Avanti November/December 2021

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November/December 2021

T H E

V O I C E

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7 - E L E V E N

F R A N C H I S E E S

A New Road Ahead Getting Past The Pandemic

It’s Been An Honor And A Privilege A Fresh Start More About The Long Term Tenure Rebate Til Death Do Us Part Crime And Assault Prevention—An Update For 2021 2021 Tobacco Legislation Update Take Another Look At SBT

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID York, PA PERMIT No. 232


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THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES

November/December 2021

Contents 19 It’s Been An Honor And A Privilege

By Jay Singh, NCASEF Chairman

37 Want Top-Selling Products And Efficient Service? Take Another Look At SBT

23 A Fresh Start

12 New NCASEF Officers Elected

By Eric H. Karp, Esq., NCASEF General Counsel

27 Til Death Do Us Part By Arfan “Art” Farooqi, Franchisee

31 More About The Long Term Tenure Rebate

17 Santa And Dancing Take Center Stage At FOAGLA Holiday Party 40 Fourth Quarter NCASEF Board And Affiliate Member Meeting

By John Harp, CSP, ARM—Risk Engineering Consultant, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group

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 1001 Pat Booker Road, Suite 206, Universal City, TX 78148. For membership information, call 702-249-3301 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.

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Bits & Pieces........................................14

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Join Your Local FOA.................................15 Legislative Update...........46

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34 Crime And Assault Prevention —An Update For 2021

Member News............................8

SEI News................................49

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By Kyle May, Director External Relations, Reynolds Marketing Services

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33 2021 Tobacco Legislation Update

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By Arnold J. Hauptman, Esq., General Counsel, UFOLINY

By Ian Pecoraro, Vice President of Sales, SRP Companies

Vendor Focus......................52 FOA Meetings Calendar.......54 Franchisee Calendar............................. 54 N O V E M B E R | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 1 AVANTI

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Worker Shortage Crisis Unlikely To Ease Less than half of Americans polled who lost their job during the pandemic and remain unemployed say they are actively and consistently looking for work, with one in five reporting that they are not looking for work at all, according to a recent poll by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Fifty-six percent report that they believe they can get by for more than six months before it becomes essential to return to full time work, with 11 percent saying it will be more than a year before it is neessary to return to work, and 15 percent saying it will never be essential. The Chamber’s poll of unemployed workers also found that nearly a third (32 percent) of unemployed workers said they would prefer to work in a different industry for their next job. The poll comes as businesses continue to grapple with an ongoing worker shortage crisis. The country currently has 10.4 million open jobs, and the quit rate reached an all-time high at 3 percent in September, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

NATIONAL COALITION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES There were 2.3 million fewer people in the workforce in October than there were in October of 2019, before the pandemic.

NATIONAL OFFICERS & STAFF

Jatinder Singh NATIONAL CHAIRMAN

Wages Increase By The Most In 20 Years Wages jumped in the three months ending in September by the most on records dating back 20 years, illustrating the growing ability of workers to demand higher pay from companies that are desperate to fill a near-record number of available jobs, reported the Associated Press. Pay increased 1.5 percent in the third quarter, according to the Labor Department—up sharply from 0.9 percent in the previous quarter. The value of benefits rose 0.9 percent in the July-September quarter, more than double the preceding three months. Higher inflation is eating away at some of the wage increases, but in recent months overall pay has kept up with rising prices. The 1.5 percent increase in wages and salaries in the third quarter is ahead of the 1.2 percent increase in inflation during that period, according to the article. However,

702-249-3301 • jays@ncasef.com

Paul Lobana VICE CHAIRMAN

818-203-2527 • paullobana@aol.com Rehan Hashmi VICE CHAIRMAN

847-845-8477 • rehan711@yahoo.com

Ajinder Handa VICE CHAIRMAN

425-438-8381 • ajinderhanda@hotmail.com

Shawn Howard OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

210-971-9211 • 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

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“ There were 2.3 million fewer people in the workforce in October than there were in October of 2019, before the pandemic.”

John Santiago MANAGING EDITOR

267-994-4144 • avantimag@ncasef.com

Tricia Kessler ART DIRECTOR

215-500-3204 • design@kesslerdigital.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 Universal City, Texas. 8

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The Voice of 7-Eleven Franchisees

November/December 2021

1001 Pat Booker Road Suite 206 Universal City, TX 78148 Office 210-971-9211 E-mail: nationaloffice@ncasef.com

©2021 National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees Avanti Magazine is the registered trademark of The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees.


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compared with a year ago, it’s a closer call. In the year ending in September, wages and salaries soared 4.2 percent, also a record gain. But the government also reported that prices increased 4.4 percent in September from year earlier. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, inflation was 3.6 percent in the past year.

“ In November, grocery prices were 6.4 percent higher than they were the year prior, the fastest pace of food inflation in more than a decade.”

Judge Rules 7-Eleven Franchisees Are Independent Contractors The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California recently applied the so-called Borello test in the case Haitayan v. 7-Eleven, Inc. to find that 7-Eleven franchisees were independent contractors instead of employees for purposes of their claims for unpaid business expense reimbursements, reported The National Law Review. The court determined in a previous order that the Borello test applied to claims under California Labor Code section 2802, despite the California Supreme Court’s adoption of the ABC test in Dynamex Operations W. v. Superior Ct., 4 Cal. 5th 903 (2018). The lawsuit was brought in 2017, before the Dynamex decision and adoption of California Labor Co de 2775 (codified ABC/Dynamex test), the article states. Judge Dale S. Fischer held the franchisees exercised their own judgment and control in determining “what products they would carry, how to price the products, how to organize the store, what promotions to take part in, whom to hire

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or fire, the scheduling of employees, how often and when [franchisees] would be present at their stores, and what draws to take from the stores and when.” The court also found Borello’s secondary factors supported the franchisees status as independent contractors.

Cigarette Sales Increase During Pandemic Cigarette sales in “ Cigarette the U.S. rose in 2020 for the first time in sales in the two decades, report- U.S. rose in ed CNN Business. According to a new 2020 for the report from the Fed- first time in eral Trade Comtwo decades.” mission, it was only a slight 0.4 percent increase—the total number of cigarettes sold to wholesalers and retailers nationwide increased by about 8 million, from 202.9 billion in 2019 to 203.7 billion in 2020. But it marks a surprise reversal of a long-running downward trend. U.S. adult smoking rates have been falling since 2000, and now stand at about 14 percent, according to the North American Quitline Association, a nonprofit that promotes tobacco-quitting services. The group credits that steady decline to tobacco taxes and smokefree air laws, as well as growing use of programs such as quitlines. But during the pandemic, fewer smokers were taking advantage of those services, the group said in a report earlier this year, citing “stress and anxiety resulting from the pandem-

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ic.” The FTC report didn’t detail why sales inched higher, but the rise tracks with similar shifts in consumer behavior ushered in by the pandemic, such as retail alcohol sales, which shot up in the spring of 2020 because consumers were imbibing more.

Rising Grocery Prices Affect Shopping Habits Higher prices for groceries are putting pressure on many Americans’ grocery budgets, forcing them to change how they shop for food and essentials, reported CNN Business. In November, grocery prices were 6.4 percent higher than they were the year prior, the fastest pace of food inflation in more than a decade. Some shoppers have responded by trimming the number of products they’re buying at the store and trading down to less-expensive private-label brands, according to companies, market data, public surveys and interviews with customers. Others are switching to discount stores. A late September survey of more than 14,000 consumers by market research term Numerator found that 20 percent said they would switch to cheaper brands if prices continued to rise. Seventeen percent said they would switch retailers and 10 percent said they would buy less frequently. Eleven percent of shoppers surveyed said they would not change their buying patterns. Sales volume in 78 percent of the top 100 food categories declined during the four weeks ending November 28 from the same time a year ago, according to IRI point of sale data at leading supermarkets, big box stores, wholesale clubs and other shopping channels. Higher prices tend to lead to a decline in sales volume. Breakfast meats, milk, eggs, cereal, ice cream, fresh bread, seafood and wine saw the steepest volume declines annually. continued on page 12


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NACS Files Brief Opposing COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate NACS recently announced it has filed a brief opposing the Biden Administration’s emergency court motion to reinstate OSHA’s requirement that private-sector businesses with 100 or more employees have all their workers vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19. In November, NACS joined with nearly a dozen state and national trade associations in suing OSHA over its COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS). The petitioners seek a stay of the effective date of the mandate pending court challenges and ask that the court vacate and set aside the ETS. A NACS survey of its members regarding the OSHA ETS revealed that 99 percent of the industry expects that some employees would quit their jobs rather than undergo vaccination, and that 92 percent of the industry expects that some employees would quit their jobs rather than undergo weekly testing for COVID-19. The survey also found that c-store employers who indicated that employees would leave their jobs over the mandate expect that they would lose 32 percent of their staff. The survey also found that 89 percent of employers in the industry would be forced to reduce store hours; 58 percent would need

to close one or more stores; 57 percent would expect increased difficulty getting products to their stores; 93 percent would face increased difficulty hiring staff; and 47 percent would expect reduced customer traffic.

Truck Driver Shortage At Historic High The American Trucking Association (ATA) recently announced that the current driver shortage has risen to 80,000—an all-time high for the industry. A one-page summary of the estimate also revealed that, based on driver demographic trends, including gender and age, as well as expected freight growth, the shortage could surpass 160,000 in 2030. To keep up with demand over the next decade, the ATA said trucking will need to recruit nearly one million new drivers in order to close the gap caused by demand for freight, projected retirements and other issues.

“ The current truck driver shortage has risen to 80,000—an all-time high for the industry.”

New NCASEF Officers Elected

Congratulations to the newly elected NCASEF officers (from left to right) Romy Singh (Treasurer), Sukhi Sandhu (Chairman) and Joe Rossi (Executive Vice Chairman). The NCASEF held elections for the three officer positions during its fourth quarter Board Meeting, held November 15-17 at the Grand Hyatt Kauai in Hawaii. A candidates forum was held on November 16, and the following day Board members cast their votes. Each assumed their positions on January 1 and will serve two-year terms.

In-store Retail Sales Rise To Pre-Pandemic Levels With brick-and-mortar stores now open across the U.S. physical store sales have increased, rising to 64 percent of all retail sales in September 2021 as online revenue growth slows down, according to The NPD Group. During the first year of the pandemic, between April 2020 and March 2021, e-commerce year-over-year revenue growth exceeded 40 percent every month, but it has mostly remained under 10 percent since that time. In-store gains over last year entered double-digit territory, beginning in March 2021, only dipping slightly in two of the six months that followed. “Physical stores are more relevant today than they were before the pandemic,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry advisor for NPD. “Consumers are no longer buying primarily out of necessity and limited to online shopping which fell short of some expectations—choice has reentered the equation and they are hungrier than ever for the experience of in-person shopping.”

Judges Hesitate To Apply Employment Laws To Franchisees

Judges on Massachusetts’ top court recently expressed doubts that 7-Eleven franchisees should enjoy the same legal protections as rank-and-file workers, which trade groups say would eviscerate the franchise model, reported Reuters. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard oral arguments in a bid by 7-Eleven franchisees to revive continued on page 14

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claims that they are actually glorified store managers and should be paid the minimum wage and receive other protections afforded to employees. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October asked the state court to decide whether Massachusetts’ three-pronged ABC test for classifying workers applies to franchise relationships at all. Justice Scott Kafker in early December told Shannon Liss-Riordan of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, who represents the plaintiffs, that he was concerned about extending legal protections to people who operate individual franchises, particularly when they own multiple stores and have their own employees. Liss-Riordan told the seven-member court that merely applying the ABC test to franchisees did not mean they would be found to be employees, and not doing so would embolden companies to use the franchise model to evade legal requirements. Norman Leon of DLA Piper, who represents 7-Eleven, said that because the FTC rule regulating franchise relationships requires franchisors to exert some control over franchisees, they would always be deemed employers under Massachusetts’ exacting standard.

FTC Launches Inquiry Into Supply Chain Disruptions The Federal Trade Commission recently ordered nine large retailers, wholesalers, and consumer good suppliers to provide detailed information that will help the FTC shed light on the causes behind ongoing supply chain disruptions and how these disruptions are causing serious and ongoing hardships for consumers and harming competition in the U.S. economy. The orders were sent to Walmart Inc., Amazon. com, Inc., Kroger Co., C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., McLane Co, Inc. Procter & Gamble Co., Tyson Foods, Inc., and Kraft Heinz Co. In addition to better understanding 14

the reasons behind the disruptions, the FTC said the study will examine whether supply chain disruptions are leading to specific bottlenecks, shortages, anticompetitive practices, or contributing to rising consumer prices. The orders require the companies to detail the primary factors disrupting their ability to obtain, transport and distribute their products; the impact these disruptions are having in terms of delayed and canceled orders, and increased costs and prices; the products, suppliers and inputs most affected; the steps the companies are taking to alleviate disruptions; and how they allocate products among their stores when they are in short supply.

