Five Trends Shaping the Future of the Truckstop Industry


The truckstop and travel plaza industry as well as the retail world continues to evolve, and major changes in technology and consumer demand are shaking up the future for operators. During the Opening Keynote of NATSO Connect, Feb. 10–13 in Nashville, Tenn., attendees learned about five key trends that are shaping the future of the industry.

E-commerce sales will continue to increase: Consumers love the convenience of shopping anywhere at anytime. Stephanie Kowitz, senior manager shopper insights for The Coca-Cola Co., said the growth in e-commerce has caused the number of retail trips consumers make to decline 1 percent. What’s more, spending per trip is down 1.8 percent. “We have new ways of shopping and new ways of getting from point a to point b. It is challenging to get those trips back in the store,” she said.

To compete with the trends, truckstop and travel plaza operators are going to have to enhance the retail experience and create unique offerings to draw customers in. While speaking during NATSO Connect, Kowitz suggested operators increase trip spend with food bundles. “Food has been a key driver in the convenience channel and in truckstops. It is all about growing the basket and understanding bundles,” she said, adding that retailers can try and capitalize on sales by getting customers to buy something to consume now and something for later...

Photo credit: Brittany Palmer/NATSO

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Mindy Long's photo

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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