Nice N Easy To Be Sold To CST Brands

Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, an iconic New York convenience store company, will be sold to Texas based CST Brands. CST announced the signing of a definitive agreement on Aug. 20 to acquire the convenience store assets, franchisor rights and associated trademarks of Nice N Easy.

Based in Canastota, N.Y, Nice N Easy operates 77 corporate and franchise stores in Central New York. The company operations include 33 company operated stores along with 44 franchise locations. Nice N Easy has been at the forefront of the foodservice growth in convenience stores with the presence of its own Easy Street Eatery concept in many of its corporate stores, adding to an already extended grocery products offer.

Fran Duskiewicz, president and chief executive officer of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, said, “Nice N Easy's founder, the late John MacDougall, started this process a year ago with very specific provisions about the sale that would protect the Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes name, image, people and his legacy. It is bittersweet that we have reached this point without him with us to enjoy the potential growth of our program that we believe CST Brands will provide. Company culture is everything to us and we've made a decision that will allow that culture to continue and grow with a group with whom we share many business philosophies.”

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N.H Issues State Of Emergency On Synthetic Marijuana

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan has declared a State of Emergency as a result of recent overdoses in Manchester and Concord involving the use or misuse of the synthetic cannabinoid identified as “Smacked!” Commonly referred to as “spice,” synthetic cannabinoids are chemically engineered substances similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Spice is a mixture of herbs and spices typically sprayed with a synthetic compound, chemically similar to THC.

This synthetic marijuana is marketed as potpourri, labeled “not for human consumption” and sells for $10 a packet This designer drug began showing up in Manchester in 2011. It became illegal in New Hampshire on Aug. 18, 2012, but continues to be sold because the chemical content is constantly changed by the manufacturers so that it falls within legal limits. Gov. Hassan stated, “… I have declared a State of Emergency so that we can move quickly to stop the sale of this dangerous substance that has caused an outbreak of serious overdoses.” While authorities say they are not related to the series of overdoses at this time, samples of at least two other brands of synthetic cannabinoids, “Crazy Monkey” and “Green Giant,” have tested positive for controlled substances. It is illegal to sell or consume these controlled substances under New Hampshire law.

Manchester officials have already shut down three convenience stores that allegedly sold the synthetic marijuana “spice” connected to the overdoses.

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NACS, Other Groups Want Supreme Court To Hear Swipe Fee Appeal

NACS, along with several merchant associations and companies, including Food Marketing Institute (FMI) would like the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their appeal of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld the Federal Reserve’s debit swipe fee rules. NACS initially challenged the Fed’s swipe fee rules soon after they became effective in 2011. The U.S. District Court agreed with NACS that the Fed’s rules did not follow the law, but the D.C. Circuit later disagreed.

Other groups litigating the case along with NACS are: FMI, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Boscov’s department stores and Miller Oil Company. The Fed initially proposed a debit swipe fee rule that was largely consistent with the law passed by Congress, limiting price-fixing by the card companies and largest banks to reduce debit card swipe fees that merchants and their customers pay. After heavy lobbying by the banks, however, the Fed abruptly changed its view of the law and dramatically inflated the amount of the fees that the big banks could charge. This caused the fees that many businesses pay to go up rather than down, The Supreme Court will now decide whether it will agree to decide a case that affects prices that consumers pay more than 100 million times every day.

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Latest Word in C-Store News...

Leo Vercollone, president of VERC Enterprises, has been named president of the New England Convenience Store Assn.

• Alimentation Couche -Tard released a statement saying it has no plan to invest in a minority stake in China’s Sinpec company

• Jack Link’s Beef Jerky has named Tony Dunning executive vice president of customer development and will lead all sales activity of Link Snack brands in North America.

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