Lawmakers Urge DOT To Allow Younger Truck Drivers More than 80 bipartisan House members recently sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urging the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to allow truck drivers younger than age 21 to cross state lines with their cargo, reported NACS Online. The letter stated that allowing 18-20-year-old truck drivers to operate in interstate commerce would help ease a shortage of truckers that’s straining the supply chain. Although most states allow 18 year-olds to obtain a commercial driver’s license, truck drivers must be at least 21 years old to drive large trucks in interstate commerce. continued on next page

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Inflation accelerated at its fastest pace in November since 1982, putting pressure on the economic recovery and raising the stakes for the Federal Reserve, reported CNBC. The consumer price index rose 0.8 percent for the month, good for a 6.8 percent pace on a year-over-year basis and the fastest rate since June 1982. • Camden Food Express, a convenience store located in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, recently launched an AI-based automated checkout service, reported Chain Store Age. Customers simply tap their credit card on a special reader as they enter the store, then the AI s ystem automatically identifies the items they pick off the shelves and charges their credit card when they leave the store. • Rutter’s— which has 79 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia—recently increased its starting wage to $16 per hour. This is the fifth time the c-store chain has raised its starting pay in two years, and the third time in 2021. • Wawa and The Wawa Foundation recently debuted its newest “Wawa in Your Community” vehicle, which is fully equipped to brew and serve up to 500 cups of hot beverages—including coffee and hot chocolate—at one time. The vehicle made its first stop at Riddle Hospital in Media, Pennsylvania to thank healthcare heroes. • Walmart and DroneUp have collaborated to make the first-ever drone delivery from a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Farmington, Arkansas, reported Supermarket News. The drones, remotely controlled by flight engineers, can make last-mile deliveries within 30 minutes and the service could soon be expanded to a Neighborhood Market in Rogers, Arkansas, and a Supercenter in Bentonville. • The U.S. Postal Service is no longer delivering vaping products through the mail, reported Vaping360.com. The new USPS rule was mandated by Congress in the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, which also forces vape shippers to comply with the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act—a law that until recently applied only to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco and imposes strict requirements on shippers. • Costco boosted its starting hourly wage to $17 continued on page 24


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COVID-19 vaccines, retailers have dug in their “ Lawmakers are urging the DOT to heels, citing concerns allow truck drivers younger than age about a labor shortage, 21 to operate in interstate commerce to reported the New York help ease a shortage of truckers.” Times. At the heart of the retailers’ resistance is a worry about having The trucking industry is short by an esenough people to work. In a tight latimated 80,000 drivers, which is a record bor market, retailers have been offerfor the industry, according to the Amering perks like higher wages and better ican Trucking Associations (ATA). ATA’s hours to prospective employees in hopes chief economist said that, although new of having enough people to staff their truckers are entering the industry, the stores and disnumber of new drivers isn’t keeping up tribution cen- “ Many retailers with the increased demand for goods. ters and believe are not requiring many will quit that their workers or not accept get vaccinated, a job if they’re required to get citing concerns As other industries with workers vaccinated. about a labor in public-facing roles, like airlines and The indusshortage.” hospitals, have moved toward requiring try showed how

Retailers Fight Vaccine Mandate

strongly it felt about the issue in November when the Biden administration directed companies with 100 or more workers to mandate vaccines or weekly tests by January 4. Five days after that announcement, the National Retail Federation sued to stop the effort. The order is now held up in litigation, challenged by a number of lawsuits from a broad coalition of opponents, and could make its way to the Supreme Court.

Companies Plan For Wage Increases Companies are planning for steeper wage increases in 2022 than at any point since the 2007-2009 recession, amid a tight labor market and the highest inflation in three decades, reported the Wall Street Journal. A recent survey by the Conference Board finds that companies are setting aside an average 3.9 percent of continued on page 16

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total payroll for wage increases next year, the most since 2008. The survey also shows that companies are planning on raising salary ranges, which would result in higher minimum, median and maximum salaries. That suggests pay raises could be broad-based and affect workers across a company’s pay scale. Such a sustained rise in wages could push consumer prices higher, as companies raise prices to compensate for pay increases. The dynamic of higher wages and prices could further stoke inflation and increase the chance of a spiral of rising wages and prices feeding on each other that could be difficult to stop, the article states. Roughly 39 percent of respondents to the survey said inflation factored into their decision to set aside funds for wage increases in 2022.

ping snarls, missing ingredients, labor woes and even freak weather are all contributing to shortages, leaving grocers scrambling to fill in the gaps. It’s just the latest example of ongoing food supply problems that have shown up in a variety of sectors, wreaking havoc on prices and contributing to the highest inflation in three decades.

Inflation Driving Shoppers To Discount Stores

U.S. consumers are increasingly shopping at discount stores, a sign that families are feeling the pinch from the highest inflation since the 1990s, reported Bloomberg. Spending at discount stores was up 65 percent the first week of November compared with 2019, and 21 percent from the prior week, according to Facteus, a firm that tracks credit and debit card transactions. The discount-stores category, which in Supply chain problems are hitting cludes Dollar Tree Inc. and Five Below Inc., the beverage industry especially hard had the largest increase by far among all now, and things could get even tougher types of retailers, Facteus data show. in the first few months of 2022, report The sharp uptick suggests that ed The Washington Post. While typical consumers—especially lower-income grocery categories are experiencing 5 households—are seeking lower prices to 10 percent of products out of stock wherever they can find them. The last right now, beverage shortages are time discount stores saw a large increase higher, with around 13 percent missin spending was in March 2021, when ing from shelves. Shortages have been all retailers benefited from a $1.9 trillion showing up in waters, iced teas and relief program that sent new stimulus soft drinks, as well as beer, hard seltzer checks to millions of households. Now and canned cocktails. that relief programs have expired, Amer A shortage of bottles and cans is responicans are hunting for deals. While wages sible for much of it, but trucking and shiphave also risen during this year, the increase “ While typical grocery categories are in prices for everything from energy and rent experiencing 5 to 10 percent of prodto food and vehicles has ucts out of stock, beverage shortages eaten into those gains.

Supply Chain Problems Hit The Beverage Industry

are higher, at around 13 percent.”

“ Dollar Tree plans to raise prices from $1 to $1.25 on the majority of its products by the first quarter of 2022.”

Dollar Tree Increases Prices Dollar Tree recently announced it will raise prices from $1 to $1.25 on the majority of its products by the first quarter of 2022, reported CNN Business. The change is a sign of the pressures low-cost retailers face holding down prices during a period of rising inflation. Dollar Tree said in a quarterly earnings release in late November that its decision to raise prices to $1.25 permanently, however, was “not a reaction to short-term or transitory market conditions.” Selling items strictly for $1 hampered Dollar Tree, the company said, and forced it to stop selling some “customer favorites.” Raising prices will give Dollar Tree more flexibility to reintroduce those items, expand its selection and bring new products and sizes to its stores. Dollar Tree also said that hiking prices will help the company increase its profit margins by “mitigating historically high merchandise cost increases,” including freight and distribution costs, as well as wage increases.

Retailers Offering Perks To Attract Workers In today’s extraordinarily tight labor market, retailers are reworking their recruiting strategies in a bid to position themselves more favorably to potential employees, according to the U.S. Chamber continued on next page

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Santa And Dancing Take Center Stage At The FOAGLA Holiday Party

Members of the FOA of Greater Los Angeles dressed to impress on December 4 to attend the association’s first holiday party since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Held at the Diamond Bar Center in Diamond Bar, California, the night featured a delectable buffet spread, a special visit by Santa, and dance entertainment provided by Karmagraphy. Franchisees and their guests had a wonderful time, happy to celebrate the holidays together after nearly two years of social distancing restrictions. The FOAGLA thanks its vendor sponsors for making this magical evening possible: Barbot Insurance, Jeff & Tony’s DSD, Monster, AnheuserBusch, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and McLane.

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of Commerce. While offering competitive wages remains important, workers have had a chance to reconsider their priorities during the pandemic and are seeking jobs that offer scheduling flexibility so they can better enjoy their personal lives, training that will help them advance in their career

paths, and other benefits. Walmart exemplifies the strategies that retailers are taking to attract and retain workers. Included among the perks the company is touting to potential employees are regular schedules that are set two weeks in advance; ad-

vancement opportunities, with promotions and raises for entry-level employees after seven months; and matching stock ownership plans for employees seeking to invest in the company. continued on page 42

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It’s Been An Honor And A Privilege BY JAY SINGH | C H A I R M A N , N C A S E F ; P R E S I D E N T , S O U T H T E X A S F O A

Serving as Chairman of the Nation- ery single step I tried my best to help al Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven franchisees and improve the system for “Since the time I joined my local Franchisees has been one of the high- everyone. Even as a member of many FOA many years ago, I recognized lights of my career as a franchisee. Since SEI-led committees, I tried my best to the importance of having an organithe time I joined my local FOA many represent franchisee interests. I always years ago, I recognized the importance led with integrity and kept my word, zation that unites franchisees so they of having an organization that unites which are two very important qualities can share their knowledge and franchisees so they can share their to me. experience, as well as engage with knowledge and experience, as well as The job of a franchisee leader is not our franchisor in one voice to express engage with our franchisor in one voice easy, whether it be on the local or nationto express our issues and work on solu- al level. Besides running your store, you our issues and work on solutions.” tions. I have also realized the importance take on the added responsibilities that of sharing your expertise and leadership include representing your colleagues in our personal and professional lives, and skills to help the franchisee community meetings with SEI management, orga- continues to do so. Due to all the restrictions at the outset of the pandemic, we in every way possible. couldn’t hold an in-person convention I first began my association with and trade show, so the National Coalition 7-Eleven in 1985, when I worked as a officers and I organized a virtual trade cashier for a franchisee in California. I show that benefited vendors, franchisees, then worked my way up to store managand the organization. But even though er, which I did for 12 years. In May 2001, revenue was down big time in this period, I moved from California to Las Vegas we saved money by lowering expenses and to operate my own store. From there, I were able to keep the National Coalition worked my way to having three stores. in good financial health. While in Las Vegas, I joined the lo Throughout my tenure I, along with cal FOA and was a member for almost the other National Coalition officers, 14 years. During that time I was elected Vice President of the organization, and nizing Board meetings and events like served at the behest of the Board. Whatthen President for about seven years. Si- trade shows and the convention, talking ever motion they passed, we followed to multaneously, I served as a Vice Chair- to vendors to solve delivery or invoicing the best of our efforts. My team can take man of the National Coalition for three issues, and raising funds to keep the or- credit for the best transparency ever. Ours was the first administration to alterms. In 2016, I was elected Executive ganization going, to name a few. low any franchisee to ask any question Vice Chairman, and in 2018 I started my During my administration, I went first term as Chairman of the Nation- through at least three lawsuits. I’m the first regarding the finances and expenses of al Coalition. By this time I had moved chairman to ever have to deal with a glob- continued on from Las Vegas to Texas, and became al pandemic that affected many aspects of page 20 President of the South Texas FOA. “ I have sailed a long journey from cashier to I have sailed a head of the national organization, and at every long journey from single step I tried my best to help franchisees cashier to head of the national orgaand improve the system for everyone.” nization, and at evN O V E M B E R | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 1 AVANTI

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It’s Been An Honor And A Privilege continued from page 19

the organization, such as loss and profit, convention revenues, and so forth. As I step down as Chairman, I would like to thank every franchisee and Board member for allowing me to help you. I appreciate all your support throughout the years. It was a great privilege and honor to serve you. And now, after this

“ My team can take credit for the best transparency ever. Ours was the first administration to allow any franchisee to ask any question regarding the finances and expenses of the organization, such as loss and profit, convention revenues, and so forth.”

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“ As I step down as Chairman, I would like to thank every franchisee and Board member for allowing me to help you. I appreciate all your support throughout the years. It was a great privilege and honor to serve you.” long journey, I’m moving on to the next phase of my life. By the time you read this article, I will be out of the system. It’s been a long 36 years, and now it’s time for me to retire and enjoy time with my family. At the end of the day, as I look back and reflect, I am very happy I was able to send my kids to college and give them a great education. I am also happy and grateful for all the franchisee and vendor friends I have made over the years.

