Convenience Store News

NOV 2016

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32 Convenience Store News | NOVEMBER 2016 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM cover story Convenience Curbside Just as "convenient" for some consumers means not having to leave their homes to purchase consumables, the definition for others means not having to exit one's car at the store. Drive-thrus appear to be gaining momentum as convenience store retailers get more advanced in the foodservice realm. Case in point: This year saw convenience store chain Parker's open its first store offering drive-thru foodservice in Claxton, Ga.; and QuikTrip testing a drive-thru at a West Tulsa, Okla., location, having replaced a Wendy's franchise inside the store with a QT Kitchens counter that services customers both inside and via the drive-thru. Consultant Joe Chiovera of XS Foodservice & Marketing has even called adding drive-thrus "the smartest move you could possibly make" when pur- chasing real estate for foodservice. If a drive-thru isn't feasible on your lot, though, another option may be curbside pickup. C-store com- petitors such as CVS Express and Walmart are split- ting the difference by letting customers place orders ahead of time and then drop in for curbside pickup, where the ordered items are brought directly to the customer's vehicle. Walmart's e-commerce division began offering this service in part to compete with Amazon.com, but now Amazon is reportedly plan- ning to open its own brick-and-mortar grocery/con- venience store/pickup locations. Everyone is seeking out ways to give consumers the easiest, quickest service. Convenience on the Move Who ever said convenience stores have to be stationary? With today's consumers always on the move, Ford Motor Co. believes convenience should be, too. Through its Techstars Mobility initiative — designed to enhance next-generation mobility solutions while helping startup companies get their footing — Ford is collabo- rating with a startup known as Cargo, and what Cargo brings to the market is certainly of interest to the c-store industry. The New York-based company serves as an in-vehicle general store, helping ride-share drivers cater to their passengers. It provides Cargo kits, which are sent directly to ride-share drivers who purchase them, and stocked with products on-the-go passengers desire such as snacks. But why stop at a car? Why not a convenience store bus? A c-store located inside a school bus has opened at Wichita State University's Hughes Metropolitan Complex. Open 6:45 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. on days school is in session, the c-store bus sells eight types of coffee, 18 types of cappuccino, Daylight Donuts, Coca-Cola products, energy drinks, tea, water, four types of smooth- ies, hot dogs, sausage rolls, chips, candy, mints and gum. Owner Kelly Fankhauser is now work- ing with a food vendor to get sandwiches added to the lineup.

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