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Is Anyone Spending $145.13 on Easter at Your Truckstop?

Posted in: Truckstop Business


Americans will spend a whopping $17.2 billion this year on Easter according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). According to the report, “the average person celebrating Easter this year will spend about $145.13 on candy, décor, apparel and food.”

Are you getting any of those opportunity sales?

Last week I drove over 1,400 miles visiting members and potential members in and around the Texas triangle. I noticed a distinct difference between the travel plazas and truckstops and the c-stores on the interstates and highways as it applies to retailing for this holiday. Very few of the travel plazas and truckstops locations had prepared themselves for the holiday sales opportunity, while the c-stores had items such as Easter baskets, Easter candy shippers and 12pk promotions themed with flavors associated with children such as Fanta grape, Sunkist orange and A&W Root Beer. Even the beer vendors provided marketing that reminded us about BBQ, parties and picnics.

While you may have missed the Easter sales opportunity this year, stick it in your planner for next year and ensure you are prepared on 2014.

I noticed the same thing for those locations that experience the spring break rush. On the I-10 corridor in Southwest Texas, the interstate c-store locations were prepared for spring breakers while most of the travel plazas and truckstops were not. Displays of sunglasses, flip flops, sandals, hats, visors, t-shirts and tank tops, and other related spring break goodies abounded in the c-stores all welcoming this customer and their opportunity sale; all this was done in conjunction with the Easter opportunity for sales.

So let’s prepare now for May when we have three major holidays to take advantage of including Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. These three holidays kick-off the summer drive. I would encourage you to:

  1. Prepare now by highlighting these sales opportunity on your calendar;
  2. Develop a sales, merchandising and marketing action plan with your vendors. Be sure to have your program in place before the event. For example, retailers begin selling shorts in March/April way before the actual summer season begins. 
  3. Review your staffing needs and historical sales data so you are properly prepared. Make sure you are driving sales to the register through service.


And! be sure to download our Sample Truckstop Marketing Calendar below to prepare for the entire year. 



Photo Credit: Jeni foto/

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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.