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How to Create Easter Baskets for Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

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We’ve written many blog posts and Stop Watch magazine articles about the importance of tapping into the additional sales opportunities available during the holidays. (Managing the Challenge of Holiday Schedules at Your Truckstop, Seven Tips for Tapping Into Holiday Sales At Your Truckstop and 10 Ways To Be A Better Holiday Merchandiser Than Santa Claus to name just a few of the many.)

Don’t forget we even have a Sample Truckstop Marketing Calendar available for download.

Not only do locations see an increase in the number of four-wheeler passengers stopping in as they travel to be with friends and family, professional drivers are often on the look out for gifts for loved ones while they’re out on the road.

I sat down with Thomas Petrauskas, manager of Greater Chicago Truck Plaza in Bolingbrook, Illinois, to learn how they take advantage of the Easter holiday by building custom Easter baskets.

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Petrauskas began building and selling the baskets a couple of years ago. “The hard part was learning how to present the stuff in the basket. You can buy a lot of stuff and it will not look very full,” he said. While they starting taping down the items last year, this year he really perfected the look by taping the items that can hang to the handle and then taping the candy to the things that hang. Bigger items are taped to the side and one or two items are placed in the fake grass.

Another presentation suggestion is to wrap the baskets in a clear gift bag. “We used to put an easter bag around it, but you couldn’t see inside,” he said. “It is way more fun for a kid when they can see inside.”

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After working with vendors on the parts, Petrauskas puts the baskets together himself. “The first one takes half an hour, but after you have it all worked out, they go pretty quickly,” he said.

While in year’s past the baskets only included toys, this year they added candy at the request of their customers. “I see this stuff at Walmart, but we try to do better than those. We try to keep in mind what a kid would really want,” he said.

The baskets are primarily bought by professional drivers who take them home to their kids. They are placed by the register starting after Ash Wednesday, which he considers the start of the Easter season. “They are all gone by Easter,” he said.

While Easter is the only time they do baskets, they do make gift bundles for other holidays. “For example, for Valentine's Day we do a bundle with candy and fake roses,” he shared.

The basket making effort are paying off. “The drivers say they are very happy they can shop for what they need at our truckstop,” he said.

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Photo Credit: Thomas Petrauskas/Greater Chicago Truck Plaza

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About the Author

Amy Toner

Amy Toner

Toner markets NATSO products, services and meetings. She is the content editor of NATSO's core websites, Stop Watch magazine and Highway Business Matters biweekly articles. In addition, she provides creative services across all departments. Toner joined NATSO in 2006. Prior to joining the association, she served as director of membership services at an association for ambulatory surgery centers. Toner lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son.

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