Increasing Female Customers can Boost Sales for Truckstop Operators and Their Suppliers


Women are an important part of the nation’s consumers. They represent a significant amount of buying power and can be among the most loyal and supportive customers a business has. By promoting offerings that appeal to women, truckstop operators and their suppliers can boost overall sales among that demographic. Even better, retail expert Chris Harris of Retail Strategies, said his research has shown that retailers that strive to appeal to women will also appeal to men.

There are certain things women look for in the businesses they frequent, with cleanliness and safety topping the list. Industry suppliers that provide cleaning products may find it helpful to talk with operators about how a clean location adds to the overall shopping experience and adds to the consumer value proposition.

Holly Buchanan, marketing expert and co-author of The Soccer Mom Myth - Today's Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys, said women also value customer service. “Look up and smile at me and at the end of a transaction and say, ‘Have a nice day.’ Women notice that, but men will like it as well,” she explained.

Buchanan said that in an effort to appeal to women, many companies are installing brighter signage that utilizes curves, which also appeal to Gen Y. “Holiday Inn changed their logo to a brighter green and more of a scriptive H. It is a classic example of updating their logo to a more female friendly design,” Buchanan said.

In addition to the appearance of the store, women value what’s inside. Buchanan said an upscale gourmet coffee offering can attract women. “The upscale gourmet coffee options with a clean station should be front and center,” she said.

Healthier food options are important to women as well. Snacks, such as nuts, fresh fruits, yogurt, cheeses, veggies and protein bars all appeal to women on the go. Those same snacks also appeal to men looking for healthy snacks, Buchanan said.

Several operators said they carry products tailored to women, such as jewelry and souvenirs. Tristen Griffith, Sacramento 49er, said, “We have an area in front of our restaurant that is a woman’s section. Black Hills Gold is a big seller, so we have quite a bit of that.”

By specifically touting products that appeal to women, industry suppliers may be able to highlight this significant market share for truckstop operators and help them tailor their offerings to attract women and men alike.

{HBMHighway Business Matters is a brief semi-monthly newsletter created exclusively for companies that provide products or services to the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Highway Business Matters will keep you informed on trends, tactics, and tips to help you connect to the $65 billion truckstop and travel plaza industry. 

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Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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