One Voice: Derek Gaskins
What role in the community do you think convenience stores should play?
Convenience stores should continue to be pillars in the communities we serve. We provide the fuel customers need to live their lives. Focusing on delivering exceptional service and quality products in a fast manner has long been a hallmark of the channel. We are relied on, and this essential retail responsibility should be embraced.
What does NACS political engagement mean to you, and what benefits have you experienced from being politically engaged?
It means collective action with other leaders to effect real change. We make our voices heard in Washington, D.C., and through the process, get to know our political representatives better. This is how good government advocacy should work. NACS is well respected on Capitol Hill, and when all members embrace political engagement, it amplifies our voices.
What federal legislative or regulatory issues keep you up at night?
Swipe fees and the need for competition to reduce rates continue to be a major concern. With mounting inflation, record fuel prices, wage pressures and other economic challenges, reducing swipe fees will directly benefit consumers. It also will deliver relief to small and large operators as our expenses have reached unprecedented levels. I am hopeful that the proposed bipartisan legislation, the Credit Card Competition Act, will gain support from both legislative branches and create competition between Visa and Mastercard for retailers’ business, just as debit does today.
What c-store product could you not live without?
This is a tough one. I would have to say sparkling water and an Allsup’s Burrito!