April 2013

NACS DAILY

NACS RESPONDS TO U.S. HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BLEND WALL, RFS

The association provided answers to questions raised from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce regarding issues related to the Renewable Fuels Standard.

April 10, 2013

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Yesterday, NACS sent a response to questions (PDF)​ from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce white paper on the blend wall and Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The letter was sent to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA).

The response stated: “In general, NACS believes that the fundamental assumptions that guided Congress’ decision to expand the RFS in 2007 have changed. At that time, most expected the nation’s fuel demand and reliance on imported energy supplies to continue on an unrelenting upward trajectory. Today, these assumptions are no longer accurate — yet the program enacted in 2007 remains unchanged.

“The domestic fuels market is dynamic and conditions are ever changing. As such, it is important any long-term fuels policy be constructed with inherent flexibility to accommodate such changing market conditions. If not, the market is bound to encounter unintended consequences, most of which will be very difficult and potentially expensive to overcome. Ultimately, all expenses incurred by the market will be borne by the consumer. We are beginning to encounter such challenges with the implementation of the RFS and it is appropriate that Congress begin asking questions about the implementation strategy and the effect this program will have on the market.”

The response outlined in detail answers to questions about the effect of the blend wall on gasoline retail prices and the impact of E15. “NACS appreciates your interest in reviewing the complex issues surrounding this program and encourages you to proceed cautiously, to avoid politically charged reactionary policies and to consider options that will promote regulatory certainty and enable the market to deliver to the consumer the fuels they demand in the most cost efficient manner possible.”​

March 2013

NACS DAILY

E-Z MART IMPROVES SOCIAL, MOBILE MARKETING WITH OPENSTORE

The convenience retailer’s new website and mobile app are helping consumers find gas prices, locations and in-store promotions.

March 22, 2013

TEXARKANA – E-Z Mart Stores, with 300 locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, teamed up with OpenStore by GasBuddy to launch the new E-Z Mart website.

The new site is fully integrated with a mobile app to create a complete experience for the users.The app and website will allow customers to access updated gas prices, locations, in-store promotions, and more. Customers will be able to send feedback from their mobile phone, review job postings, and receive time-sensitive electronic mobile coupons

“We are excited about the partnership with OpenStore to reach our customers as they seek alternative ways to shop. The ability to connect with them while on the move with Deal Alerts and In-Store Promotions gives E-Z Mart a way to interact with our customers as never before,” said Bubba Kirkland, senior vice president of merchandising/food service at E-Z Mart

“OpenStore as a vendor was extremely professional and easy to work with. It’s exciting to me to see E-Z Mart enter into the mobile marketing and social media arena with the robust solution provided. There are numerous technological advantages, and at the same time we are increasing customer loyalty and sales. It’s a true Win-Win situation,” said Tom Withem, information resources manager at E-Z Mart.

February 2013

NACS DAILY

Credit Card Appeal Delayed Until Fall

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Court has ruled that an appeal of the proposed swipe fee settlement that was announced July 13, 2012, should wait until after objections to the settlement are filed and heard in September 2013.

The majority of named plaintiffs — including NACS — and approximately 1,200 additional merchants, oppose the proposed settlement and retailer groups have filed papers objecting to preliminary approval of the proposed settlement.

The court’s decision means that settlement notices to retailers across the country can continue to be distributed, and that retailers will have the opportunity to opt out of the monetary portion of the case and/or object to the proposed settlement before it goes to a fairness hearing this fall. Unless the proposed settlement is rejected, retailers will be forced to accept the inadequate rules changes and give the credit card industry the unbounded ability to abuse retailers in the future.

“The court’s decision to delay an appeal will motivate more retailers to oppose this proposed settlement,” said NACS Chairman Dave Carpenter, president and CEO of J.D. Carpenter Companies Inc. “The proposed settlement does little to address the broken system and could, in fact, make it worse. The courts ultimately cannot let that stand against the will of retailers.”

NACS believes the settlement is a bad deal for retailers, primarily because the relief it offers is inadequate and the release is overbroad. With the NACS board’s approval, NACS has decided to object to and opt out of the settlement.

NACS is both opting out and objecting to the proposed settlement because it offers class members money damages of only about two months’ worth of interchange and, among other things, limited modifications to Visa’s and MasterCard’s surcharging rules. Worse, the proposed settlement requires class members to release Visa and MasterCard from liability, forever, for any anticompetitive rules currently in place (including the interchange or swipe fee rules) and/or any “substantially similar rules” instituted at any time in the future.

Convenience retailers, including NACS member companies, are not covered by NACS’ objection. Retailers must decide how to respond to the proposed settlement.

“It is important to note that if you do nothing, it will be presumed by the court that you accept the terms of the proposed settlement,” said NACS President and CEO Henry Armour “Even if you submitted a declaration objecting to the proposed settlement last fall, you must respond to the notice and submit something in writing again if you want to opt-out of or object to the proposed settlement.”

Notices will be sent to retailers who accepted Visa and/or MasterCard at any time between January 1, 2004 and November 27, 2012.

Part of the proposed settlement already has taken effect. Beginning, January 27, 2013, retailers are allowed to add fees to try to recover the swipe fees they pay for credit card transactions. However, surcharges do not affect how swipe fees, the second-largest expense for most retailers, are set and merely make retailers the collection agents for the banks. Objections to the proposed deal from more than 1,200 retailers demonstrate that this is not what retailers want.

The named class plaintiffs opposing the proposed settlement of the case, which is known as “In Re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation,” are NACS, Affiliated Foods Midwest, Coborn’s Inc., D’Agostino Supermarkets, Jetro Holdings LLC, NATSO, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), National Grocers Association (NGA) and National Restaurant Association (NRA).

“It is clear that this battle is far from over, and we need retailers to once again make their voices heard,” said Carpenter. “It is in our best interests to stop this flawed proposal from being finalized.”

January 2013

Wayne Ovation™ Fuel Dispenser Discount for Qualifying CITGO® Branded Locations

Qualifying CITGO® branded locations that purchase eligible Wayne Ovation™ fuel dispensers by December 31, 2013, can receive $1,000 off each qualifying dispenser after applicable distributor discounts.

To qualify for this discount, all orders must be received by Wayne on or before December 31, 2013, and must be placed through a Wayne authorized distributor.