Atlantic Retailers Participate in National Lobby Day
Atlantic retailers including: Ramona Roberts, Terry Moore, Warren Maynard, Craig Pardy, Dennis Kim and Nick Pitre joined retailers from across Canada in Ottawa on September 16 as part of the Canadian Convenience Stores Association’s National Lobby Day. The retailers met with their regional members of parliament from all parties to create awareness of issues impacting the c-store industry.
The Atlantic retailers were consistent in their messaging to do more to stop contraband tobacco (implement Bill C-10 and introduce tougher measures to recuperate outstanding federal fines for tobacco offences), reduce credit card fees, leave the regulation of energy drinks alone, and understand that the unintended consequences of a flavored tobacco ban is demand for illegal, blackmarket products.
Contraband Tobacco Rates Alarming and High
New research commissioned by the ACSA shows that the average presence of illegal tobacco in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick has increased. The spring 2014 studies showed contraband levels of 20.4% in Nova Scotia and 22% in New Brunswick. Press release links can be found here.
A baggie of 200 illegal cigarettes represents about $45 in provincial taxes if those cigarettes were sold legally: “We have a situation here where millions of dollar in profits are going to organized crime from the sale of illegal tobacco and the provincial government is losing millions of dollars in tax revenue,” says ACSA President Mike Hammoud.
In a recent poll commissioned by the ACSA, 72% of adults in Nova Scotia and 68% of adults in New Brunswick said that it was important or very important that the provincial government enact tougher legislation to reduce the availability of illegal tobacco.
A new series of contraband studies are being done in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick while Newfoundland & Labrador has been added to the provinces being studied. Study results are expected shortly.
New Brunswick Election Work
The ACSA and New Brunswick members had good success in engaging provincial politicians and getting industry issues front and centre leading up to and during the recent New Brunswick provincial election.
Successes included a pre-election announcement by the former Alward government that tax revenue agreements with New Brunswick First Nations were to be cancelled and renegotiated. The ACSA and New Brunswick retailers had argued that the agreements were being used to gain a competitive advantage over non-native retailers, which was something that the agreements did not permit.
Another success was the participation of the PC, Liberal and NDP party leaders in C-Store Day and a commitment from them to work more closely with small business. Liberal leader Brian Gallant used a stop at a local c-store in Fredericton during C-Store Day to announce that if elected his government would “better police the illegal sale of contraband tobacco products and smuggling of tobacco and alcohol from other jurisdictions.”
The ACSA looks forward to working with newly elected Premier Gallant and his government to ensure that convenience store issues and interests are understood and acted upon.
Responsible Retail of electronic Cigarettes
The ACSA supports the Canadian Convenience Stores Association and the guidelines they created to ensure the responsible retailing of e-cigarettes. All Atlantic retailers are strongly encouraged to review and adopt the CCSA’s guidelines.
3rd Annual C-Store Day a Big Success
August 27 was a great day for Atlantic Canada with more than 100 community leaders and elected officials working behind the counter at local convenience stores throughout region and raising almost $50,000 for local charities.
All of the action was part of the ACSA’s third annual C-Store Day, a special day to recognize the community contribution of convenience store owners and operators and to fundraise for community causes.
The event has grown in leaps and bounds with the number of participating retailers increasing to more than 50 this year compared to nine in 2013 and four in 2012.
“We’re really onto something,” says ACSA President Mike Hammoud. “This has become a must-do event for local community leaders.”
Retailer Spotlight: Margie Boone
Margie Boone has been a part of the convenience store industry all her life since she began working in small mom and pop shops at the young age of 13. Today, more than five decades later, you can find Margie managing the Kenmount Corner Store in St. John’s.
What is Margie’s secret to a successful and happy career in the convenience store industry?
“It’s the people” says Margie. “One of the things I enjoy most is meeting and chatting with customers and working closely with my staff. I love it, I love my job!”
To read more about Margie’s story, click here.
Annual Industry Update and Retail Convenience Awards
The Retail Convenience Awards is an opportunity to recognize the best in our business. The event sees hundreds of retailers from all Atlantic provinces come together to network, exchange information, discuss industry issues, and celebrate the awards finalists. Nominations are accepted in seven awards categories and the results presented during the awards gala. This year the Retail Convenience Awards will be held on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The ACSA is excited to have Jim Mathis from Kennesaw, Georgia as the 2014 Keynote Speaker. Jim, an international Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), has been presenting, leading conferences and consulting for more than 30 years. He is a specialist in the reinvention process for businesses and organizations and will speak on how convenience stores in Atlantic Canada can reinvent themselves and their offers for better profits. Other confirmed guests and speakers include, Jamie Baillie, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia, and Mark Furey, minister of Service Nova Scotia.
Here is a full list of the 2014 Retail Convenience Awards finalists
Corporate Convenience Store Operator of the Year
– Paul Mahar, Need’s Convenience, NS
– Dave Morgan, Frecker Drive Circle K, NL
– Derrick & Wanda Stuckey, Kelligrews Orangestore, NL
Independent Convenience Store Operator of the Year
– Brian LeBlanc – Point Park Petro Canada, NB
– James Allan Sutherland, Big Al’s Convenience, NS
– Larry & Jacinta Arsenault, Elmsdale Corner Gas & Convenience Store, PE
– Lee El-Rabahi, Hydrostone Groceteria, NS
– Leno Ribahi – Leno’s Stop Shop, NS
Emerging Convenience Store Business/Operator of the Year
– Bob Carmichael, Stratford Quick-Stop, PE
– Belinda Nason, The Tracy Store, NB
– Jenny & Trevor Rodrigues, Needs Convenience, NS
Industry Partner and Leader (Non-Regulatory)
– Karic Sales (Red Bull)
– Coca-Cola Refreshments
– Atlantic Lottery Corporation
Industry Partner and Leader (Regulatory)
– Senator Pierrette Ringuette
– Bruce Northrup, MLA, Kings East, New Brunswick
– Honourable Diana Whalen, Deputy Minister and Minister of Finance and the Treasury Board, Government of Nova Scotia
– Dasani Drops
– Pepsi NEXT
– Bomb Energy Drink
– PowerBar ProteinPlus Bars
– Stride Sour Patch Kids Gum
– AERO Caramel Big Bubble Bar/ AERO Strawberry Big Bubble Bar
– Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel Popcorn