CHICAGO -- “How cool is that?” asked Henry Armour, president and CEO of NACS, during a presentation of the association’s new branding. The Alexandria, Va.-based organization took this year’s annual NACS Show in Chicago to give attendees a peek into its new branding—anchored by a prominent green “C”—as well as initiatives around refreshing and repositioning the industry in the eyes of consumers, legislators and the media.
The core objective of NACS’ new branding is to “own the word that defines us,” said Armour during one of the show’s general sessions. “It’s the DNA of our value proposition.” Among other things, that means a change to the organization’s website—from nacsonline.com to convenience.org.
While convenience is the “basic value proposition that consumers love about the industry,” negative associations linger, said Armour. With that, NACS is continuing to create programs and partnerships that help fight not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) sentiments. In May, NACS became the first retail trade association to join the Partnership for a Healthier America. Among the first benefits of that partnership, NACS is now offering a web-based nutrition tool for retailers working to create healthier sets.
Currently, there are eight c-store retailers, three distributors and many manufacturers working with the Partnership for a Healthier America, and Armour used the general session at NACS to announce two new members: S. Abraham and Sons Inc. and Harold Levinson Associates.
Along with its work with Partnership for a Healthier America, NACS has joined forces with Keep America Beautiful to address the issue of trash. It’s offering a new toolkit to help retailers better manage trash, litter and recycling, and to help shed a positive light on the role the industry plays in keeping communities clean.
A third partnership—with the American Red Cross—is particularly crucial in a year that has been plagued by natural disasters. “We are the first responders for the first responders,” said Armour.
When it comes to NACS’ work in Washington, D.C., Armour applauded the industry for its work in driving change around menu labeling, SNAP and swipe fees.
“[Congress] heard from far more retailers than bankers,” said Armour of this year’s work around swipe fees. “We beat them because you stepped up to the plate and overwhelming made your voices heard.”