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{Great Ideas} Drive Truckstop Retail Sales Through Larger Product Sizes

Posted in: Great Ideas, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators. The author, Darren Schulte, NATSO’s new vice president of membership, brings to NATSO a wealth of knowledge about our industry.

Join Darren here every other Thursday for his biweekly retail column.

{Great Ideas} Drive Truckstop Retail Sales Through Larger Product Sizes

Are you tired of talking about how to increase retail sales without raising prices just for the sake of increasing sales? I’m not!

Last month, I shared on how to use product placement and pricing strategies to increase truckstop retail sales and earlier in the month I wrote on how to run an effective multiple purchase promotion in a truckstop.

Today, let’s look at driving sales through larger product sizes by looking at candy bars and beverage sales.

Candy Bars
You can increase your retail sales by expanding your selection of large candy bars and decreasing your selection of smaller candy bars.

While you certainly need the top 10 candy bars in small and large sizes, do you really need to offer the remaining top 40 small candy bars when you already sell or could sell their large bar counter parts? Do you need small sizes of Zero, Whatchamacallit, Skor, 5th Avenue, Heath, etc in both sizes? As long as you offer these great candy bars, the size in the slower selling brands is less important.

Believe it or not, often when you look at your ordering history you are selling more of the large bars any way in these sizes. Unfortunately, there is talk of manufactures reducing the selection of large candy bars, but before that happens, if you currently do not offer candy bars in large sizes, change your order to replace the smaller size with the larger size.

Many NATSO members have moved this direction after my visit and have experienced zero [no pun intended] customer complaints and increased their sales. 

Another place to increase sales through larger product sizes is in the fountain beverage section. If you don’t operate in New York where Mayor Bloomberg is trying to eliminate the fountain jumbo sizes, you should reduce the number of fountain and coffee cups available for purchase. As an example, if you offer 12oz, 16oz, 20oz, and 24oz coffee cup sizes; why not go to 16oz and 24oz only or 20oz and 24oz? If you are offering similar size fountain cups as well as 32oz and 44oz, why not offer only 24oz, 32oz and 44oz? Do you really need so many sizes and styles for all the hot, cold and frozen beverages you serve? Last time I drank something from the beverage bar, I did not really matter what it looked liked or messaged, I was only concerned about getting a drink and would it fit in my cup holder in my vehicle.

Examine your data before making the change, but history tells me your customers will migrate to the next size up and your sales will go up as well.

/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here


Join the conversation! How do you price your gum?

Or have a different retail merchandising, marketing or operations question? Post your question in the comments and Darren will answer it in the next Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators.


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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.