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I wish the best of luck to the new executive officers and their communication efforts with SEI. I hope they are successful in changing the terms of the franchise agreement to benefit both parties and improve franchisees’ bottom lines. JAY SINGH CAN BE REACHED AT

702-249-3301 or jays@ncasef.com


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A Fresh Start BY ER I C H . K A R P, E SQ . | G E N E R A L C O U N S E L T O N C A S E F

When I humbly accepted the position of General Counsel to the National Coalition nearly eight years ago, I made three very simple promises. First, I would always tell the truth, never mincing words, no matter the consequence. Second, my client would always be the National Coalition and not any particular leader or group of leaders within the organization. Third, I would, to borrow a baseball metaphor, call them as I see them. I believe the record reflects that all of these promises have been kept. The single disappointment that I have to date is that the relationship I had hoped for and initially worked very hard at establishing, between the in-house and outside lawyers of SEI and my law firm, would be marked by collaboration, transparency and mutual respect. For reasons that I do not wish to recount in this space, that relationship began in a very promising fashion but went off the rails. As we look toward 2022, I want to set out my goals for a new beginning in the management of the relationship between SEI and its franchisees. As it happens, my philosophy on this subject is set out in great detail in a book published by the ABA Forum on Franchising entitled Franchise Law Compliance Manual, Third Edition, 2021. Chapter 4, “Franchise Relationship Management,” describes my opinion, grounded in more than four decades of representing independent franchisee associations, that both parties to the franchise agreement have a vested interest in pursuing mutual goals, cooperation and a shared sense of responsibility. The book is available on

Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/ s?k=The+Franchise+Law+Compliance+ Manual&ref=nb_sb_noss. On more or less the first day of my first-year law school class on contracts, the learned professor told us that the relationship between two parties to a contract is governed by that contract. But over time the validity of that statement has become less and less apparent to me. In fact, in my experience, the day-to-day relationship be-

tween a franchisor and its franchisees is defined by the unique culture in the system, which is typically driven by the franchisor. Greg Nathan, a corporate psychologist and founder of the Franchise Relationships Institute, whose career involves both having been a franchisee and a senior executive for a franchisor, summarizes this elementary principle as follows: “Cooperation, commitment and communication are the real building blocks of success in a franchise chain. These largely come, not from legal agreements, but from ethical dealings, strong leadership and the mutual respect of each party for the goals of the other.” “ As we look toward 2022, I want to set Mr. Nathan describes two franchise out my goals for a new beginning in systems he has studied. the management of the relationship Company A’s franchisees make up on aver-

between SEI and its franchisees.”

“ In fact, in my experience, the day-today relationship between a franchisor and its franchisees is defined by the unique culture in the system, which is typically driven by the franchisor.” age 30 percent more in profit than those of Company B. Company A is marked by authoritarian and confrontational leadership obsessed with control. Company B has leadership committed to collaboration, resolution of conflict through open discussion, positive two-way communication, and rewarding franchisees for good performance. Despite making less money, the franchisees of Company B were significantly more satisfied on a whole range of measures studied by Mr. Nathan. He concludes, “the point is that the corporate culture of “ Mr. Nathan a franchise network will concludes, ‘the have a significant im- point is that the pact on franchisee sat- corporate culture isfaction. In some cases, of a franchise netculture will be an even more important deter- work will have a minant of franchisee significant impact satisfaction than finan- on franchisee satcial performance.” isfaction. In some The sense that there cases, culture are more ways in which a franchisor and fran- will be an even chisee can be aligned more important rather than in conflict determinant is bolstered by the pub- of franchisee lished writings of Chersatisfaction than yl Bachelder, the highfinancial perforly successful CEO of continued on page 24

mance.’”

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A Fresh Start

continued from page 23

with in-house counsel for Popeyes. “ Ms. Bachelder correctly concluded that if The benefits of this colfranchisees did not prosper at the unit level, there laborative approach were was no chance that the franchisor’s revenue would truly remarkable. From to 2015, Popeyes’ revgo up or that new locations would be developed.” 2011 enue grew from $154 million to $259 million and Popeyes from 2007 to 2017. Her mission was its net income from $24 million to $44 to turn around a company which was then million. By 2014, average restaurant sales in disarray, losing money and market share. Having decided that part of the solution was were up 25 percent. The result was that to shift from local to national advertising, franchisees voted with their checkbooks she requested that franchisees increase their by reinvesting in the brand, remodeling advertising contribution from 3 percent to 4 restaurants, and building new units. percent. The franchisees responded by saying There is no denying that the shortthat they would pay that increase, but only if term goals of a franchisor and a franchithe franchisor invested $6 million of its own see can be, and frequently are, at odds. In the 7-Eleven system these include the fact money in advertising and marketing. Ms. that although the franchisor owns the Bachelder and her Board agreed. While this equipment and decides when worn out had the effect of lowering earnings and disapequipment should be replaced, franchisees pointing Wall Street, the long-term dividends shoulder the cost of maintenance, which were exponential. escalates as the equipment ages. SEI’s gas Ms. Bachelder came to the conclusion oline consignment structure incentivizes that her company must acknowledge the profit over gasoline volume. And the 2019 sizable investment that franchisees make form of agreement has seriously underby purchasing the franchise and agreeing cut franchisee profitability and value. But to a long-term contract. She correctly con- these built-in conflicts of interest can be cluded that if franchisees did not prosper accommodated with leaders on both sides at the unit level, there was no chance that who value a long-term relationship over the franchisor’s revenue would go up or short-term gain. SEI would do well to acthat new locations would be developed. As knowledge that in these and other areas, it she stated, “Either franchise owners would has simply gone too far. But for SEI and the succeed or Popeyes would fail.” remaining franchisees in the system, the ef I was fortunate to have a ringside seat fects are not irreversible. to these developments, as I have been A constructive and collaborative relacounsel to the Popeyes International tionship between SEI and its franchisees, Franchisee Association since 2010. Not in- marked by transparency and mutual recidentally, my first undertaking in that ca- spect is not an end in itself. Rather it is a pacity was to negotiate the renewals of the pathway to a partnership which can meet two major national beverage contracts for internal and external challenges, adapt to the franchise system shoulder to shoulder evolving consumer preferences, find innovative responses to employee shortages and “ But these built-in conflicts rising wages, and where both parties can achieve long term and sustainable financial of interest can be accomreturns. modated with leaders on Here’s to a fresh start.

both sides who value a long-term relationship over short-term gain.”

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ERIC KARP CAN BE REACHED AT

617-423-7250 or ekarp@wkwrlaw.com

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continued from page 14

recently, after raising it from $15 to $16 early this year, reported Business Insider. More than half of the retailer’s staffers earn over $25 per hour and Costco boasts a high retention rate, with staffers staying for an average of nine years. • Retailers opened more stores in 2021 than they’ve closed, reported ReJournals.com. According to a study by Retailsphere, 52 percent of grocery-based retailers expanded in 2021, while 52.5 percent of fast-casual restaurants did the same. Retailsphere also found that 58 percent of value retailers—such as dollar stores—expanded in 2021. • The House of Representatives may consider a bill called the INFORM Consumers Act that’s designed to curb organized retail theft by requiring high-volume online sellers to verify their identity, reported the New York Times. • More people are quitting their jobs in Kentucky than any other state in the country, reported WAVE 3 News. Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the article states 84,000 Kentuckians left their jobs in August, which is 26,000 more than in July. However, the state also has one of the highest hiring rates and the second most job openings based on worker population. • A spate of brazen smash-and-grab robberies committed by flash mobs grew in November at retailers including Best Buy, Home Depot, Nordstrom and Louis Vuitton, which were stocked up in anticipation of holiday shoppers, reported the Washington Post. The trend has spurred some stores to lock up more of their merchandise and some retailers said the threat of violent attacks by organized retail theft gangs is making it even harder to hire and retain staff. • Dollar Tree announced that it has expanded its partnership with Instacart to offer same-day delivery in as fast as one hour from nearly 7,000 Dollar Tree stores. • Macy’s plans to raise its minimum wage for hourly employees to $15 by May 2022, after which the average total hourly pay will be $20, reported CNBC. The company has also teamed with Guild Education to launch a program that will invest $35 million over the next four years to cover 100 percent of employees’ tuition and books in a range of education programs including bachelor’s degrees, professional certificates and English language classes. • Popshelf, the format launched by Dollar continued on page 35


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TIL DEATH DO US PART B Y AR F AN “ AR T ” F AR O O Q I FRANCHISEE

It would be sought after “ All of these programs and platforms, by the ambitious and rewhen properly functional, are a jected by those who prefer the classic operations. much-needed upgrade for 7-Eleven Eventually, the program stores to remain a market leader in the would go through a few c-store channel in the 21st century.” transitions and adjustments to become a core ic c-store companies worldwide. Their part of our overall growth role in the implementation of new and and profit generation pioneering technology to make store strategies. operation efficient and competitive in Many of the new the marketplace has had tremendous program and platform positive results. Such as our top-oflaunches, both experithe-line rewards program (7Rewards), mental (7-Eleven self-checkout, unstaffed a best-in-class introduction of flexible deautomated stores, and even drone delivery) livery platform to reach new customers at and necessary (ASI 2, RIS 2.0, 7NOW, and their place of need (7NOW), and key partWIN Coffee), were put on nerships with top brands like Amazon Box, “ Franchisees have to build extensive value for our cus- hold due to the uncertainty InstaCart, and DoorDash. of the pandemic, although tomers, and the many 7-Eleven system-related issues some However, there are many points of pain programs were recreate an extensive amount of stress when trying to cently soft launched in se- caused by the rollout of immature, unreliable, untested and poorly planned technololect markets (7BOSS, DEX, navigate solutions to keep the store functioning.” gy platforms, including our retro POS, 7MD and WIN Coffee). All of scanners, the aging ISP, 7BOSS cloud, DEX gas Franchisees have to build extensive value these programs and platforms, when propsystem, and the constant network communifor our customers, and the many 7-Eleven sys- erly functional, are a much-needed upgrade cation issues. Oh, and don’t get me started on tem-related issues create an extensive amount for 7-Eleven stores to remain a market leadthe near daily credit card pin-pad issues. of stress when trying to navigate solutions to er in the c-store channel in the 21st century. It seems to me that the departure of keep the store functioning. Most of these daily But in order for them to be truly successkey 7-Eleven support staff and department challenges occur at various times throughout ful and useful they must be fully developed heads in Dallas in the past year has had its efthe business day/night. There are hundreds of and tested, with all the bugs worked out, befect on the ability of many of the remaining unique challenges we face, and it makes the fore they are rolled out to our stores. To wit, and new support staff to investigate and corimportant goal of providing top notch ser- the main source of pain for me has come rect the integration issues of all these platvice to the most important people—our cus- from the crossing and concurrent rollout of forms. The daily tsunami of new and unique tomers—that much more these immature plattechnology issues appears to be hurting the “ T here are many technology forms. The following difficult. support staff’s morale and psyche. The loss issues that are unique to are the greatest source In the “before times”— of decades of experience dealing with exbefore the COVID- individual stores that some- of my 7-Eleven an- isting 7-Eleven technologies, with all their fueled societal and economtimes take months to decipher guish. uniqueness, has left a blackhole in the soluic changes—a launch of a and diagnose, from cash safe TECHNOLOGY tions department. The “Problem Solvers” single new platform would 7-Eleven has been have left the building. This leaves the end count issues to phantom be both a joyous and anxone of the most in- user, me included, to spend countless hours ious event in our system. delivery check-ins with billing novative and dynamcontinued on page 30 (Looking at you, hot foods!) that never arrived.” In August I began my 27th year in the c-store business and my 11th year as a 7-Eleven franchisee. Out of all my years in the c-store industry, I have not found a better way to grow sales and increase profits than the 7-Eleven franchise system. I feel like this is the enterprise I was destined to manage. All my skills are honed and used regularly to meet the ever-changing operational challenges of my 7-Eleven franchised store. I love this business! But my fondness for this industry alone is not enough to fulfill my financial needs. In order to make this work, I have to manage my side of the franchise agreement and daily store operations nearly to perfection.

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TIL DEATH DO US PART trying to coerce a solution from the various un-integrated help desk departments. When I spend most of my management time on the phone with the help desk trying to fix these system issues, I do not have time to recruit, hire, train, and support my staff. There are many technology issues that are unique to individual stores that sometimes take months to decipher and diagnose, from cash safe count issues to phantom delivery check-ins with billing that never arrived. My personal favorite is the vanishing custom retail prices in 7BOSS—after many attempts to change the price of an item, it continues to be sold at the POS for the previous price.

