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Six More Ways to Turn Your Truckstop Into a Treasure Truck of Sales

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators, Marketing & Retail

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Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators

Six More Ways to Turn Your Truckstop Into a Treasure Truck of Sales 

Last month, I shared Five Ways to Turn Your Truckstop Into a Treasure Truck of Sales.

Before I dive back in and share five more ideas, I want to recap the highlights:

  • Amazon Treasure Truck is a deals program that lets people buy a heavily discounted item through Amazon’s mobile app and then pick it up from the truck at a designated location. The launch had as an example an inflatable stand-up paddleboard set for $99 rather than the normal $475. Amazon was planning to launch the truck in Seattle.

  • You can buy cellular accessories, antennae, CB’s, two-way radios, clothes, radar detectors, etc. from Amazon. These are the very items that our core customer buy. Perceivably they could order them from the Treasure Truck and pick it up as they fueled or even as they wait out their hours of service.

  • As the world gets smaller and time more fleeting, competition for our customers flat to shrinking available spend is growing. To compete, you must GET CREATIVE with your sales.

Here are six more ideas.

  1. Work with your vendors to create one-day specials. They should be held on your busiest retail days or your busiest in store transaction day and be designed to turn the unproductive and slow moving merchandise into revenue. Of course, your special should be done smartly so be sure to use our Truckstop Gross Margin Breakeven Worksheet. Create an annual calendar and stick to your program as you develop it. (Don't forget, we created a sample truckstop marketing calendar for download.)

  2. Host a local music event where you cook hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn and the like.

  3. Host an event with local law enforcement such as an IdentAKid registration. Make it a robust event by including additions like the girl scouts, a blood drive, a table from the local animal shelter, etc.

  4. Create local community events like paint your face days, arts and crafts days or book exchange days. Families are looking for things to do on the weekend. By offering family-friendly events, you are showing families that you want their business.

  5. Develop a program to host local flea markets. I have attended many a flea market directly off state highways or interstates. Locally, there is one just off I-10 that is held every Saturday on the back side of a shopping center.

  6. Partner with mobile food trucks. You could lease them a small spot on your lot for a fee to take advantage of Monday through Friday diesel traffic. Mobile trucks may already be setting up shop right on the street by your truckstop or just off your exit. If you do not believe they are frequenting these locations, call a member or two, some are battling them as I type. You can provide electricity, safety, lighting, Wi-Fi, among other benefits that they may find attractive. In Tulsa, Austin, New Haven and El Paso I have stopped at lots set up to host several food trucks, literally a cornucopia of food.

Related Content:

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/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here.

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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.