Related Content

Browse by Category

Browse by Date

Most Comments

Most Active

Recent Comments

Newest Posts

Displays and Themes Reign Supreme 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 dschulte@natso.com or (915) 526-5820 to learn more about the costs and details of this service.

Dodge City Petro-DodgeCityPetroHatsJI.jpg

When it comes to succeeding in retail, it is important to make a location memorable and also make it easy to shop. Dodge City Petro in Dodge City, Alabama, has done both, which is getting customers through the door and making them want to return.

Keith Wade, operations manager for the location, has created a successful retail operation, which I covered in my last post, and a big chunk of that is his ability to create unique displays and departmentalize the location, making it easy for customers to shop and find what they want.

Dodge City Petro has tapped into its surroundings and gone with a western theme. There are wagons that are used as displays and fun elements, such as the location’s western looking outhouse inside the store. It has become a tourist attraction, and Wade said the location has had to fix it multiple times because it has gotten damaged from people taking photos in there.

Dodge City Petro-WagonPursesJI.jpg

Inside the walls of the location, Wade has completely departmentalized the store. You don’t just walk into the store and see a lot of stuff. It is put together well, and Wade is keenly aware of how people shop, how people buy and how they move through the location. He builds his retail to reflect that, and the signage is very clear and simple and Dodge City doesn’t make it challenging to go through the store.

Even the beverage cooler is completely departmentalized, and Wade doesn’t have crazy pricing. He doesn’t have one 18.5 ounce tea priced at X and another 18.5 ounce tea from another vendor priced at Y. He doesn’t have a tremendous amount of trade downs, which is something I think is important. 

Dodge City Petro-StoreAfter RemodelJI.jpg

When it makes sense, Wade has also tapped into the store-within-the-store concept. For example, he has an Orca section for Orca coolers, a military section for veterans, a truck supply section and an apparel section. Wade takes these different types of experiences and programs and does a really good job of melding them together.

DodgeCityPetro-KeychainsDisplay-WagonJI.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.

RequestaVisitBanner.jpg

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.