- National Association of Convenience Stores
NACS, the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing Formation 1961 Type Association Legal status Nonprofit Headquarters Alexandria, Virginia Website http://www.nacsonline.com
NACS is an international trade association representing the convenience and fuel retailing industry.
NACS was founded August 14, 1961, as the National Association of Convenience Stores. It is an international trade association representing more than 2,100 retail and 1,500 supplier company members. NACS member companies do business in nearly 50 countries worldwide, with the majority of members based in the United States. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 146,000 stores across the country, posted $575.6 billion in total sales in 2010, with $385.3 billion in motor fuels sales.
NACS serves the convenience and fuel retailing industry by providing industry knowledge, connections and advocacy to ensure the competitive viability of its members' businesses. In 2007, the association shortened its name to NACS and added a qualifying statement that better defines its presence both internationally and at the retail fueling level: The Association for Convenience and Petroleum Retailing. In 2010, this statement was further enhanced to The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing.
Each February 2, in anticipation of the seasonal transition to summer-blend fuels, NACS publishes its online gas price kit, which examines consumer perceptions about gas prices, the conditions that affect gas prices, and dozens of resources and data that explain the gasoline retail marketplace.
While 49 of the top 50 convenience stores in the United States are members of NACS, the majority of its members are small, independent operators. More than 70 percent of its total membership are companies that operate 10 stores or less. This membership base roughly tracks the industry as a whole. Of the 145,000 convenience stores in the United States, 62 percent are owned and operated by someone who only has one store.
Its website, NACS Online, includes a frequently updated blog, NACS TV video clips, NACS Daily news stories that are published each business day, and a variety of other resources for both retailers and suppliers. As a benefit of membership, NACS members receive unlimited subscriptions to NACS Magazine, the association’s award-winning monthly publication that focuses on trends, best practices, metrics and analysis.
NACS is the industry's voice in the federal government — to the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Its issues are as varied as the industry it represents, from motor fuels to credit card fees to labor to taxes. Here is an overview:
Motor Fuels: NACS is the industry’s leading advocate on motor fuels policy and represents 80 percent of the country’s retail fuel sales.
As the leading retailer of motor fuels — gasoline and diesel fuel — the convenience store industry has a vested interest in legislation and regulations that affect the production, distribution and ultimate price and supply of motor fuels at the retail level of trade. In addition, convenience stores have a specific responsibility to securely store and dispense motor fuels, a responsibility that is constantly scrutinized by regulators at the federal and state level. NACS recognizes the unique role of the convenience store retailer within the motor fuel system and represents the industry's interests before Congress and the administration.
Credit Card Fees: Credit card fees, or swipe fees, are the convenience and petroleum retailing industry’s top pain point. In 2008, credit card fees surged another 10.5 percent to reach a record $8.4 billion — nearly three times the level just five years ago — an amount more than $3 billion greater than convenience store industry pretax profits. The largest component of these fees is known as “interchange,” a fee charged by the cardholder’s bank to the retailer’s bank and passed on to the retailer. Interchange fees are far higher than the actual processing costs and risks involved, yet these transactions fees continue to rise.
NACS is currently urging the United States Congress to persuade the credit card companies to explain their fees, practices and policies to retailers and the public. NACS is the named plaintiff in a class action suing not only Visa and MasterCard, but also their issuing banks. This suit has been combined with over 40 other suits and has been given the lead status in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. At the same time, NACS has helped form the Merchants Payment Coalition (MPC), which is working for a more competitive and transparent credit card fee system that better serves American consumers and merchants alike.
Labor: The convenience store industry employs 1.73 million Americans, and labor costs are the largest expense category for the industry. NACS seeks to work with congressional leaders on labor issues so that retailers can control their costs and not have to make the choice between offering benefits and hiring new employees.
NACS 50th anniversary website
The NACS 50th anniversary Website shares how the convenience and fuels retailing industry has grown and where it is heading. From its humble beginnings as small corner stores in the 1920s to today's often 5,000-square-foot-plus locations, NACS has helped support this dynamic industry — whether before the U.S. Congress, with education and training programs, top-level industry-specific events and products and services to help build retailer profits and improve store operations.
Beginning with the 1960s, each decade takes a look back at where the convenience store gained momentum as a viable and competitive retail channel of trade and the role NACS continues to play in helping shape today's convenience and fuel retailing industry.
NACS produces a variety of products to help retailers grow their businesses, from research and marketing to human resources support to category management.
NACS also has several industry-specific reports and programs that define the industry’s performance:
- The NACS State of the Industry Report, the industry’s premier benchmarking tool and most comprehensive collection of firm-level, store-level and category data and trends based on the convenience store industry’s annual performance
- CSX, the largest purpose-built, online database of financial and operating data in the industry
- Consumer Tracking Program, a store-level shopper entry and exit research and insight program
NACS Show: Typically held in October, is the industry’s signature event. In addition to NACS, the event features strategic alliances with the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) and Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI). Drawing more than 22,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors which cover nearly 400,000 net square feet, it rotates between three cities: Las Vegas, Chicago and Atlanta. The event also features over 60 workshops and three general sessions. The 2012 NACS Show will take place October 7–10 in Las Vegas. The NACS Show also is considered a buying show — it typically ranks first in the country among all shows with respect to “buying power” — attendee’s ability to recommend or make purchases – based on data collected by Exhibitor Surveys Inc.
NACStech: The association’s annual technology-based trade show. In 2012, it will take place May 21–23 at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center in Nashville, TN. Approximately 1,300 attendees and more than 100 exhibitors are expected at NACStech, which also will feature 24 workshops dedicated to critical industry topics including PCI and triple DES compliance, state-of-the-art loyalty programs and maximizing POS strategies.
NACS State of the Industry Summit: The event delivers a thorough review of trends and opportunities by dissecting comprehensive industry data. The 2012 event will take place April 3–5 in Chicago.
NACS Global Forum: The annual event allows retailers and suppliers to interact with their counterparts from other countries, share global best practices, understand emerging trends, gain consumer insights and experience new ideas in the convenience channel. The 2012 Forum will take place June 29 – July 2 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
NACS develops a host of other targeted events, including the NACS Introduction to Category Management Seminar, NACS Advanced Category Management Seminar, Human Resources Forum, NACS Leadership Challenge and the NACS Leadership Executive Program.
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