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT 7-Eleven has the size and experience to provide exceptional supply chain management. However, as the pandemic exposed the entire U.S. supply chain system to the most strenuous stress test imaginable, 7-Eleven’s reliance on the thousands of suppliers, vendors, and distribution companies has exposed them in a way we cannot yet calculate. Their exposure was exponentially increased to the horrible points of failure of every vendor and item supplier weakness. 7-Eleven has to ensure that we have the right products for the customers, at the right time, at a lowest possible cost, to maximize the revenue for the business. Even though many of the supply chain issues are not 100 percent in the control or ability of 7-Eleven to manage, there are a litany of small scale and local issues that 7-Elev-

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“fix-by” promise dates came and went, and after repeated failures to input the game data into the master item file, it took nearly two weeks to get it corrected. Who pays for those lost sales, and lost customers who went down the street to our competition to find ample inventory available for their needs? It may seem small to those who are responsible for these oversights, but I have to look the customer in the eye and make excuses for failures I had no part in committing. Another is the input of incorrect information for our only coffee lids at the wholesaler warehouse, meaning the info transmitted did not match the item info, needed to pick the proper item. This caused hundreds of stores in my area to run out of the only lid that fits all our custom coffee cups. Again, it took three weeks for this to be rectified. In 7-Eleven’s defense, this was ultimately a wholesaler issue, and the 7-Eleven Merchandise Team overnighted cases of lids to each store in need. I can’t help but wonder, however, if the loss of senior personnel in the 7-Eleven Merchandise Department has caused more routine oversights and errors.

ACCOUNTING

Given the uniqueness of the Retail Accounting Method and the shared profit model of our franchise fee method, 7-Eleven has 100 percent of the responsibility to provide complete accounting services. This should be an accurate, transparent, efficient, timely and reasonably simple accounting system for the entire system. It should allow the franchisee to clearly understand the financial status of the “ 7-Eleven has to ensure that we have the right current business period, and this has products for the customers, at the right time, to happen on a daiat a lowest possible cost, to maximize the ly, weekly, monthly and annual basis revenue for the business.” without the franen’s own mistakes have magnified and made chisee having to traverse extreme hurdles worse. I am in awe how easily a small entry and multiple help desk requests. mistake can and often does cause monstrous The issues with our new ASI 2 accountdisruptions in the daily operations of my ing system are, in my opinion, a direct result of the shortsighted and frugal decision by store. A recent one that affected many stores 7-Eleven to try to modify and bend existing was the inability to sell new scratch-off incompatible software (Oracle) into somegames from the state lotteries. After several thing it was not designed to manage (Retail 30

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Accounting Method). To further compound the matter, the person who designed ASI 2 and managed the transition from the legacy database accounting system resigned in the middle of the rollout. Additionally, some of ASI 2’s design features were made with incomplete input from franchisees and accounting professionals with retail accounting expertise. The hasty planning of the transition has caused tens of thousands of dollars in inventory audit variances. This has directly impacted the franchisee bottom line negatively. The way the system calculates gross profits, manages inventory, and details item level pricing is in itself a jambalaya mishmash of accounting and inventory management techniques never before tried in a franchise model. Many of the CPAs and retail experts I have tried to explain a DMR to cannot understand why the complexity of simple retail math is so distorted from clear view. The countless daily reports that have to be navigated to make sense of a few Slurpee sales and inventory purchases from regular vendors is both irritating and frustrating. The inability of an average franchisee to clearly see and navigate their daily accounting reports without having to open pages of other reports creates a system so complex, and calculations so distorted, it is borderline malicious in its design. The inconsistency of the accounting system is routine. Every day the reports load at different times, are placed in cue in a different order, and have various reporting data included across multiple reporting days. There are entries being made days and months later with no explanation as to the nature of these charges or credits. When we try to ask questions about daily errors, the easy answer of the operations team is to “open a CHD case.” This is an added layer of work to the end user that further costs them money and time. When a franchisee has to wade through pages and pages of reports in order to determine the profits or loss of a single item, there is a serious problem with the system. The introduction of each new platform has created a comedy of errors at the store level preventing visibility into the accounting of inventory, costs, and profits. This comedy continued on page 39


MORE ABOUT THE LONG TERM TENURE REBATE AR N O LD J. H AU P T MAN , ES Q . | G E N E R A L C O U N S E L , U F O L I N Y

In my last article in Avanti, I discussed bate in an amount equal to a specified perthe very serious dual problems of effectuat- centage of the then current Franchise Fee ing a “good will” sale of your store and the (actually 50 percent in most cases) upon severely reduced price that you would get the qualified sale of franchisee’s interest in in such a sale. The reasons are many which a 7-Eleven Franchise.” created the perfect storm to hit your pock- In short, when you sell your store for etbook and deny you of the expectations of its good will and the buyer pays a $250,000 franchise fee, SEI will credit your open aca decent profit or retirement. In that article, I made brief mention count for $125,000. However, that rebate is of the Long Term Tenure Rebate (LTTR) reduced by the same percentage that SEI which, from the inquiries I received after has reduced its franchise fee in a promotion this article was published, deserves a more from time to time by as much as 25 percent. expanded explanation. Caution: If you are “ To make the deal even To those franchisees in the sysabout to list your store for sale, do tem on or before March 31, 1991, better, the rebate was (more than 30 years ago), this prooffered to all then current so if possible when the promotion is gram is often the saving grace of franchisees, as well as to not in effect. realizing some additional and subany future stores that the To make the stantial money on the sale of one or more of your stores. To those not franchisee may franchise.” deal even better, the rebate was eligible for the program, this article may be of interest to you only in comparing offered to all then current franchisees, as the culture of the Southland Corporation well as to any future stores that the franand the value it placed on its franchisees in chisee may franchise. That is a big deal if 1991 and the value that 7-Eleven, Inc. places a 1991 owner was to go on to franchise on its present franchisees. several more stores. However, consistent The Long Term Tenure Rebate was of- with SEI’s pattern of often not upholding fered to all franchisees in 1991 and contains its bargain, many of the stores that would have and should have been entitled the following language: “Whereas, in recto the rebate were compelled to ognition of the dedication of its fransign a waiver of its rights to chisees, 7-Eleven desires to establish a the rebate as a condition program giving all franchisees who of getting a new executed a 7-Eleven Store Agreeand addiment prior to March 31, 1991 … the opportunity to receive a retional store. Note the language “in recognition “ To those franchisees in the system on or before March 31, 1991, the LTTR program of the dedication of its franchisees.” In my is often the saving grace of realizing some experience of 40 years dealing with 7-Eleven additional and substantial money on the corporate, this is the

sale of one or more of your stores.”

“ Note also that the LTTR was offered to every franchisee without any expectation of a Quid Pro Quo in the form of the franchisees taking on additional expenses.” first and last time that I ever actually saw, in writing, any mention of its general recognition of its franchisees. Note also that the LTTR was offered to every franchisee without any expectation of a Quid Pro Quo in the form of the franchisees taking on additional expenses. That is not the case now. Any additional renumeration paid to 7-Eleven franchisees comes with a price tag. Take, for instance, the short time $200 per month payment to franchisees subsequent to the signing of the 2019 Store Agreement in exchange for the additional financial burdens placed on the franchisees, such as insurance and payroll processing. This additional burden for sure cost a franchisee more than $200. I understand that the Long Term Tenure Rebate means little financially to the post 1991 franchisees, but I thought it would be interesting to compare the treatment of franchisees by the Southland Corporation, when it was an independent company, to 7-Eleven, Inc. which is part of a Japanese conglomerate. As to those franchisees who were in the system in 1991—and there are still surprisingly many of them—it should be remembered that the rebate is applicable not only to the store(s) you franchised then, but to all subsequent stores franchised by you. Any questions, give me a call. Best to all. ARNOLD J. HAUPTMAN CAN BE REACHED AT

ajhauptman@aol.com or 516-541-7200

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CRIME AND ASSAULT PREVENTION— AN UPDATE FOR 2021 B Y JO H N H AR P , CSP , AR M — R I S K E N G I N EE R I N G C O N S U L T A N T MITSUI SUMITOMO INSURANCE GROUP

As we close out a year of new COVID variants, rising costs and labor challenges, injuries resulting from crime—including robbery and assaults—continue to be a real threat for the 7-Eleven community. As seen in the chart below the MSIG/ Franchisee workers’ compensation experience shows high costs, but a dramatic decline in the number of assault-related claims in 2021. Costs tend to increase over time, but when the number of claims declines, costs usually follow.

Background—Crime And Assaults A recently released FBI report shows a 25 percent increase in homicides in 2020 than in 2019. The violence and severity of crime, in general, have increased, and more people are carrying guns than ever before. These issues are most prevalent in larger urban areas, but the entire country is affected. The numbers also show c-stores are the fourth most common location for violent crime after home, alley/street, and parking lot. MSIG provides workers’ compensation insurance for almost 4,000 U.S. franchised stores. Since 2016 there have been 377 assault-type claims for a current cost of $16,006,257. As seen in the chart, the number of assaults was increasing each year with costs varying depending on the severity of the assault.

“ Since 2016 there have been 377 assault-type claims for a current cost of $16,006,257. As seen in the chart, the number of assaults was increasing each year with costs varying depending on the severity of the assault.” 34

The number of claims so far in 2021 has declined significantly for multiple reasons despite the increased traffic compared to 2020.

Claim Examples • Employee tried to stop the customer from stealing beer. The employee was stabbed in the back. Current costs are $39,120. • Employee followed customer outside to retrieve stolen goods. The customer hit the employee with his car, resulting in injury costs of $46,940. • The assailant stole five packs of cigarettes and then stabbed the employee. Current costs are $379,552. • Employee said a customer was stealing items and would not let them leave the store. The assailant then hit the employee. Current injury costs are $190,559. • The most serious injuries occur from two basic causes: 1) The employee is unable or ineffectively de-escalates the situation. 2) Leaving the counter or store to chase. Nothing good ever happens if an employee leaves the store.

De-Escalation Tips (In These Potentially Violent Times) Tempers can flare over a mask, demand for cigarettes, or questioning a customer’s ID. As patience is lower, effective de-escalation can be the difference in life or death. A few tips for your employees in dealing with a difficult customer: • Listen—Let the person vent their frustration by actively listening. • Do What They Say— Sometimes this is the best

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“ Tempers can flare over a mask, demand for cigarettes, or questioning a customer’s ID. As patience is lower, effective de-escalation can be the difference in life or death.” and only option. • Remain Calm—But refrain from telling the customer to remain calm (this makes most people madder). • Control Your Body Language—Show your concern and do not reach for anything. • Find a Solution—Talk about how to fix the situation with facts. • Keep Yourself and Others Safe—Do not leave the store or register area.

What Can You Do? Look at your store with fresh eyes and an open mind! Ask an expert for their advice!

