Marketing & Retail

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Build Effective Displays at Your Truckstop [Infographic]

November 1, 2018

Build Effective Displays at Your Truckstop [Infographic]

The right displays at your truckstop can drive retail sales, create convenience and contribute to a location's atmosphere.

Six Ways to Set Your Truckstop Apart Using Today’s Food Trends

November 1, 2018

Six Ways to Set Your Truckstop Apart Using Today’s Food Trends

Food sales continue to be a hot area for truckstops and travel plazas, and a lot of operators are turning to food service to drive incremental sales and profitability. Consumer demand is proving that not only is there is a place for food service within retail operations but also that it can drive inside traffic. “The ultimate challenge for truckstop operators and convenience-store operators, is elevating their food and creating a point of difference,” said David Henkes, advisory group senior principal at Technomic, a consulting firm that specializes in food service. “You have to think about who you are appealing to and how you’re driving them into the store. If you’re really focused on making your location a destination or bringing local consumers in as well as the truck drivers or travelers, then you have to do something different.” Stop Watch sat down with Henkes, to learn more about the food service industry and how operators can use food to differentiate themselves. Henkes shared five tips operators can embrace to set themselves apart with today’s food trends.

How to Create an Apparel Program at Your Truckstop

November 1, 2018

How to Create an Apparel Program at Your Truckstop

Apparel is a category that does well in truckstops and travel plazas if operators understand who their customers are and purchase and present merchandise in the right way. “A strong apparel program is an opportunity to increase profits,” said Darren Schulte, vice president of membership for NATSO. “When done correctly in our industry, apparel can have margins of 50 to 100 percent profit depending on what types of products you’re selling and what you buy.”

Truckstop Amenities: What to Add and What to Reconsider [Infographic]

September 1, 2018

Truckstop Amenities: What to Add and What to Reconsider [Infographic]

Truckstop amenities are changing.

Boost Truckstop Sales with Today's Hot Categories

September 1, 2018

Boost Truckstop Sales with Today's Hot Categories

Although there is no magic bullet for winning customers and increasing each transaction, truckstop and travel plaza operators said they are seeing tremendous success in certain categories, but what is hot today isn’t always what has sold in the past.

Get Consumers to Travel Through Your Whole Truckstop Store

July 1, 2018

Get Consumers to Travel Through Your Whole Truckstop Store

During the Good to Great Session at NATSO Connect, the other panelists and I shared our thoughts on what drives traffic through a location. What was interesting was that we all had slightly different ideas. That shows how important it is for operators to really understand who their current customers are and, if they are looking to attract different ones, find the solution that is best for that specific location.

Truckstop Floor Layout Best Practices [Infographic]

July 1, 2018

Truckstop Floor Layout Best Practices [Infographic]

Creating the right flow through a truckstop and travel plaza can draw customers deeper into the location and help increase sales.

Truckstop Operators Use Varied Food and Offerings to Appeal to Travelers and Locals

July 1, 2018

Truckstop Operators Use Varied Food and Offerings to Appeal to Travelers and Locals

Wendi Powell, co-owner of Big Boys Truck Stop in Kenley, North Carolina, knows that travel centers need to be all things to all people, and she tries to create solutions that appeal to all types of customers, whether they are locals, the traveling public or professional drivers. “The more creatively we can make the mix work, the better for us,” Powell said. Although convenience and time are always important, local customers love favorites while travelers like experiences. “It's my goal to create a mix,” Powell said. At Busy Bee, a regional chain of travel centers in Florida, local customers are in the store weekly and form close relationships with the locations and teams. “We see them coming in to not only to fill up their cars, but also meet daily/weekly needs from grocery items to our locally made cakes,” said Elizabeth Waring, president of Busy Bee. “However, with our traveling guests the needs slightly vary. When they stop in at our facility, they are there to fill a more immediate need. We have tried to build those relationships so that as they travel they look to us first to fill that—or empty that.”

Logo Droppers Gives Away Custom Guitar at NATSO Connect 2018

May 9, 2018

Logo Droppers Gives Away Custom Guitar at NATSO Connect 2018

On March 6th Logo Droppers delivered a custom guitar to the Busy Bee chain of convenience stores and truck stop based in Florida. Elizabeth Waring, president of Busy Bee, won the custom guitar as part of a give away at NATSO Connect, which ran Feb. 10-13.

