Serve Customers as a Category Leader


Truckstop and travel plaza operators are always looking to improve their offerings and better serve their customers, and industry suppliers are in the ideal position to share data and provide the category leadership that can help operators take their business to the next level.

When it comes to sales figures, truckstop and travel plaza operators have data from inside their stores, but they don’t always know how that compares to the industry as a whole. Industry suppliers can give their customers added insight by sharing sales data for specific products and within specific product categories.

Darren Schulte, vice president of retail merchandising for TSC Global, said all too often retailers don’t ask for help. Suppliers can position themselves as valuable partners by offering information and letting their customer knows what information they can provide.

Suppliers also can help operators address goods that aren’t moving quickly. “It is very useful for the supplier to recognize that if a product has a low stock turn, something needs to be done about it,” said Chris Harris, owner of Retail Strategies. He added that the average stock time for the c-store industry is four months.

To best serve their customers, suppliers may want to consider selling items in smaller quantities. “[Truckstop operators] need to be able to buy by the ‘eaches.’ Instead of buying large quantities, they could buy smaller numbers,” Harris said.

Schulte said suppliers tend to stay current on trends within their industry, which can also be valuable information they can pass on to operators. “I am always getting data from other companies. I look at trends to see what is new and hot and exciting. An owner can look at that type of information and also talk to his managers and drivers to get a complete picture,” he said.

{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's photo

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
Highway Business Matters (HBM)
Supplier Focus:
Retail Strategies
Retailer Featured:
TSC Global

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