Convenience Store News

NOV 2014

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8 Store of the Future | WWW.CSNEWS.COM The Convenience Restaurant Mall food court meets convenience in this store-of-the-future vision By Melissa Kress Rendering created by King-Casey I n March 2012, then-Wawa Inc. CEO Howard Stoeckel spoke before a crowded lecture hall at St. Joseph University's Food Industry Summit in Philadelphia and explained that Wawa didn't want to be "lumped into convenience stores or quick-service restaurants (QSRs)." Instead, the retailer considered itself a different breed: fast casual on the go. Fellow Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain Sheetz Inc. also has been transitioning itself from a traditional convenience store operator to a made-to- order fresh food retailer. It even started to put a heavy focus on restaurant-style hospitality in its training and employee development. Wawa and Sheetz are slightly ahead of their time, as one of the convenience store industry visions of the future is the convenience restaurant, which will compete head-to-head against fast-casual restaurants and QSRs, as well as supermarkets and other fresh- food resources. "Future c-store strategies should be developed based on targeting both existing customers and non- customers, identifying their unique needs, and devel- oping a store experience that meets and surpasses all of their expectations," said Howland Blackiston, principal at Westport, Conn.-based design firm King- Casey. "To be successful, tomorrow's c-store should put a revolutionary focus on being a one-stop destina- tion for conveniently satisfying the assorted needs of various sets of customers." There are three customer (and non-customer) groups c-store operators must focus on in the years ahead: traditional convenience store users, Millennials and what King-Casey refers to as Balancer Moms. Because each of these groups has different needs, Car Wash Zone Drive-Thru Banking Zone inTerior Banking Zone Fuel & reCharge Zone kiDs Play Zone FasT FooD Drive-Thru Zone

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