Consider the following: 1. Customer Service. Ensure your employees make eye contact and greet the customer. 2. Cleanliness. A clean store inside and out shows customers and possible assailants there is a high level of care. 3. Employee training including Operation Alert. Follow-up with frequent reminders, especially for new employees. continued on next page

Count & Cost of MSIG Assault Claims


continued from previous page continued from page 24

General a year ago to court more affluent shoppers, has proven so successful that the company plans to grow the chain from 30 locations to around 1,000 by the end of 2025, reported CNN Business. Dollar General also plans to open 1,110 new stores in the coming fiscal year, including Popshelf, Dollar General and international locations. • Convenience stores and other businesses in Japan that are struggling to find staff due to the labor shortage are hiring elderly people in long-term nursing care for mild dementia and other illnesses to work one hour shifts at their stores, reported Kyodo News. The jobs give the elderly a feeling of purpose and a sense of satisfaction, and the program has proven mutually beneficial to social welfare service providers and understaffed businesses. • The average U.S. household paid $724 a year for credit card fees in 2020, whether or not they used cards, reported The Balance. That’s $261 more than in 2012, and it’s likely to go even higher for 2021 because of inflation and increased spending. • Family-owned convenience chain Stewart’s Shops recently gave its 4,900 part-time and full-time employees bonuses that in some cases equaled a week’s worth of pay, reported the Times Union. The company said the bonuses, which totaled $2.8 million, show its gratitude for their employees’ commitment during the pandemic. • C-store chain Royal Farms is expanding its partnership with NCR to equip all of its 250+ stores with self-checkout solutions. The company said this self-checkout rollout adds to the existing NCR solutions that it has in place, and will improve efficiencies for staff and the in-store experience for customers. • Traffic congestion around the U.S. is creeping back up but remains lighter than before the pandemic, a result of many workers not yet returning to the office full time, reported the Wall Street Journal. On average, U.S. commuters are on pace to lose 36 hours to congestion in 2021, 10 hours more than in 2020 but 63 hours less than in 2019. • Global legal cannabis sales reached nearly $21.6 billion in 2020—an increase of 50 percent over 2019 sales of $14.4 billion—due largely to legalization, according to a new report by BDSA. The research firm forecasts global cannabis sales will grow to $62.1 billion in 2026, more than double the 2021 estimated global sales of $30.6 billion, at a CAGR of more than 15 percent. • Coca‑Cola recently continued on page 39

4. Limit outside activities after dark. Employees should not take out the trash after midnight. 5. Make sure employees know how and when to use the panic alarm. 6. Inside and outside lighting should be bright and cover the store parking lot and sides. A poorly lit store increases the risk. Make sure windows are not obstructed at the register area. 7. Cash limit in registers should be strongly enforced. If a robber succeeds in getting excess cash, you are a likely target again. 8. Cigarettes are a valuable target item. Limit these and other target items in the register area of the store. Secure them in a cage in the backroom and minimize inventory. 9. Keep the office door closed or locked to limit the temptation from a would-be criminal seeing cigarettes or cash. 10. Encourage the police to stop in for coffee or drinks and park in your lot after hours. Now more than ever, work with enforcement to understand criminal or gang activity in your neighborhood.

Summary—The Good News! The pandemic has changed the retail world as customers seek stores that feel safe, clean, and help support their community. This is an ideal time to build on the loyalty of your employees and customers. Look at the physical safety and appearance of your store and continue to enhance the employees’ skills at managing tough situations and making the right decisions. Perform a security/violence prevention audit using the information from OSHA at this site: https://www.osha.gov/ Publications/osha3153.pdf or request a Safety-Security Store Audit from MSIG or your insurance company. MSIG, your insurance company, or your broker can help you develop practical and effective strategies to protect your employees from violent crime. JOHN HARP, CSP, ARM CAN BE REACHED AT

jharp@msigusa.com or 908-604-2951

Key Questions • Is your store prepared for crime and assault prevention through physical controls like quality high resolution surveillance, signs, and general clean appearance? • Are your inside and outside lights bright enough to create a safe space? • Did you know assaults or robberies do not always occur after midnight? • Did you know studies show free standing stores are more vulnerable than strip mall locations and more common near busy highways for a more effective escape? • Are your employees trained, tested and ready if a shoplifting event escalates or someone enters the store demanding money or cigarettes? • Have you communicated concerns or issues to SEI Asset Protection or Store Support?

“ The number of assault claims has decreased in 2021 by 42 percent. This is a significant achievement considering the current state of things. It’s not certain what the reasons are, but keep doing what you are doing with continuing diligence to preserve the health and safety of you, your family and employees.”

AFTER A ROBBERY OR ASSAULT • Lock the doors – Call 911. • Find any witnesses and get their information. • Call the SEI Hotline! But remember, they cannot process a workers’ compensation claim!

• Preserve any evidence of the crime, including video—take pictures. • Contact MSIG, your workers’ compensation company, or your broker within 24 hours.

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WANT TOP-SELLING PRODUCTS AND EFFICIENT SERVICE? Take Another Look At SBT

BY IAN PEC ORA RO , V IC E P R E SID E N T O F S A L E S | S R P C O M P A N I E S

SRP Companies has a long history partnering with 7-Eleven franchisees and providing innovative products to help increase profitability, improve efficiency and drive value. I hope this article answers some common questions about our partnership, particularly SBT (Scan-Based Trading), that I’ve heard as I’ve traveled around and talked with franchisees.

lytics help ensure that popular, in demand, products are stocked and available for sale, with SRP route representatives providing regular deliveries and merchandising—all of which drive profitability.

SBT Background

SBT eliminate the risk stores have because SRP absorbs 100 percent of the cost of loss due to shrink and theft. Stores also are not charged a higher cost for goods if there is a high incidence of shrink or theft. If this does become an issue at a store, SRP will notify the store and work through measures to better protect inventory. This benefit significantly reduces the risk to franchisees and helps maximize revenue.

First a little background. SBT is the process where suppliers like SRP maintain ownership of the inventory and products within retailers’ stores until items are scanned at the point of sale for purchase by a customer. The earliest use of this inventory management system was in 1998 by magazine distributor Current News and was followed by successful pilot programs in grocery stores in 2000. Analysts in the grocery sector estimate scan-based trading accounted for $21 billion dollars in consumer goods purchased in the grocery industry alone in 2020, or nearly 3 percent of overall sales. SRP is proud to be a leader in bringing new technologies and more efficient service to our customers. We led the way in the convenience store channel by initiating the SBT model in 2016. In true partnership with 7-Eleven franchise and corporate stores, we rolled out this model for all product categories and sales have skyrocketed ever since.

COMMON QUESTIONS What are the benefits of the SBT model? There are many benefits to SBT, but most importantly there is no inventory cost to the store. SRP carries all of the financial burden of the inventory. Items are only invoiced to the store when they are sold through the register. Additionally, our data and ana-

“ SBT is the process where suppliers like SRP maintain ownership of the inventory and products within retailers’ stores until items are scanned at the point of sale for purchase by a customer.”

Are stores charged for shrink?

What are the measures to protect against theft? Because we both benefit when products are sold, we are working on initiatives to better protect “ There are many against theft in benefits to SBT, stores. We’re but most impor- p a r t n e r i n g with 7-Eleven tantly there is no stores to ininventory cost stall peg locks, free of charge, to the store.”

7-ELEVEN SALES GROWTH % 2018 – 2021

Electronics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36% Eyewear. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61% Work Gloves/Apparel.. . . . . . . . . . . 189%

making it more difficult to easily remove products without being noticed. We are also working on improved positioning of products to decrease theft.

What additional programs and brands does SRP offer?

As a leading supplier for convenience stores, SRP offers a wide variety of innovative, impulse products that are ideal for our customers. These include MagBuddy, stickers, light-up and colored tech cables; and coming in 2022, we will be introducing torch lighters. All of these items are sourced, purchased, delivered and merchandise by our experienced SRP staff.

Is everything 100 percent guaranteed? All SRP products and services are 100 percent guaranteed. We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional value to our customers by providing quality products and efficient customer service.

What’s next for the SRP/7-Eleven partnership? SRP is committed to growing sales among our customers and will be focusing on offering innovative, on-trend products that customers are demanding. We’ll also be expanding our offerings via SBT to provide incremental sales. We recently announced continued on page 39

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unveiled its first-ever beverage bottle made from 100 percent plant-based plastic, excluding the cap and label, that has been made using technologies that are ready for commercial scale. A limited run of approximately 900 of the prototype bottles have been produced. • World food prices have surged to the highest level in more than a decade, driven by robust demand and lackluster harvests, reported CNN Business. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index has risen by more than 30 percent over the past year, and it now stands at its highest level since July 2011. • CVS Health is closing 900 stores over the next three years—nearly 10 percent of its footprint—in response to the changing of “consumer buying patterns,” reported CNN Business. The closures are part of the drug store chain’s broader realignment of its retail strategy for its roughly 10,000 locations. • DoorDash recently introduced fast grocery deliveries in 10-15 minutes from a DashMart in New York City, with the goal of expanding to select DoorDash grocery and convenience partners over the next year. • The U.S. energy drink market was $19.63 Billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.34 percent to reach $28.25 billion by 2027, according to a new report by ResearchAndMarkets.com. • Walmart and Coinstar are collaborating on a test of bitcoin kiosks at 200 of the retailer’s U.S. stores. The pilot program is part of Walmart’s initial exploration of a strategy regarding digital currency and a larger initiative by Coinstar and the cryptocurrency cash exchange Coinme, which currently makes bitcoin available through more than 8,000 kiosks. • Starbucks has partnered with Amazon to explore a new store format that will utilize automated checkout technology developed by Amazon, reported Forbes. The first concept store opened recently in New York City, and the companies currently have plans for at least two more locations. • According to the National Association of Business Economics, 47 percent of respondents to its Business Conditions Survey reported a shortage of skilled workers in the third quarter of 2021, which is up from 32 percent reporting shortages in the second quarter. Additionally, respondents think the labor shortages will not disappear in 2022. • Some restaurants, struggling with labor shortages continued from page 44

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the purchase of Aerial Bouquets, “ SRP is committed to growing sales which will introduce popular laamong our customers and will be tex balloons and gift accessories focusing on offering innovative, to our customers, and we will be the exclusive provider of 24/7 Life on-trend products that customers wearing apparel. are demanding.” This year SRP also worked ers have the right products at to transition all our 7-Elevthe right time. en routes to Radio Frequency We value our long-standing partIdentification (RFID). We are nership with 7-Eleven franchisees the first to market in the conand will always work with you to venience store sector with this improve the products and services next-level technology. This we offer to benefit will provide us both of our botdetailed infortom lines. mation to make real-time, evidence-based decisions on IAN PECORARO CAN BE REACHED AT 214-425-5702 or products by showing us what is selling and Ian.Pecoraro@srpcompanies.com what isn’t, so we can make sure our custom-

TIL DEATH DO US PART of errors became a horrible tragedy in the first few months of 2021. From the 7BOSS launch and program immaturity, to the catastrophic launch and jerky integration of ASI 2 on the Oracle servers, franchisees have been subjected to a cruel and inhumane game of whack-a-mole that has many of them on the brink of mental and financial collapse. Alas, my franchisor has not left me on an island alone in the darkness. Rather, I am inundated daily with communication via emails, SMS texts, group chat messages, PDF documents, training opportunities, Zoom calls, and even the occasional old fashioned phone call. This provides me with an overwhelming amount of information about all of the factors affecting my day-to-day store operations. However, many days it is so overwhelming it is like dying of thirst while being hit in the face with water from a fire hose. By the time today’s challenges have faded into distant memories of the past, our franchise model will have been completely trans-

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formed. Our day-to-day operations will have changed in ways yet to be fully understood. But this will require an even more nimble business model that is capable of evolving into the magnificent brand needed to succeed, and a level of foresight and leadership from 7-Eleven executives that perhaps does not exist at this time. A new breed of franchisee will also need to be developed. One who has the extreme mental capacity to understand the complexities of the 21st century c-store business. They will need to have dynamic business management acumen and personnel development skills, not to mention a lot of luck on their side to be successful. As the complexity and challenges of our business increase daily, we are losing our most valuable resource—the desire to remain “in love” with our profession. ARFAN “ART” FAROOQI

CAN BE REACHED AT 813-786-1895 or

dhsenergysales@gmail.com

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Fourth Quarter NCASEF Board And Affiliate Member Meeting Labor, Supply Chain, And Delivery Issues On Top Of Mind For Franchisees And Vendors Franchisee leaders and vendors gathered on November 15-17 at the Grand Hyatt Kauai in Hawaii to participate in the last Board and Affiliate Member meeting of 2021. Attendees were welcomed by guest speaker Derek Kawakami, the Mayor of Kauai County, who thanked the NCASEF for choosing Kauai as the location for the meetings and spoke about the important role 7-Eleven franchisees and small businesses play in the communities they serve. First up was the Affiliate Member meeting, during which vendors and Board members discussed delivery and supply issues, KSRs, pre-books, blocking items from being ordered if vendors don’t have them in stock, and other issues. In the afternoon, Board members and vendors split into four workshop groups to discuss solutions to supply chain issues. The Board meeting the following day commenced with vendor presentations by Elmhurst Diary, Fit Vine, Campbell’s Snacks, Hostess, SRP Companies, Vita Coco, and Pepsi/Frito Lay. Independent Auditor Randy Walker then presented the NCASEF financial audit report for 2019 and answered Board member questions. NCASEF General Counsel Eric Karp followed with a summary of Seven & i’s Medium Term Management Plan 2021-2025, an ASI 2 update, and updates on the Massachusetts and California misclassification lawsuits. The meeting ended with a candidates forum for the positions of Chair, Executive Vice Chair, and Treasurer. continued on next page

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Fourth Quarter Board Meeting continued from previous page

Join The NCASEF Affiliate Member Program! The Affiliate Member Program provides an excellent opportunity for vendor representatives to network and form new relationships with NCASEF Board members from around the country. The program consists of two meetings per year—one in spring, and one in fall—where Affiliate Members can meet with the President and Vice President from each of the NCASEF’s 40 regional Franchise Owners Associations. Each FOA represents between 15 and 400 franchisee members, and each meeting includes presentations from the franchise community and/or industry executives, plus roundtable discussions, breakout sessions, and group social events that provide time for one-on-one networking. All Affiliate Members also receive the NCASEF’s list of FOA Presidents and Vice Presidents and their contact information. Each Affiliate Member can have up to two representatives at the meetings. During breakout sessions and roundtable discussions Affiliate Members can ask any question and bring up any topic before the group or among individual FOA leaders. Additionally, each Affiliate Member (and only Affiliate Members) has the opportunity to purchase presentation time at any of the four annual NCASEF Board Meetings to present their latest and greatest products to the Board.

