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Lucky Dueces Gets to Know its Customers

Posted in: Truckstop Travels


Roady’s Lucky Deuces Travel Plaza in Duson, Louisiana, is a unique location. The 6,500-square-foot location features a café, convenience store, small casino, fuel islands, truck repair shop and RV Park. It is tied to a casino and the location’s chief operator and owner, Manish Sthanki, knows how to draw in casino customers as well as drivers.

Sthanki was one of the first operators I saw who worked to attract female customers. When I first walked into his store five years ago, I saw high-end ladies purses and other products geared towards women. We see more and more of that today, but he was an early adopter in this area. It is done, in part, because the location hopes to draw in customers who just won in the casino and are looking to treat themselves. 

Stahnki understands who his customer is and brings in products to appeal to them. He does not have any redundant products nor does he offer trade downs, and it is not just because his location is small. He knows his space is limited, but unlike many others he chooses not to waste this valuable commodity. He makes it a point to maximize the little space he has available to the best-selling items within each category. 

Lucky Dueces has also made sure the restrooms are top notch. Sthanki has made sure people aren’t leaving a gorgeous casino and walking into a sub-par location.

Sthanki, who appeared in NATSO’s Stop Watch magazine in 2012, advises operators to talk to the customer. “Make sure you know what your customer wants. With that knowledge, you can push the envelope in the right direction and produce new value that your customers really want.” he said.

/// Did you know most weeks you can find me visiting a NATSO member truckstop location, spending three to four days, using my merchandising and operations expertise to help them grow their business? I periodically share about those great retailers I visit here on the blog. Read more Truckstop Travels here.   


Photos Credit: Darren Schulte

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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 joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising, most recently as the Vice President for Retail Merchandising for TSC Global/Barjan LLC. Prior to his time with TSC Global/Barjan LLC, Schulte also worked for Petro Stopping Centers and Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores.