NACS Show Hits Record Numbers

A record number of buyers fueled a 7.2 percent surge in NACS Show attendance this year, as attendance hit 24,056, the second highest ever, and only 309 short of the record set in 2004.

Records abounded at the NACS Show this year. The number of buyers (retailers, wholesalers and distributors) was up an astonishing 17.1% to reach 9,764. Both NACS and Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) buyer registration increased 17 percent compared to 2011, with NACS buyers hitting a record 8,057 — nearly 3% more than the previous record set in 2004. PEI buyer registration was 1,707, the third-highest total ever.

Attendees came from a record 65 countries and international attendance was a record 2,482 delegates.

The NACS Show took place October 7 to 10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It is ranked as one of the 50 largest annual trade shows in the United States.

The NACS Show featured a 381,050-plus net-square-foot exposition with 1,176 exhibiting companies — of which 200 companies were new to the NACS Show. More than 150 companies were waitlisted to for the expo, which was sold to fire marshal-mandated capacity.Extending the value of the expo to both retailers and exhibitors, the Cool New Products Preview Room featured 306 products, another record.

In addition, the NACS Show featured three days of general sessions and 53 educational sessions. The educational sessions alone drew a cumulative 9,889 attendees, averaging out to nearly 190 attendees per session, the most ever recorded. Reflecting the growing international scope of the NACS Show, the general sessions were translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, and select educational sessions were translated into Portuguese and Spanish.

“Our record numbers reaffirm the value that the NACS Show delivers to our industry,” said NACS Vice Chairman of Convention Pat Lewis, partner of Oasis Stop ’N Go LLC, headquartered in Twin Falls, Idaho. “The NACS Show is an annual must-attend event for retailers who see attendance as an investment in their businesses. With our theme of ‘One idea can change your business,’ ideas were everywhere, whether in sessions, networking opportunities or on the expo floor. As far as investments go, could there be any better one for your business?”

“The NACS Show was a clear success, with positive stories from across our diverse supplier community about the robust foot traffic throughout the run of the event,” said NACS Supplier Board Chairman Lucia Romanello Crater, vice president of retail sales for Cardtronics Inc.  “With the opportunity for significant business-building activities with existing clients and leveraging new relationships with convenience store prospects, suppliers were clearly able to optimize their NACS experience and deliver a recognized return on their NACS Show investment.”

At the conclusion of the NACS Show, a cumulative56tons of leftover product from exhibitors was donated to two charitable organizations: Three Square, a local food bank, and Operation Interdependence, which provides goods to the military troops and their families.

The industry’s value proposition of convenience continues to be embraced by consumers, as noted by several NACS Show general session speakers. The U.S. convenience store industry alone conducts160 million transactions per day. There are 148,126 convenience stores in the United States — one per every 2,100 people. In 2011, U.S. convenience stores had $681 billion in sales — more than the sales of the country’s restaurants ($632 billion) or supermarkets ($584 billion) and far greater than drug stores ($222 billion, not including prescriptions). Overall, convenience store sales in 2011 were one out of every 22 dollars of the overall $15.04 trillion U.S. gross domestic product. The U.S. convenience store industry had sales that would rank it the 19th largest country by gross domestic product, between Turkey and Switzerland.

While the NACS Show has concluded, both attendees and non-attendees can still experience the NACS Show. The 55-minute “Ideas 2 Go” DVD is for sale at And, the NACS Show Virtual showcases videos on Cool New Products and the future of fuels. Fifteen educational sessions and general session presentations will be available for broadcast on NACS Show Virtual beginning October 30. Subscription pricing varies, ranging from $25 to $200; more information is available at

The 2013 NACS Show will take place October 12 to 15 in Atlanta. Highlights from the 2012 NACS Show and information on the 2013 NACS Show can be found at

The NACS Show is also a business meeting. At the conclusion of the event, Dave Carpenter, president and CEO of West Des Moines-based J.D. Carpenter Companies Inc., was named the association’s 2012-13 chairman of the board, succeeding Tom Robinson. Carpenter also chairs the NACS Executive Committee, which provides strategic direction and financial oversight to the association.

Also named to the NACS Executive Committee were the following NACS retail members:

·         NACS Vice Chairman-Treasurer: Brad Call, general counsel and executive vice president of adventure culture at North Salt Lake, Utah-based Maverik Inc.

·         NACS Vice Chairman of Convention: Patrick Lewis, partner at Twin Falls, Idaho-based Oasis Stop ’N Go Convenience Stores

·         NACS Vice Chairman of Member Services: Jack Kofdarali, president at Corona, California-based J&T Management Inc.

·         NACS Vice Chairman of Government Relations: Steve Loehr, vice president of operations support at LaCrosse, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip Inc.

·         NACS Vice Chairman of NACSPAC, Peter Tedeschi, president and CEO at Rockland, Massachusetts-based Tedeschi Food Shops

·         NACS Vice Chairman of Research: Joseph Sheetz, executive vice president of finance and store development at Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Sheetz Inc.

·         NACS Vice Chairman: Tony Kenney, president at Enon, Ohio-based Speedway LLC

NACS also named five new members to its Board of Directors:

  • Leocadio de Alemeida Filho Antunes, CEO, Ipiranga Produtos de Petróleo S/A (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Ari Haseotes, president and COO, Cumberland Farms Inc. (Framingham, Massachusetts)
  • Richard Parry, president & CEO, Aloha Petroleum Ltd. (Honolulu, Hawai’i)
  • Dan Pastor, CEO, Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (Richmond, Virginia)
  • Darren Rebelez, executive vice president and chief operating officer, 7-Eleven, Inc. (Dallas, Texas)

On the supplier side, Lucia Romanello Crater, vice president of retail sales for Cardtronics Inc., was named 2012-2013 chairman of the NACS Supplier Board. Bob Sears,director of trade and state relations, Altria Group Distribution Co., was named chair-elect and will succeed Crater as 2013-2014 chairman.

NACS has held an annual meeting every year since its founding in 1961, but it wasn’t until 1976 that the meeting included a full-scale expo, which was part of the meeting every two or three years. The annual meeting became the annual NACS Show in 1993. The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) has held its Fall Meeting as part of the NACS Show since in 1995 and PEI has held its annual meeting as part of the NACS Show since in 2002. Today, the NACS Show is rotated between three cities: Chicago, Las Vegas and Atlanta.