Topics of discussion on the final day of the Board meeting included breaches and LONs, the level of cleanliness expected by SEI, the possibility of raising retail prices to cover payroll increases, McLane chargebacks, and allowing some stores to close overnight. The election for NCASEF officers was held in the morning and the results were announced in the afternoon. Congratulations to Sukhi Sandhu (Chairman), Joe Rossi (Executive Vice Chairman) and Romy Singh (Treasurer). Each began their twoyear terms on January 1, and the NCASEF office is in the process of transitioning to California. More information to follow in the January/ February issue of Avanti.

AFFILIATE MEMBER PROGRAM ACTIVITIES/BENEFITS 1. Two informative, interactive meetings per year with the NCASEF Board. 2. Informative presentations on issues affecting 7-Eleven franchisees and the 7-Eleven system. 3. Opportunities for interaction and one-on-one networking with franchisee leaders. 4. Access to the NCASEF’s Officers List, complete with contact information for 40 regional FOA Presidents and Vice Presidents. 5. Opportunity to sponsor and present at NCASEF Board meetings four times per year. 6.. Free listing of company contact information, 1x per year, in Avanti magazine’s Affiliate Member directory. Annual membership is $1,200. You can register for the Affiliate Member Program online by visiting https://ncasef.com/program-pages/vendoraffiliate-members/. N O V E M B E R | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 1 AVANTI

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FTC Asked To Investigate Credit Card Companies’ Role In High Gas Prices The Merchants Payments Coalition recently called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the credit card industry, saying swipe fees charged to process transactions have contributed to increases in gasoline prices. The MPC move came as President Joe Biden asked the FTC to investigate whether oil companies are engaging in any illegal conduct that has led to higher gas prices. Swipe fees are among fuel merchants’ highest costs and drive up prices paid by

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consumers, adding about 75 cents to a 10-gallon fill-up, the MPC stated. Gas stations paid $10.7 billion in swipe fees in 2020 and higher gas prices have increased swipe fees paid so far this year by 19.5 percent. That puts 2021 on pace to total more than $12.5 billion, according to NACS.

BP Launching Automated Checkouts BP recently announced it is integrating automated checkout into its Amoco and ampm stores. The company said it is working with Grabango, a provider of checkout-free technology for existing stores, to retrofit 10 convenience store

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locations across the BP network—seven ampm stations in northern California and three Amoco locations in western Pennsylvania. The Grabango-powered ampm and Amoco stores will be live to shoppers in mid-2022. Grabango is free and allows shoppers to skip the line altogether and save time. There are no special shelves, carts, baskets, or turnstiles required to enter or shop. To get started, shoppers download the Grabango app and shop as they normally would. The Grabango system keeps a running tally of items picked up so there’s no need to scan each one on the way out. Payment is automatic and contactless, saving additional time for the shopper. continued on next page


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Great Resignation Shows Little Sign Of Easing Job openings in the U.S. approached record levels in October while the number of people quitting eased off its record pace but remained historically high, reported USA Today. The developments provided further evidence of a labor market that has shifted decidedly in favor of workers. According to recent Labor Department data, employers posted 11 million job openings in October, up from 10.6 million the previous month and just below July’s record clip. Openings have topped 10 million for five straight months. The number of quits fell from 4.4 million

to 4.2 million, meaning 2.8 percent of workers voluntarily left their positions, typically to take another job. Before the pandemic, quits hovered at about 3.5 million. Since there were 7.4 million unemployed Americans in October, that means there were 1.5 available jobs for each unemployed person, the most on record dating back two decades. The number of hires dipped to 6.5 million, highlighting that employers continue to struggle to fill an unprecedented number of vacancies.

Organized Retail Crime Becoming Increasingly Violent A study released recently by the Retail Industry Leaders Association

(RILA) and the Buy Safe America Coalition sounds the alarm on the increasingly brazen and violent theft occurring in retail stores across the nation. Among the study’s findings: • 86.2 percent of retailers surveyed said an organized retail crime (ORC) subject has verbally threatened an associate; 75.9 percent said an ORC subject has physically assaulted an associate, 41 percent said an ORC subject has used a weapon to harm an associate. • As much as $68.9 billion worth of products were stolen from retailers in 2019 (pre-COVID). • Nearly 67 percent of asset protection managers at leading retailers surveyed report a moderate to considerable increase continued on page 44

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in organized retail crime, while 80 percent believe it will only get worse in the future.

Tyson Foods To Automate Meat Plants Tyson Foods plans to spend more than $1.3 billion to increase automation in meat plants over the next three years as a U.S. labor shortage has limited production while demand is booming, reported Reuters. Meat processors have been unable to find enough workers for the past two years due to the tight labor market and health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tyson expects to boost production and reduce labor costs by expanding automation, with cumulative savings of more than $450 million projected by fiscal year 2024. The company will increasingly use machines, instead of people, to debone chicken, one of its most labor-intensive jobs and a position with high turnover. A capital investment of $500 million in the area through fiscal year 2024 will generate labor savings equal to more than 2,000 jobs, Tyson said.

Starbucks Raises Average Pay As It Faces A Labor Shortage Facing twin pressures of a union challenge and a labor shortage, Star-

bucks is hiking wages for its U.S. employees, reported USA Today. All hourly pay workers will make at least $15 an hour and average nearly $17 an hour in summer 2022. Some of the pay increases will start before the summer. Starting in late January 2022, employees with two or more years of service could receive up to a 5 percent raise and those with five or more years could receive up to a 10 percent raise. Including wage and benefit increases throughout the pandemic, the company estimates the increases total “approximately $1 billion in incremental investments in annual wages and benefits over the last two years.” Starbucks said barista hourly rates will range based on market and tenure from $15 to $23 per hour across the country in summer.

Self-Checkout Systems Markets To Grow To $2.97 Billion The U.S. self-checkout systems market size is anticipated to reach $2.97 billion by 2028, expanding at a CAGR of 11.3 percent from 2021 to 2028, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s new report, “U.S. Self-checkout Systems Market 2021-2028.” The strong emphasis retailers are putting on providing

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

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and the return of customers to on-site dining, are choosing to scale back on delivery and to-go orders, reported the Wall Street Journal. The move comes as restaurants try to juggle orders from dining-rooms, phone calls, websites and apps— sometimes all hitting stretched servers and kitchens during peak hours. • Amazon has stopped accepting Visa credit cards issued in the United Kingdom as of January 19, 2022 due to the high fees charged to process transactions, reported Bloomberg. • Shell Retail and Convenience Operations LLC recently signed an agreement to acquire 248 company-owned fuel and convenience retail sites from the Landmark group of companies, whose convenience stores operate in Texas under the Timewise brand. The agreement also includes supply agreements with an additional 117 independently operated fuel and convenience sites. • Under a new the city ordinance, Los Angeles restaurants with more than 26 employees are now restricted from freely distributing single-use plastic utensils or paper napkins with take-out orders unless a customer specifically asks for them, reported the Los Angeles Times. • Dollar General recently announced a partnership with DoorDash to offer on-demand delivery of household essential items. On-demand delivery from DoorDash is currently available from more than 10,000 Dollar General stores. The two companies initially piloted a program in summer 2021 with approximately 600 stores in rural and metropolitan communities. • The Edison Electric Institute recently announced the formation of the National Electric Highway Coalition, which is committed to providing electric vehicle fast charging ports that will allow the public to drive EVs with confidence along major U.S. travel corridors by the end of 2023. • BP recently announced that it has acquired AMPLY Power, an electric vehicle charging and energy management provider for fleets that operate trucks, transit and school buses, vans and light-duty vehicles. This investment represents the company’s first major step into electrification in the U.S. By 2030, BP plans to grow its global network of EV charging points from around continued from page 47


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self-checkout solutions as part of the efforts to improve purchase efficiency, enhance the consumer experience, and serve a larger customer base is expected to drive the growth of the market over the forecast period. The blend of cash and cashless features offered by the latest self-checkout solutions, which can potentially allow retailers to tailor their checkout experience to the changing consumer preferences, also bodes well for the growth of the market, the report states.

Age-Restricted Product Manufacturers Support TruAge NACS recently announced that four of the leading manufacturers of age-restricted products have voiced their support of TruAge, the new digital solution that enhances current age-verification systems and protects user privacy. TruAge, developed by NACS and Conexxus, makes the traditional carding experience more convenient and accurate. The largest U.S. tobacco company, Altria Group Distribution Company; the two largest U.S. brewers,

Anheuser-Busch and Molson Coors Beverage Company; and the country’s leading e-cigarette manufacturer, Juul Labs Inc., have all announced their support of TruAge. NACS said TruAge is also supported by more than 130 retail companies that represent 22,000-plus convenience store locations in the United States, plus four industry pointof-sale (POS) providers. The convenience retailing industry conducts 165 million transactions a day and 50 million of them involve an age-restricted product. The TruAge age-verification system makes it easier and more accurate to verify a customer’s age when purchasing age-restricted products, and at the same time makes identity theft difficult. One-time-use tokens are used to share only the most important elements to

“ Walmart recently held a supply-chain national hiring event, offering an average wage of $20.37 per hour.”

confirm the purchaser is of legal age, which also protects the user’s privacy.

Walmart Holds Supply-Chain Hiring Event Walmart held a supply-chain national hiring event in early November, offering an average wage of $20.37 per hour, reported Yahoo Finance. The hiring event took place November 3-4 in numerous states and locations. Job openings included equipment operators, repair technicians, freight handlers and order filler/lift drivers, just to name a few. Walmart is increasing its personnel amid a supply chain crunch felt across nearly every industry, coupled with a labor shortage squeeze. In October, Walmart said it was navigating the supply chain ahead of the busy holiday season by sourcing holiday merchandise earlier than usual, chartering its own ships, and diverting shipments through less congested ports. In September the company announced it was hiring 20,000 permanent supply-chain associates to meet growth demands.

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Legislative Update Senate Passes Resolution To Repeal Vaccine Mandate The Senate recently passed a resolution to repeal President Joe Biden’s vaccination-or-testing mandate for private-sector employers in a bipartisan rebuke of a key component of the White House’s COVID-19 strategy, reported NBC News. The measure, which needed only a simple majority to advance, passed in a 52-48 vote. Senate Republicans argue that while they consider vaccines “ THE U.S. SENATE important, they believe the mandate is RECENTLY PASSED “unconstitutional.” The resolution faces an A RESOLUTION uphill battle in the Democratic-controlled TO REPEAL House. Republicans would need a solid PRESIDENT number of Democrats to join them to BIDEN’S VACCINA- force a vote on the measure. If the House TION-OR-TESTING were to pass the resolution, it would then MANDATE FOR go to Biden’s desk. The White House has PRIVATE-SECTOR signaled that Biden would veto the meaEMPLOYERS.” sure, which did not pass with a veto-proof majority in the Senate.

New Jersey Bill Requires C-Stores To Sell Smoking Cessation Product New Jersey legislators have introduced a bill that would require convenience stores to sell at least one smoking cessation product, reported CSP Daily News. The legislation, A6020/S4114, was introduced November 15 and would require any entity other than a cigar shop that sells any tobacco product to maintain a stock of and offer for sale at least one type of nicotine replacement therapy drug, device or combination product that has been approved by the FDA for cessation of tobacco use. Any entity subject to the requirement would have the discretion to determine the number and type of nicotine replacement therapy products that it would sell, and the quantity of the products offered for sale, according to the current version of the proposed bill. The cessation product or products would need to be located behind the sales counter and retailers would need to provide printed notice within the

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store that nicotine replacement products are available for sale. Retailers would also need to display the logo, phone number and website of the NJ Smoking Quitline.

“NEW JERSEY LEGISLATORS HAVE INTRODUCED A BILL THAT WOULD REQUIRE CONVENIENCE STORES TO SELL AT LEAST ONE SMOKING CESSATION PRODUCT.”

