Topics: Merchandise

From Staffing to Diesel Pumps: Ideas to Grow Your Travel Center Business [Podcast]

From Staffing to Diesel Pumps: Ideas to Grow Your Travel Center Business [Podcast]

Don Quinn, NATSO Service’s vice president, and Darren Schulte, NATSO's vice president, membership, frequently consult for travel centers and truckstops. They help travel centers grow their business. Oftentimes, that means coming out and spending a few days onsite doing a complete evaluation, but it also means answering a lot of critical operational questions to help those expanding their travel center business or entering the market. In this episode, they explore some of the frequently asked questions they receive as they help those new to the industry. More

How to Create an Apparel Program at Your Truckstop Members Only Join or Login

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.” More

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.” More

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. More

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. More

Increase Sales at Your Truckstop with Top-Selling Items Members Only Join or Login

Stocking the shelves with top-selling items can keep customers coming back and increase profits. More

Attract New Truckstop Customers to Boost Sales Members Only Join or Login

In today’s market, truckstops and travel plazas are facing increased competition on several fronts. Restaurants and retailers are adding fuel as well and charging stations for electric vehicles, and convenience stores are rolling out amazing grab-and-go food programs. At the same time, improved fuel mileage on ve¬hicles means customers don’t have to stop as often for fuel. In response, operators are stepping up their efforts to attract new customers while also increasing the conversion rate of fuel customers, getting them to come into the store. More

8 Ways to Maximize Slow Times at Your Truckstop Members Only Join or Login

Even the busiest locations experience slow times of the day, and operators said they use those slow periods to prepare for peak times and get creative to boost business during traditionally slow times. More

Increase Sales at Your Truckstop With A Strong Retail Program Members Only Join or Login

All truckstop operators are working to get customers in the door and to the cash register, and a well-planned retail strategy can do just that. Yet all too often, business owners are trying to be everything to everybody, which can do more harm than good. More

Are Your Truckstop Customers Buyers Or Shoppers

The majority of customers walk into a store either knowing exactly what they want or planning to look around. For retailers, that means they have two distinct customer types they need to cater to—shoppers and buyers. By understanding each group, truckstop operators can improve customer service, strategize promotions and improve their marketing, all of which can add up to increased profits. More

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