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Truckstop Preparation for the Fourth of July

Posted in: Truckstop Business


We just finished Father's Day and we are onto our next holiday. Are you prepared?

Did you know that Independence Day is big business according to the National Retail Federation? "More than 123 million people (60.8%) already own an American flag and nearly 86 million (41.9%) own patriotic apparel such as a t-shirt or hat. More than one-quarter (27.3%) of consumers own patriotic decorations. As July 4th approaches, 16.2 percent of consumers will head to stores to buy new patriotic merchandise, up from the 14.1 percent who were expected to shell out extra money for apparel, decorations or accessories last year."

Word of caution on the patriotic themed merchandise—be prudent with your purchase dollars, otherwise you will be selling the same products from a dusty box next year.
Falling on a Wednesday this year, expectations are that interstate 4-wheel traffic will pick up on the 3rd and 5th as folks go to and fro. Traditionally you also will be busy during the morning of the 4th and the evening of the 4th as locals go back and forth to their events.
Is your 4th of July Plan of Action (POA) in place?
  • Have you properly staffed for the impact increase of gasoline gallons?
  • Are your soda, chip and beer vendors prepared?
  • Spoken to the ice vendor?
  • Traditional coolers, Styrofoam coolers, 40qt thermos-electric coolers displays built in conjunction with bulk stack beer and soda displays?
  • Weekenders displays staged for arrival on Monday the 2nd?
  • High margin chips, snacks, seeds, nuts and saltines from your grocery provider placed in high traffic flow areas to maximize your margins?
  • Cellular and other power to go products in prime position?
  • Sunglass shippers or spinners properly stocked and positioned? 
Did you know according to a recent poll published in USA Today that Americans forget cellular chargers 25% of the time when they head out for weekends and or holidays? They also forget sunglasses 14% of the time.
We may have missed Mother's Day, and barely made Father's Day, but let's not miss out on 4th of July opportunities.

Activate your POA and then...


Share your best Fourth of July retail display as part of NATSO’s new Great Ideas in Action — a year-round great idea collaboration that focuses on the visual story of how NATSO members excel in running a travel plaza and truckstop.

We know NATSO members throughout the country are taking advantage of seasonal retail by creating innovate displays and marketing. Show us! To participate, email a photograph of your Fourth of July retail display with a short description to Participants will be featured here on NATSO’s blog. 

Learn more about the Fourth of July Retail Display contest.

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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.