New Bills Target Massachusetts Flavored Tobacco Ban

Two years after Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, a bevy of new bills before the Public Health Committee target changes to the 2019 tobacco law, with supporters arguing that the policy pushed Massachusetts consumers into other states and that the market has transformed since lawmakers last acted, reported WWLP 22 News. The proposals on display at a recent committee hearing, which range from resuming sales of menthol cigarettes to authorizing some flavored products that federal regulators cleared for marketing, reignited debate about a state ban that continues to draw support from some medical organizations and criticism from both tobacco manufacturers and retail business interests. One pair of bills (H2406 and S1433) would rewrite the flavor ban to limit it to electronic nicotine systems, often known as e-cigarettes or vaping products, rather than all tobacco products. Its backers aim to undo the prohibition of menthol cigarettes. Supporters of the menthol ban pressed lawmakers to keep it in place, describing flavors and menthol in particular as a known tactic that tobacco companies deploy to bring in new, often young users who will then get hooked on the nicotine their products contain. Retail groups and tobacco manufacturers— who could benefit financially from the ability to expand their for-sale offerings—want the Legislature to reopen the market to some products that federal regulators have been reviewing.

Vaping Tax Removed From U.S. Senate Bill

Senate Democrats recently dropped a proposal that would have imposed taxes on vaping, removing a $9 billion provision backed by some public-health advocates from the party’s healthcare, education and climate-change bill, reported the Wall Street Journal. Lawmakers made the decision as they continued on next page


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11,000 today to more than 70,000. • Traffic at retail stores on Black Friday (November 26) dropped 28.3 percent compared with 2019 levels, as Americans shifted more of their spending online and kicked off their shopping earlier in the year, reported CNBC. However, traffic was up 47.5 percent compared with 2020 levels, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Online, retailers rang up $8.9 billion in sales on Black Friday, down from the record of about $9 billion spent in 2020. • Wawa is the biggest private company in Pennsylvania and the 29th largest in the nation, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer, citing Forbes’ annual list of the nation’s largest private companies. Wawa’s $11 billion in revenue and approximately 38,000 employees edged out Sheetz, its Altoona, PA-based competitor, which came in 75th place with $6.5 billion in revenue. • As many as 4.1 million people working through food delivery and ride-hailing apps could be reclassified as employees under a new European Union plan meant to improve gig workers’ labor rights, reported Bloomberg. The draft proposal could cost the sector up to 4.5 billion euros ($5.1 billion) more a year, the EU estimates. It would likely give millions more workers for companies like Uber and Deliveroo access to minimum-wage and legal protections. • In a global first for a delivery network company, cannabis retailer Tokyo Smoke and Uber Canada recently announced an exclusive partnership to offer cannabis online for ordering and pickup in Ontario, Canada. Consumers can place orders from Tokyo Smoke’s flower collection and unique accessories on the Uber Eats app, and then pick up their purchase at the respective Tokyo Smoke stores. • Elton John has teamed with Walmart to design a line of eyewear inspired by the musician’s signature accessory, with three separate collections already in Sam’s Club and Walmart stores, reported Business Insider. The Elton John Eyewear line features frames in 60 different styles, 36 of them exclusive to Sam’s Club and 24 to Walmart.

Legislative Update wrapped up the details of the $2 trillion Build Back Better package and attempted to get it through the Senate before Christmas. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D., Nevada), a Finance Committee member, pushed to remove the tax and helped force its deletion. The $9 billion tax increase was included in the bill the House passed in November, and it was much smaller than a broader tobacco-tax increase that House members had advanced earlier in the year. The smaller version would have imposed a tax on vaping products designed to parallel the existing federal cigarette “ SENATE DEMOCRATS RECENTLY DROPPED A tax rate of $1.01 a pack. Under the PROPOSAL THAT WOULD HAVE IMPOSED TAXES House-passed plan, e-cigarettes, vapON VAPING IN ORDER TO GET THE $2 TRILLION ing liquids and oral nicotine pouches BUILD BACK BETTER PACKAGE PASSED.” would have been taxed. All of the tax increases on tobacco and nicotine drew objections from Republicans, who said the burden would fall on lower-income and middle-income households. Many of the proposals would have affected people with incomes below $400,000, the cutoff below which President Biden said Americans wouldn’t face tax increases.

Massachusetts Ballot Measure Would Increase Limit On Liquor Licenses Massachusetts liquor stores say they have cleared a key hurdle to launching a ballot measure aimed at countering efforts by big chains to eliminate limits on the number of stores that can sell alcohol in in the state, reported WBUR.org. The Massachusetts Package Stores Association said it has gathered far more than the roughly 80,000 signatures needed by December 1 to put a question on next year’s ballot. The group’s proposed measure would gradually double the number of licenses a single company could own in the state to 18, instead of removing the caps altogether. Additionally, only seven of those permits would be good for hard liquor. The package store trade association said the limits are needed to protect small local stores from major grocery and pharmacy chains. The ballot measure is intended to block efforts by Cumberland Farms and other chains to eliminate the license caps entirely. The proposed ballot measure also would change how the state calculates fines for violations, such as selling to underage drinkers. Grocers and convenience stores would pay much heftier penalties if voters or lawmakers approve the measure.

New Jersey Imposes Single-Use Plastic Straw Ban New Jersey recently imposed a new restriction on single-use plastic straws, which is part of an overall law that aims to reduce plastic pollution in the state, continued on page 48 N O V E M B E R | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 1 AVANTI

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Legislative Update reported Philly Voice. Under the new restriction, businesses like in 2021 in an effort to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags in the city and promote the use of durable multi-use bags. restaurants and convenience stores now can only give customThe tax will be collected at the point of ers straws if they ask for them, instead of including purchase, in a similar manner as sales them with every order. Pre-packaged drinks like juice “ U NDER NEW JERSEY’S taxes, and will be administered and enboxes will still be allowed to come with a straw. BusiSINGLE-USE PLASTIC nesses that do not comply will get a warning for first forced by the Virginia Tax Commissioner STRAW RESTRICTION, offenses and fines up to $1,000 per day for the second in Richmond. Larger “big box” retailers C-STORES CAN ONLY offense. Subsequent violations carry penalties up to such as Walmart or Target will be subject GIVE CUSTOMERS $5,000 a day. New Jerseyans voted to approve a law to the tax if they contain a grocery store, STRAWS IF THEY ASK that banned single-use plastic bags and food containconvenience store or drugstore. FOR THEM.” No retailer will be subject to the tax ers in 2020 that will be fully in effect by 2022. The next solely because it offers a limited number restriction will be imposed May 4, and will hit plastic of snacks and beverages for sale at the cash register. Furtherand paper single-use bags and disposable food containers and cups made out of polystyrene foam. more, per state code, the tax will only apply to retailers that maintain regular business hours in the city, including grocery Plastic Bag Tax In stores, drug stores and convenience stores. Retailers will be Fredericksburg, VA compensated for the costs of collecting and remitting the tax A new disposable plastic bag tax of 5 cents by retaining a portion of the tax collected. Until January 1, is now in effect in Fredericksburg, Virginia, 2023, retailers subject to the tax will be able to retain 2 cents reported Fredericksburg Today. The Frederfor every 5 cents collected. After January 1, 2023, this discount icksburg City Council adopted the tax earlier will be reduced to 1 cent per bag.

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.” 48

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platform Drizly to deliver alcohol to adults of legal drinking age in under 60 minutes from over 1,200 7-Eleven stores. Following a successful pilot program with 190 stores, over 1,200 7-Eleven stores across Arizona, CaliFIRST AUTONOMOUS fornia, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, DELIVERY SERVICE PILOTED Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, VirIN CALIFORNIA ginia and Washington now offer de SEI recently announced that it is pi- livery via Drizly. Customers in areas loting autonomous delivery with Nuro, served by those stores can order via a robotics company transforming the Drizly app or Drizly.com local commerce with autonto enjoy home delivery omous vehicles. In collab“SEI is for a range of adult bevoration with Nuro, SEI is erages from 7-Eleven. piloting autonomous launching the first autonThe companies plan delivery with Nuro in omous commercial delivto expand the collabCalifornia.” ery in the state of Califororation in the coming nia, enabling its customers in months to bring Drizly’s the service area to order through alcohol delivery to over 2,000 the 7NOW delivery app to have their stores nationwide. products delivered via bot. Nuro will begin this delivery service REPLENISH + CAFFEINE with its autonomous Priuses and later SPORTS DRINK LAUNCHED introduce R2 bots, the company’s autonomous robots that are custom-built 7-Eleven’s new Replenish + Caffeine to transport products and goods with- sports drink has officially hit shelves naout any occupants in the vehicle. Nuro tionwide. Available in two fruity flavors, became the first autonomous vehicle Pineapple and Prickly Pear, Replenish company to receive a deployment permit + Caffeine drinks are the perfect opfrom the California DMV in December tion for custom2020, enabling the launch of this inau- ers looking to get gural commercial delivery service in the their caffeine fix and recharge their state in collaboration with 7-Eleven. energy. Building ON-DEMAND ALCOHOL off the successful DELIVERY FROM OVER 1,200 Replenish sports 7-ELEVEN STORES drink line, the SEI has collaborated with alcohol caffeinated vere-commerce and on-demand delivery sion is made to

help restore electrolytes and energy lost in exercise. Both the Pineapple and Prickly Pear flavors contain 140mg per 28oz bottle of natural caffeine extracted from green coffee beans and are high in vitamins E, B3, B5 and B6. Replenish + Caffeine drinks are free from artificial flavors, synthetic colors and high fructose corn syrup. The new sports drink options join the family of 7-Eleven Replenish flavors including 7-Select Replenish Cucumber Mint, Guava Splash, Lemonade, Orange Mango and Pomegranate Acai.

A FESTIVE TAKE ON A CLASSIC BEVERAGE This winter, SEI brings back a holiday classic with a twist—Winter Wonderland Cocoa is a hot, rich cocoa blended with a cool candy cane flavor that will have customers dusting off their snow boots and getting cozy by the fire. Customers can pair the winter classic with chocolate sauce and creamer for the quintessential wintery treat. Customers can also customize their cocoa with more toppings like marshmallows, cinnamon, caramel, and a variety of creamers. The Winter Wonderland Cocoa, continued on page 50

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available for a limited time only at participating 7-Eleven stores, costs the same as every other hot beverage.

7-ELEVEN PARTNERS WITH DANONE TO LAUNCH NEW SNACK On the heels of fall, Danone North America Away from Home recently launched its exclusive new Apple Pie Parfait Made with Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt in participating 7-Eleven stores across the country. Made with Oikos Nonfat Greek Yogurt, this 6-ounce parfait boasts 12 grams of protein. The parfait combines the protein punch of Oikos with the crunch and crave-worthy flavors of apples, cinnamon, and granola with a pecan topper. The 6-ounce Apple Pie Parfait made with Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt, offered in a majority of 7-Eleven stores nationwide, will be available through February 2022.

THE OFFICIAL UNIFORM OF SNACKING SEI has extended its collaboration with entertainer, DJ, talk show host, comedian and designer Kerwin Frost to create an exclusive limited-edition outfit

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designed with snackers in mind. Aptly called “Kerwin’s Snack Attack Uniform,” the ensemble features a jacket, pants and t-shirt complete with 18 total pockets custom-designed to hold Kerwin’s favorite 7-Select snacks and beverages. Officially available for purchase on December 13, Kerwin’s Snack Attack Uniform comes in two colors—pink and green—and features Kerwin’s Snack Attack Jacket, Snack Attack Pants and Snack Attack Glitter Tee. The uniform was sold complete with Kerwin’s favorite 7-Select snacks and beverages for $280 exclusively on www.KerwinsKingdom. com. With only 500 uniforms available to the public, it was sold on a first-come first-served basis.

KERWIN’S SNACK PARTY MIX POPCORN SEI and trendsetter Kerwin Frost opened a pop-up 7-Eleven store at the fifth-annual ComplexCon to unveil limited-edition Kerwin’s Snack Party Mix Popcorn. Made with white chocolate popcorn, candied chocolate pieces, cinnamon toasted cereal and chocolate cake mix, the party “SEI has extended mix snack comes its collaboration in a canister with a with Kerwin Frost to specially designed create an exclusive label by the Harlimited-edition outfit designed with lem-born entertainer, DJ, talk show snackers in mind.”

