeting

October 24, 2023—General Membership Meeting

November 28, 2023—General Membership Meeting

United FOA Of Northern Florida

Phone: 407-683-2692

March 2, 2023—General Meeting

June 8, 2023—General Meeting

November 2, 2023—General Meeting

64 AVANTI
2022
NOVEMBER | DECEMBER

FOA EVENTS

San Francisco/Monterey

Bay FOA Trade Show

Paradise Ballrooms Banquet Hall & Event Center

Fremont, California

April 26, 2023

Phone: 408-203-1039

Greater Northwest FOA

Trade Show

Meydenbauer Center

Bellevue, Washington

May 3, 2023

Phone: 707-344-1070

UFOLINY Trade Show

Hilton Long Island/Huntington

Melville, New York

May 3, 2023

Phone: 613-486-6266

Central Florida FOA

Charity Golf Tournament

Orange County National Golf

Center & Lodge

Winter Garden, Florida

May 3, 2023

Phone: 207-415-0924

Central Florida FOA

Trade Show

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld

Orlando, Florida

May 4, 2023

Phone: 207-415-0924

continued on page 66

Alliance Of 7-Eleven

Franchisees FOA

Spring Trade Show Expo

Venue TBD

May 9, 2023

Phone: 847-949-0097

Eastern Virginia FOA

Annual Charity Golf

Sleepy Hollow Golf Course

Suffolk, Virginia

May 11, 2023

Phone: 407-683-2692

Eastern Virginia FOA

Annual Trade Show

Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk

Riverfront

Suffolk, Virginia

May 12, 2023

Phone: 407-683-2692

Midwest FOA

Charity Golf

Cantigny Golf Club

Wheaton, Illinois

June 6, 2023

Phone: 847-971-9457

Metro New Jersey FOA

Annual Golf Tournament

Venue TBD

June 7, 2023

Phone: 732-910-8854

Metro New Jersey FOA

Annual Tradeshow

Venue TBD

June 8, 2023

Phone: 732-910-8854

Texas FOA

Annual Trade Show

Four Points by Sheraton

Dallas Fort Worth Airport

Coppell, Texas

June 14, 2023

Phone: 214-208-6116

Texas FOA Annual

Charity Golf Tournament

Cowboys Golf Club

Grapevine, Texas

June 15, 2023

Phone: 214-208-6116

FOA Of Greater Los Angeles

Mini Trade Show

Venue TBD

June 20, 2023

Phone: 619-726-9016

Eastern Virginia FOA

South Carolina Trade Show

The River Place

Fort Mill, South Carolina

June 21, 2023

Phone: 757-506-5926

Alliance Of 7-Eleven

Franchisees FOA

Summer Social Topgolf

Schaumburg, Illinois

June 23, 2023

Phone: 847-949-0097

Greater Northwest FOA

Golf Outing

Venue TBD

August 16, 2023

Phone: 707-344-1070

UFOLINY FOA

Golf Outing

Baiting Hollow Club

Baiting Hollow, New York

September 6, 2023

Phone: 613-486-9266

FOA Of Greater Los Angeles Mini Trade Show

Venue TBD

October 17, 2023

Phone: 619-726-9016

Eastern Virginia FOA

Holiday Trade Show

Venue TBD

November 15, 2023

Phone: 407-683-2692

Detroit FOA Trade Show

Holiday Party

Venue TBD

November 17, 2023

Phone: 248-766-9002

Alliance of 7-Eleven Franchisees FOA

Holiday Showcase

Venue TBD

November 17, 2023

Phone: 847-949-0097

AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022 65 AD INDEX Anheuser-Busch...................................................... 8 AON...................................................................12, 13 Bic USA...................................................................11 Coca-Cola.................................................................2 C4 Nutrabolt...........................................................56 Constellation Brands.......................................34, 35 Danone....................................................................16 Diageo........................................................................3 Dreyers Ice Cream..................................................52 Ignite International.................................................54 Kellogg’s...................................................................24 King Palm..............................................................6, 7 McLane....................................................................22 Morinaga_America................................................43 Mondelez.................................................................18 Monster....................................................................68 Sweetwood..............................................................38 Swedish Match (ZYN)...........................................21 Swisher International.............................................67 Vita Coco...............................................................4, 5

NCASEF BOARD MEETINGS

National Coalition Board meetings are scheduled one per quarter. Vendors interested in sponsoring a Board meeting should contact John Riggio, JR Planners, at 262-394-5518 or johnr@jrplanners.com.

National Coalition Affiliate Meeting

The Westin New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

March 6-7, 2023

National Coalition Board Of Directors Meeting

The Westin New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

March 8-9, 2023

FOA EVENTS

FOA of Greater Los Angeles & San Diego

FOA Trade Show

Pechanga Resort Casino

Temecula, California

January 25, 2023

Phone: 619-726-9016

Southern California FOA

36th Annual Golf Tournament

Pacific Palms Resort

City of Industry, California

March 14, 2023

Phone: 818-357-5985

National Coalition Affiliate Meeting

Marriott Resort San Juan & Stellaris Casino

San Juan, Puerto Rico

May 15-16, 2023

National Coalition Board of Directors Meeting

Marriott Resort San Juan & Stellaris Casino

San Juan, Puerto Rico

May 17-18, 2023

National Coalition Board of Directors Meeting

Caesars Palace

Las Vegas, Nevada

July 29-30, 2023

NCASEF 47th Annual Convention & Trade Show

Caesars Palace

Las Vegas, Nevada

July 30-August 2, 2023

National Coalition Board of Directors Meeting

Hyatt Regency San Francisco

San Francisco, California

November 7-8, 2023

National Coalition Board Of Directors Meeting

Hyatt Regency San Francisco

San Francisco, California

November 9-10, 2023

Southern California FOA

Annual Trade Show Pasadena Civic Auditorium

Pasadena, California

March 15, 2023

Phone: 818-357-5985

Midwest FOA Trade Show

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center

Rosemont, Illinois

April 4, 2023

Phone: 847-971-9457

Suburban Washington FOA Tristate FOA Trade Show

Venue TBD

April 13, 2023

Phone: 301-580-0305

Nor-Cal United 7-Eleven

FOAs (Central Valley

FOA/Greater Bay FOA/ Northern California

FOA/Sacramento Valley

FOA) 8th Annual Trade Show

Sunrise Event Center

Vacaville, California

April 18, 2023

Phone: 707-344-6287

Nor-Cal United 7-Eleven

FOAs (Central Valley

FOA/Greater Bay FOA/ Northern California

FOA/Sacramento Valley

FOA) 8th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Hiddenbrooke Golf Club

Vallejo, California

April 19, 2023

Phone: 707-344-6287

66 AVANTI NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2022
continued on page 65

Take advantage of the continued growth of rough-cut natural leaf cigar demand with Swisher Sweets Leaf. With superior manufacturing processes, high-quality tobacco, and a product guarantee, Swisher Sweets Leaf gives you unmatched quality and consistency from a partner that you know you can count on.

Please contact your Swisher Representative SWISHER.COM | 800.874.9720

SWISHER SWEETS CIGAR COMPANY | FAT LIP BRANDS | DREW ESTATE | HEMPIRE | ROGUE
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.