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Four Ways to Make the Most of End Caps at Your Truckstop

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


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

Four Ways to Make the Most of End Caps at Your Truckstop

End caps are prime real estate within a truckstop and they need to say “Bam, buy me!”

To maximize the effectiveness of end caps, make sure they:

Suggestive sell. Sure, your cashiers can recommend a salty snack to go with a soda, but the first chance you have to recommend profitable salty/nuts/seeds snacks to customers buying sodas is to place an end cap near the soda cooler doors. Are there other products you suggestive sell at the register? Is there a way to draw attention to it with an end cap?

Encourage customers to bundle products. End caps by coolers should drive additional sales related to the product in the coolers. For example, could bread, peanut butter and jelly be placed adjacent to the milk/meat/cheese cooler door? What other items in your store could you bundle together?

Make a statement, but don’t steal the show. You want end caps to get your customers’ attention, but you still want them to see the rest of the store. Make sure end caps don’t eliminate the sight lines to other revenue sources.

Convey quality. Think about your message your displays are sending. Do they look nice? Are they covered with dust? Make sure they have proper signage and point-of-purchase messaging. Many customers won’t buy an item unless the price is clear. You’ll also want to make sure they aren’t missing peg hooks or other components that will lessen your brand.

Next time you’re in a grocery store, big box retailer or even a competitor’s location, look at the way they use end caps. Are there similar strategies you might use in your location? 

Photo Credit: Jules Clifford/NATSO

/// 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.