From national chains to regional fixtures, c-stores across the country are transforming themselves from ordinary stops along the highway to brands poised to command customer loyalty like never before. And it all starts with better convenience store design. If your store still features the crowded, utilitarian look of the past, modernizing may help boost your business and give you an edge over competitors stuck in yesteryear.
We rounded up these convenience store remodeling ideas to help you get in on the c-store renaissance.
Benefit: Increases customer browsing time.
Longer browsing times can mean more purchases per customer. But older c-store designs often discourage browsing with their tightly-spaced aisles, crowded checkout area and shelving that blocks sightlines. The best convenience store layouts for today’s customers include:
These changes also make it easier for cashiers to keep an eye out for shoplifters and other security issues from the register.
Benefit: Encourages unplanned purchases.
Most c-store customers come in with a specific purchase in mind – the truck driver stocking up on energy drinks or the commuter stopping in for a coffee. But with some relatively simple shelving and refrigeration updates, combined with the layout changes above, you can encourage customers to buy more than they originally planned.
Benefit: Differentiates your store from competitors.
If you only offer basics like chips, candy bars and soda, customers have little reason to consistently return to your store. After all, they can get the same things from any of your competitors. But you can use your c-store remodel to add something the other guys don’t offer. Consider ideas like:
Benefit: Increases point-of-sale purchases.
Once a customer makes it to the register, modern convenience store design principles can encourage additional last-minute purchases. Don’t rely on easy-to-overlook printed sheets to announce your specials; instead:
Benefit: Encourages customer loyalty.
Let’s face it, while not always deserved, convenience stores have a reputation for being dirty. Even if you run a tight ship, older store designs may trigger that negative perception you’re trying to avoid. But some simple tweaks can make your store a destination customers feel comfortable spending lots of time in—and even recommending to their friends.
Whether you incorporate all of these ideas into your remodel or just a few, a fresh look will help create a welcoming atmosphere, encourage impulse purchases and increase the chance that customers will remember your store and return often. If you’ve tried any of these updates, comment and let us know how it worked out for you. Or find more tips and tricks in our blog’s Commercial section.