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Truckstops Travels: Eddie’s Travel Center Uses Promotions to Boost Sales and Engage Customers

Posted in: Truckstop Business, 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.

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Eddie’s Travel Center in Mascoutah, Illinois, has taken promotions to a new level. They do a phenomenal job of promoting products through their day-to-day marketing and also take advantage of seasonal opportunities. Even better, they’re focused on marketing the same message throughout the location. They start their promotions on the outside of the location and carry it through to the inside. 

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Part of what makes their promotions so fun is their emphasis on celebrating the holidays. Their staff gets behind seasonal and holiday promotions, which adds to the excitement. They decorate the store and add to the end caps. I was there around St. Patrick’s Day, and they’d added shamrocks and decorations throughout the store and created a display of beer. 

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Seasonal promotions don’t have to mean you’re discounting your prices. You can use the theme to draw attention to products. Even if the sales aren’t great on the promotional items, they can make people feel good and boost ancillary sales.

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Eddie’s Travel Plaza is working on improving conversion rates, and their promotions help with that. If you go into the store to use the restroom and you walk by an engaging display, you will stop. The goal is to slow them down on their way to the restroom. 

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The location also uses its digital signage to grab customers’ attention and boost sales. They have an electronic message board outside as well as digital signboards inside and their promotions on all of them are very visual. 

Throughout the location they do a very nice job marketing their message.  

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/// 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.   

Photo 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.