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Trail's Travel Center is Poised to Capture Holiday Sales

Posted in: Truckstop Travels

Editor's note: Darren Schulte, NATSO vice president of membership, frequently visits NATSO members to review their locations and offers impactful merchandising and operations improvements. Contact Schulte at dschulte@natso.com or (915) 526-5820 to learn more about the costs and details of this service.

Trail's Travel Center Christmas Gifts - Snow Scenes ArtworkJI.jpg

Holiday sales can add up to big profits, and Trail's Travel Center in Albert Lea, Minnesota, is ready to take advantage of seasonal opportunities.

Trail's Travel Center Merry & Bright Christmas ItemsJI.jpg

I visited the location earlier this month and was happy to see that Trail’s followed the lead of big box retailers and put its holiday merchandise out with plenty of time to capitalize on sales.

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The fun winter and Christmas-themed products can not only generate sales for someone looking specifically for décor but also can spur overall gift sales as people get gift-giving on their minds.

Trail's Travel Center Merry Christmas - Let It SnowJI.jpg

The National Retail Federation recently announced that it expects holiday retail sales in November and December to increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over 2018 for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion.

Trail's Travel Center Merry Christmas-Christmas JoyJI.jpg

Our forecast reflects the overall strength of the industry,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year. While there is concern about the impacts of an escalating trade war, we are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year.”

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This is excellent news for truckstop and travel plaza operators, such as Trail’s, that promote gifts and novelties.

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For more seasonal inspiration, check out these posts: Being a Better Merchandiser Than Santa Clause, Plan Now for a Winter Sales Drive, Create a Specific, Measurable, Realistic Holiday Action Plan for Your Truckstop and Take Advantage of Holiday Sales

/// Did you know most weeks can find Darren Schulte, NATSO's Vice President of Membership, visiting a NATSO member truckstop location, spending three to four days, using his merchandising and operations expertise to help them grow their business? Learn about NATSO’s Profitable Retail Review program here.

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Photos Credit: Darren Schulte/NATSO 

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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.