Boost Sales and Reward Customers with Loyalty Programs at Your Truckstop

May 1, 2018

Boost Sales and Reward Customers with Loyalty Programs at Your Truckstop

Repeat customers are extremely valuable to businesses, and when done right, loyalty programs can draw in shoppers while also boosting sales for the location. That creates a win/win situation for customers as well as the businesses they frequent.

Attract Truckstop Customers Through Signage

March 1, 2018

Attract Truckstop Customers Through Signage

Signage is one of the most important tools to connect with customers. It not only attracts customers from the street and draws them into the location, but also communicates sales or promotions, spurs point-of-sale purchases and directs customers where to go.

E-Commerce Creates Challenges, Opportunities for Truckstops and Travel Plazas

February 11, 2018

E-Commerce Creates Challenges, Opportunities for Truckstops and Travel Plazas

E-commerce is a $300 billion industry disrupting the face of retail and continues to grow within the United States. During NATSO Connect, Ken Cassar, a principal analyst at Slice Intelligence, told attendees that online sales are impacting their businesses, but there are ways truckstop and travel plaza operators can tap into the trend to offer convenience to their customers.

NATSO Connect Digs Into Trends Shaping the Future of the Industry

February 10, 2018

NATSO Connect Digs Into Trends Shaping the Future of the Industry

E-commerce, the driver shortage and shifts in consumer demands are changing the operating environment for truckstops and travel plazas and shaking up the retail industry. During the kickoff keynote address at NATSO Connect, four executives addressed the latest trends disrupting the industry, ranging from the trucking industry’s length of haul to the number of consumer trips to the store, giving operators insights to help prepare for the future.

Start Now to Create a Promotion Calendar for Your Truckstop for 2018 [Infographic]

November 1, 2017

Start Now to Create a Promotion Calendar for Your Truckstop for 2018 [Infographic]

Seasonal promotions can be a great way to create a theme that can draw attention to products, boost sales and make customers feel good. Operators can create a seasonal promotional calendar now to bring excitement and fun to their locations throughout 2018.

The Key to Truckstop Retail Success: Experience Matters

November 1, 2017

The Key to Truckstop Retail Success: Experience Matters

Great truckstop operators know that no shortcuts exist to retail success. The closest failsafe is to know your truckstop and then build a customer experience using what you know. The best way to do that is to know and engage your customers, crunch the numbers and use your data, and curate an experience.

7 Ways to Know Your Truckstop Customers [Infographic]

September 1, 2017

7 Ways to Know Your Truckstop Customers [Infographic]

“There is nothing wrong with just standing in the store and observing during different shifts. It is unbelievable how much information you can glean for 20 minutes, three times a day different days of the week.” — Darren Schulte, NATSO’s vice president of membership.

Drugstores Are Offering Increased Competition to Truckstops

September 1, 2017

Drugstores Are Offering Increased Competition to Truckstops

More and more businesses are expanding their services and creeping into territory that was once served primarily by the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Throughout the year, Stop Watch is examining specific groups that are entering this space, including dealerships, carriers’ distribution centers and turnpikes, how they’re changing and what NATSO members need to know about the category. Visit www.natso.com/increasedcompetition to see all the articles.

10 Ways to Increase Food & Beverage Sales

August 5, 2017

10 Ways to Increase Food & Beverage Sales

Drivers are becoming more pressed for time, and many may never leave the fuel counter. Offering grab-and-go items, such as chicken or pizza, could give drivers convenient options while also increasing the location’s sales.

Manage Unproductive Inventory at Your Truckstop [Infographic]

July 1, 2017

Manage Unproductive Inventory at Your Truckstop [Infographic]

Inevitably some products within your inventory are going to move faster than others, but rather than letting items grow cobwebs, there are steps you can take to limit the impact unproductive inventory has on your bottom line.

A Destination Spot for the Professional Truck Driver and the Local Community in Columbia, South Carolina

June 30, 2017

A Destination Spot for the Professional Truck Driver and the Local Community in Columbia, South Carolina

This spring, TravelCenters of America (TA) opened a new Petro Stopping Center in Columbia, South Carolina. The 42,000-square-foot facility has eight diesel lanes, parking for 134 trucks, 10 showers, a CAT Scale, a Minute Mart convenience store, a very large game center, a t.v./movie room and a workout room.

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