Photo Credit: Eastgate Travel Plaza
A remodel or renovation can give a location a face-lift and improve its aesthetics, but to be truly effective, changes should also strive to improve the store layout, offerings and merchandising in ways that reflect the latest sales trends. When done right, remodels can help operators increase sales and attract new customers.
“Following the trends and paying attention to the trends is what leads to a good remodel. You don’t want to just make it pretty. You want to make it effective,” said Michael Lawshe, president of the design firm Paragon Solutions.
Darren Schulte, vice president of membership for NATSO, said the move towards improvements is increasing. “During my travels to truckstops nationwide, I’ve seen that operators are working to maximize their capital improvement investments and create differentiation from their competitors,” he said.
Renovations come in all shapes and sizes, and there are a number of factors that can help operators determine how extensive their remodeling plans should be, but for Lawshe a renovation should always start with the numbers.
Could you use more insight into suriving a major truckstop construction project? Visit NATSO's blog to discover insights Dave Shoemaker, owner of Shoemaker's Travel Center in Lincoln, Nebraska gained during his location's rebuild in the blog post Three Construction Tips From Shoemaker's Travel Plaza.
“When people do a remodel, I ask what they’re doing other than making cosmetic changes to generate revenue. You have to take a step back and start analyzing each of the categories within the store prior to a remodel,” Lawshe said. “You have to look at what you’re going to be getting for a return on your investment. You don’t do it to feed your ego, you do it to feed your family.”
Gathering Ideas From Everywhere
Delia Moon Meier, senior vice president for the Iowa 80 Group, said the company is always looking at the latest trends, whether they are within the truckstop industry or not. “We encourage everyone that works here to take a picture if they see something neat in any industry no matter where they’re at. We have an unbelievable number of pictures of cool ideas,” Moon Meier said, adding that she looked through six different photo books for ideas for the company’s current renovation project at Kenly 95 TA Truckstop in Kenly, North Carolina.
Lawshe suggests operators...