Related Content

Browse by Category

Browse by Date

Most Active

Newest Posts

Apparel Sells at Dodge City Petro Travel Plaza

Posted in: Truckstop Travels

Editor's note: Darren Schulte, NATSO vice president of membership, frequently visits NATSO members to review their locations and offers impactful merchandising and operations improvements. Contact Schulte at or (915) 526-5820 to learn more about the costs and details of this service.

Dodge City Petro-DodgeCityTeeShirtsJI.jpg

Apparel is a growing category for many NATSO members, and Dodge City Petro in Dodge City, Alabama, has created a successful apparel program.

Keith Wade, operations manager for the location, focuses on the appearance of the store, and even little things add to the overall experience and make clothes shopping easy for his customer. For example, when you look at his apparel, he doesn’t have different color hangers. Things aren’t thrown together and that is what makes apparel sell. 

Dodge City Petro-HillBillyHatsJI.jpg

Pricing on apparel is important and can drive additional purchases, and Wade uses it to his advantage. He understands that customers will respond to value, particularly value from buying multiples. However, the savings must be great enough to spur multiple sales. Offering something at $3.99 for one item or $10 for three won’t do the trick. Wade will make the value obvious, such as $7.99 for one or 3 for $10. He knows there is a benefit that comes from driving the multiple purchases. 

Dodge City PetroBaseballCapsJI.jpg

A lot of times people are stuck on a template that tells them they need to get a certain margin, but that isn’t always the case. He fully understands what the market will bear. He might sell one product at a lower price because he has to but he can sell another higher because the market will bear that. This applies to all of the store and not just apparel. 

Dodge City PetroTeeShirts-2for$35JI.jpg

Wade’s emphasis on apparel shows how committed he is to being an overall retailer, and that is important in our industry today. Stores that are good retailers are going to keep putting pressure on NATSO members, and to stay competitive, we have to play the retailing game. 

Dodge City PetroRoadKinglCapsJI.jpg

To learn more about how Wade excels in other parts of his store, read part one of this post on Wade’s overall retail strategy and part two on Wade’s use of departments and themes.

Dodge City PetroColorfulBaseballCapsJI.jpg

/// Did you know most weeks can find Darren Schulte, NATSO's Vice President of Memebrship,visiting a NATSO member truckstop location, spending three to four days, using his merchandising and operations expertise to help them grow their business? Learn about NATSO’s Profitable Retail Review program here.


Photos Credit: Darren Schulte/NATSO

Subscribe to Updates

About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.