CHICAGO — No one could deny that the COVID-19 pandemic was the top story of a very difficult 2020, inside the convenience-store industry or beyond. The pandemic touched most of the news, directly or indirectly. CSP Daily News has tracked the health and economic crisis as it developed with a special landing page for coronavirus news updates related to convenience retailing. CSP magazine tore up its May cover to feature how c-stores stepped up in the crisis, highlighting early on how the “essential” c-store industry performed.
But the list of the most-read stories of the year, while certainly including a good number of coronavirus stories, was not dominated by the issue. Take a look back at the top 10 most-read stories of 2020 on CSP Daily News …
2. Ranking the Top 40 C-Store Chains: A 2020 Update
Accelerated merger-and-acquisition activity in 2019 drastically altered the ranks of the c-store industry’s top chains by store count since the previous year's official ranking. In February, ahead of the release of CSP’s complete 2020 Top 202 list, it provided a much-anticipated early look at the current top 40 based on store counts as of Dec. 31, 2019.
3. House Passes $2.2 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill
The House narrowly passed a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill on Oct. 1 with the potential to deliver aid to Americans whose income has been affect by the pandemic and loans for struggling business. But despite some Americans being desperate for jobs, convenience stores had a difficult time finding labor throughout the year.
5. A Look Inside Wally’s: The 'Home of the Great American Road Trip’
New-store slideshows are always a hit among readers. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at Wally’s in Pontiac, Ill., one of the most popular virtual tours of the year. The store opened in September, calling itself the "Home of the Great American Road Trip."
6. ‘Essential Workers Bill of Rights’ Could Be Part of Next Relief Package
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) sent a proposal for an Essential Workers Bill of Rights to congressional leadership in April. They urged Congress to support front-line workers such as convenience-store employees during the coronavirus pandemic by prioritizing basic protections for them in the next federal relief package.
9. 11 Trends That Will Shape the CPG Industry in 2020
Acosta's predictions for consumer packaged goods (CPG) in 2020 included a wide array of consumer product trends. These included growth of mainstream CBD products, plant-based foods and a focus on becoming more environmentally conscious, sourcing locally, keeping prices low and making the in-store shopping experience more enjoyable and tech-friendly, the sales and marketing agency said as the new year began. The list was released months before the coronavirus was designated a pandemic. Did it alter the path of these trends?
10. C-Store Chains Take Actions to Combat Coronavirus Spread
In March, as the COVID-19 outbreak increasingly began affecting the convenience-store, fuel and foodservice industries, several c-store chains released plans of action to combat the spread of the coronavirus in their retail outlets. CSP's digest of these efforts proved popular with readers.
What do you think were the biggest c-store industry stories of the year? Let us know at email@example.com.