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host, comedian, and designer Kerwin Frost himself. Fans attending ComplexCon in Long Beach, California on November 6-7 had the chance to taste the limited-run popcorn mix within his part-retail, part-museum and part-performance space “Kerwin’s Kingdom” at Booth C1 at the convention. The castle included a pop-up 7-Eleven store featuring a custom vinyl graphic of the official co-branded Kerwin’s Snack Party Mix Popcorn. Shelves were stocked with the special-edition snack along with Kerwin’s favorite 7-Eleven private label chips, candy, popcorn and drinks—including 7-Select Buffalo Chicken Dip Flavored Wavy Potato Chips, 7-Select Gummi Blue Sharks and 7-Select Replenish Guava Splash, all of which were distributed for free. A limited amount of Kerwin’s Snack Party Mix Popcorn were also available for sale soon at one 7-Eleven store in West Hollywood and one 7-Eleven store in New York City while supplies lasted.

BRAND-NEW, SUSTAINABLY SOURCED 7-RESERVE GUATEMALA COFFEE 7-Eleven served up its latest variety of 7-Reserve premium coffee for a limited time last fall: 7-Reserve Guatemala. This new brew marked 7-Eleven’s third 7-Reserve coffee to come from Central America and first to come from the Huehuetenango region, home to some of the finest coffee in the world, the company said. 7-Reserve Guatemala is Rainforest Alliance Certified and made from single-origin, sustainably sourced, 100 percent Arabica beans. continued on next page


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Grown in the Huehuetenango region, the sought-after beans are fully cultivated and processed on small farms before being taken to the bustling hub of San Antonio Huista. Guatemalan beans grown in volcanic soil at Huehuetenango’s higher elevations are known for their bright flavor notes and juicy flavor profiles. A medium roast was selected to help best bring out these characteristics—complete with an aroma with a hint of the brew’s fruity notes and sweet aftertaste.

FIRST ROUND OF RECRUITS DRAFTED TO SUPERFAN INFLUENCER TEAM SEI recently announced the first three members drafted to the 7-Eleven Superfan Influencer Team following its Fuel Your Fandom social media contest. The competition was fierce with entrants pulling out all the stops to prove they had what it takes to join the team with Dallas Cowboys quar-

carry goods up to 5 kilograms. During the tests, Seven-Eleven staff receive orders terback Dak Prescott, pro football online and load the items, including tea wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, and onigiri rice balls, onto the drone. The and sportscaster Erin Andrews, but drone takes off from a Seven-Eleven parkonly three social media-savvy cusing lot, and can deliver goods to four tomers made the final cut. designated places, including First up to join the a park 2 kilometers away. 7-Eleven Superfan “Seven-Eleven Seven-Eleven aims to put Influencer Team Japan wants to start the drone delivery serare Chaney Belle, drone delivery service by vice into practical use Hannah Curtice, fiscal 2025, offering focusing on less-popuand Sharon LaRose. deliveries within lated areas. The compaThese social savvy 30 minutes.” ny wants to start the serteammates will attend vice by fiscal 2025, offering an influencer training deliveries within 30 minutes. camp, receive a monthly stipend to try the latest 7-Eleven products $11M LOTTERY TICKET SOLD and co-create content with 7-Eleven AT SAN JOSE 7-ELEVEN throughout 2022. They’ve also secured A 7-Eleven store in San Jose sold a the coveted $11,000 cash prize. California Lottery ticket for the SuperLotto Plus drawing on December 15 SEVEN-ELEVEN JAPAN that is worth $11 million after matching TESTS DRONE DELIVERY all five numbers plus the Mega number, Seven-Eleven Japan and ANA Holdreported Fox 2 KTVU. The ticket was ings have teamed up to test a delivery purchased at the store at 4270 Sentservice using drones, reported NHK.com. er Road in San Jose and had winning The two companies have been holding numbers 5, 8 9, 19, 39 and Mega numtests since late November in Hinode, a ber 9. No information about the winner sparsely populated area in western Tokyo. of the $11 million ticket was immediThe drone is about 2 meters long and can ately available.

AD INDEX

Coca-Cola.......................................2

King Palm....................................36

Mondelez.....................................55

Anheuser-Busch............................6

Constellation Brands........... 28, 29

Living Essentials.........................18

Monster .........................................5

Aon Risk Management...........42, 43

Danone.........................................11

Lucas Oil.......................................38

Swedish Match............................22

Blue Bunny/Wells.......................25

Diageo............................................4

Mars..............................................32

Swisher................................... 3, 56

Cima Confections........................20

Kellogg’s.........................................9

McLane.........................................13

Tell Industries.............................26

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Introducing the Smirnoff Ice Neon Lemonade Variety 12pk can. A line of neon lemonades that are perfectly sweet and tart, ready to get the party started. By combining the Increase your FMB sales with vibes of Miami with the hottest flavors, Smirnoff Ice Neon Smirnoff is bringing a new take on the Lemonade Variety 12pk. booming lemonade trend. FMB 12pks are growing +114 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. (UPC 082000798767)

SWISHER RELEASES HEMP-BASED BULK CONES Swisher recently announced that its Hempire product line is expanding to include hemp-based bulk cones. Available now for retailer purchase, Hempire Cones provide another alternative, all-natural option to the market. Made from pesticide-free organic hemp, Hempire Cones deliver a clean, smooth and slow-burning smoking experience. Like other Hempire products, Hempire Cones are vegan, non-GMO and ultra-strong, maintaining their all-natural characteristics by remaining completely unbleached and unflavored and containing no synthetic colors or dyes. The launch of Hempire Cones comes shortly after Swisher released Hempire Wraps, organic hemp wraps that serve as an alternative to tobacco wraps and other traditional options. With hemp-based cones, wraps and rolling paper now Hempire Cones deliver a clean, smooth making up its portfoand slow-burning smoking experience. lio, Hempire is helping

Swisher transform the category to meet adult consumer’s needs and expectations. Hempire Cones are available in bulk units in the three most popular bulk cone sizes of 1 1/4, 98mm and King—with any size designed to fit into most standard knock boxes. Prices range from $62 to $88 for a box and $372 to $528 USD for a case, with boxes holding up to 1,440 cones and cases containing up to 8,640 cones.

INDULGE YOUR CUSTOMERS WITH POP TARTS EGGO FROSTED MAPLE FLAVOR Pop-Tarts Eggo Frosted Maple Flavor is a perfect on-thego breakfast or snack combining the flavors and brand equity of Pop-Tarts and Eggo together in a crazy good toaster pastry. Each bite delivers classic Eggo taste complete with the delicious Pop-Tarts pastry crust, irresistible frosting, and sweet filling your customers know and love. Pop-Tarts Eggo Frosted Place them in the cereal Maple Flavor combines the flavors and brand equity of Pop-Tarts and Eggo. and wholesome snack sections, near the coffee bar, or in the beverage area. Delicious toasted or right out of the pouch, there are so many ways to indulge throughout the day.

LUCAS OIL 7-ELEVEN BRANDED AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCTS NOW AVAILABLE The unmatched quality of Lucas Oil products is now available to ship to 7-Eleven franchisees nationwide. With Lucas Oil’s new 7-Eleven branded line of automotive products, you can offer the finest oils, additives and utility products to suit your customers’ needs. The line includes a wide Maximize your auto range of the most requested products for section sales with the Lucas Oil 7-Eleven commuters and travelers—from power branded line of autosteering and brake fluid to fuel treatments, motive products. octane boosters, antifreeze, washer fluid continued on next page

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New products and services for 7-Eleven Franchisees

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and more. Stocking Lucas Oil products tells your customers you’re providing the ultimate care for their vehicles, while maximizing your auto section sales. For a full listing of products, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact Marty Feldman at MFeldman@LucasOil.com.

VEGAN & DAIRY FREE SILK OAT COFFEE CREAMERS Say good morning with rich, oatmilk cookie creaminess blended with smooth oatmilk creamer. It’s the same cravable taste your customers love—just in cool new packaging. Danone’s Silk Oat coffee creamers are vegan and

Compliment your free of dairy, coffee bar selection car r ageenan, by providing a dairy gluten and arfree alternative with tificial flavors Silk Oat creamers. and colors. Oat is the fastest growing segment of Plant-Based Creamers and accounts for 7.4 percent of category dollars. This is a great way to compliment your coffee bar selection providing a dairy free alternative. To place an order or learn more, please call 888-620-9910 or visit DanoneAwayFromHome.com.

Increase Your Sales With Constellations Brands Constellation Brands has unveiled three new products that will help you grow your alcoholic beverage sales, so place your orders today.

MODELO CHELADA LIMÓN Y SAL Modelo Chelada is the #1 Chelada in the U.S., and Modelo Chelada Limon y Sal 12oz 12pk is the brand’s first multi-pack offering that will allow the brand to drive incremental brand growth through new drinking occasions, new drinker penetration, and by unlocking channels. Limon y Sal reaches both core Chelada drinkers and General Market ABA drinkers, who prefer smaller cans and medium sized Chelada multi-packs. The RTD Chelada category continues strong dollar growth with a 14 percent 4-year CAGR, and Modelo Chelada is the top dollar sales Chelada brand family.

CORONA HARD SELTZER 24OZ SINGLE SERVE CAN Corona Hard Seltzer is the #4 hard seltzer brand and the #1 most preferred hard seltzer among

Hispanic non-category buyers. Additionally, the 24oz single serve pack size is a category growth driver. Available in two flavors— Pineapple and Limonada Strawberry.

CORONA HARD SELTZER TROPICAL MIX PACK Introducing the Corona Hard Seltzer Tropical Mix Pack, featuring 12 12oz cans in four flavors—Citrus Lime, Pineapple Picante, Watermelon Lime, and Mandarin Starfruit. Corona entered the Hard Seltzer category in a position of strength in brand health and overall consumer perceptions. Flavor drives the category, and hard seltzer’s flavor profile (flavor/ sweetness intensity) and ingredient quality are the most important attributes for consumers. Of beer brands that have entered the hard seltzer category, consumers rate Corona by far the highest quality brand (Source: YouGov BrandIndex Brand Tracking Report, Beer Quality, July 2021). N O V E M B E R | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 1 AVANTI

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FOA Of Greater Los Angeles/San Diego FOA Trade Show Pechanga Resort & Casino Temecula California March 23, 2022 Phone: 619-726-9016

South Texas FOA Annual Trade Show Canyon Springs Golf Course San Antonio, Texas March 30, 2022 Phone: 702-249-3301

South Texas FOA Annual Golf Tournament Canyon Springs Golf Club San Antonio, Texas March 31, 2022 Phone: 702-249-3301

Eastern Virginia FOA Annual Charity Golf

Delaware Valley FOA Trade Show

Sleepy Hole Golf Course Suffolk, Virginia April 13, 2022 Phone: 757-506-5926

Caesars Atlantic City Atlantic City, New Jersey June 23, 2022 Phone: 215-771-6178

Eastern Virginia FOA Trade Show

Chicagoland FOA Golf Outing

Hampton Roads Convention Center Hampton, Virginia April 14, 2022 Phone: 757-506-5926

Venue TBD August 25, 2022 Phone: 847-278-7415

Suburban Washington FOA Trade Show Baltimore/WashDC/ Suburban Washington Metro Points Hotel New Carrollton, Maryland April 21, 2022 Phone: 301-580-0305

FOA Board Meetings CHICAGOLAND FOA

Phone: 847-278-7415 January 27, 2022—Board Meeting February 24, 2022—Board Meeting March 24, 2022—Board Meeting April 28, 2022—Board Meeting May 12, 2022—Summer Trade Show & General Session June 30, 2022—Board Meeting & General Meeting July 28, 2022—Board Meeting September 22, 2022—Board Meeting October 27, 2022—Board Meeting December 8, 2022—Board Meeting

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Chicagoland FOA Holiday Trade Show Venue TBD November 10, 2022 Phone: 847-278-7415

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 Hyatt Regency Savannah Savannah, Georgia February 7-8, 2022

National Coalition Board of Directors Meeting

FOA OF GREATER LOS ANGELES Phone: 619-726-9016 January 18, 2022—Board Meeting February 15, 2022—Board Meeting March 15, 2022—Board Meeting April 19, 2022—Board Meeting May 18, 2022—Board Meeting June 21, 2022—Board Meeting July 19, 2022—Board Meeting September 20, 2022—Board Meeting October 18, 2022—Board Meeting November 15, 2022—Board Meeting

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Hyatt Regency Savannah Savannah, Georgia February 9-10, 2022

National Coalition Board of Directors Meeting Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland August 6-7, 2022

NCASEF 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland August 7-10, 2022


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