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NATSO Blog: Marketing & Retail

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Three Categories of Products RVs Need at Your Truckstop Right Now

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

We typically associate warm summer months with camping and road trips, but you might be surprised at the number of RVs hitting the highways around the holidays. In addition to those who travel and live in their RVs full-time and the predictable caravan of snowbirds traveling south for the New Year, the holidays also provide a great excuse for more casual users to drag their rig out for vacation or bring their own accommodations when visiting family and friends. Now is a good time to promote the RV-friendly products you sell year round, as well as some holiday- and cold-weather specific ones.

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Busy Bee is On-Point with Apparel

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

Apparel can be a lucrative profit center for NATSO members that invest in the category. Elizabeth Waring, president of Johnson & Johnson Inc., which operates Busy Bee locations, sat down with NATSO to share her thoughts on how she is making the most of apparel and the value it brings to her customers.

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Holiday Retail Sales are Important: Nine Ideas for What Your Truckstop Could Stock for the Holidays

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

As I type this we have 56 days until Christmas. If you have not ordered your LED Christmas Lights for drivers to hang on their trucks you may already be out of luck. What about that bag with a handful of charcoal briquettes inside strategically placed on the counter and sold for a buck or so? Everyone loves to get a bag of coal for Christmas. If you do not have Christmas and other holiday gifts and products in the store already, get on the phone now and get them ordered.

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Holiday Retail Sales Are Important at Truckstops Too

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

I had the pleasure in the past three weeks to visit with owners and managers of a combination of 18 new and current member locations. I saw awesome stores with a lot of exciting happenings. I was, however, surprised to see how few of the operations had yet to prepare for the Halloween holiday let alone Christmas. We will talk Christmas on the next blog.

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6 More Tips to Better Serve RV Customers at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

After a NATSO member asked me how she could drive more RV traffic to her travel center, I sat down with a friend who has spent the better part of four years and accumulated more than 100,000 miles traveling the country in a diesel-powered pickup towing a 30-foot travel trailer to learn more about his life on the road.

He shared his experiences and made some recommendations for how truckstops and travel plazas could better serve RVers.

He had a lot of great stuff to share! Here are seven more recommendations on how to attract and serve RV traffic.

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8 Tips to Better Serve RV Customers at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

A member recently asked me how she could drive more RV traffic to her travel center. RVs are a growing market and an often untapped customer base for travel plaza operators.

Whether we’re talking about those who take out their motorhomes and travel trailers on the weekends, the surprising number who use them to live on the road seasonally or full-time, these customers seek many of the same amenities you’re already offering to professional over-the-road drivers. If RVers aren’t on your radar, they should be.

I recently sat down with a friend who has spent the better part of four years and accumulated more than 100,000 miles traveling the country in a diesel-powered pickup towing a 30-foot travel trailer to learn more about his life on the road. He shared his experiences and made some recommendations for how truckstops and travel plazas could better serve RVers.

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Taking in the Big Rigs at Shell Rotella SuperRigs at White's Travel Plaza

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

last month. Employees, travelers, professional drivers, locals and the Shell Big Rig team all brought a level of enthusiasm that added to all that the location offers.

White’s, which is owned by NATSO member Bobby Berkstresser and located on I-81 in Raphine, Va., is always a popular location, and when you add a spectacular event like the Shell Big Rigs, it becomes even more of a draw. The professional drivers that I had the opportunity to talk to rearranged their schedules with their companies so they could participate in the excitement.

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3 Reasons To Care About The Cold Coffee Category from S&D Coffee & Tea

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

Iced coffee. Cold brew coffee. Frozen coffee.

These aren’t just variations on a theme; each is a distinct member of a larger beverage category that is gaining prominence: cold coffee.

When it comes to the cold coffee category, operators need to pay attention. Here are three reasons to care about the cold coffee category.

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Six Ways to Improve Your Speed-of-Service at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail, Operations

Professional drivers and consumers are increasingly pressed for time, and it isn’t just because they have somewhere to be. For Class 8 truck drivers, hours-of-service regulations and electronic logging devices strictly dictate how they must spend their time, and they have to get the most out of every minute.

So, my question to independent truckstop and travel plaza operators is with all these changes that are taking place revolving around speed, what are we doing about it? Are you staffing to get customers in and out quickly? Are you laying the store out for speed? Are you designing the parking lot and fuel pumps to get trucks in and out faster?

My nephew is a professional driver and tells me he recently began to stop at QuickTrip because no matter how busy they are, he is always in and out within 30 minutes for food, fuel and the restroom. That tells us so much about where the industry is heading.

Here are six areas where you can drive the speed-of-service at your location.

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Key Factors to Consider When Developing a Rebate Program at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

Everyone loves a retail rebate program. Certainly all retail rebate programs are good, right? Certainly they generate more profit for my organization. Or, are they much like fuel programs that you sign up for that are supposed to generate more fuel gallons for your location via a reduced cost to the customer when in the end all they do is generate less profit on customer gallons you already have? Hence, you discount gallons that you are already servicing and the few new gallons generated do not offset the loss profit of the old gallons.

But let’s get back to retail rebates. What should you consider when developing a rebate program?

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