Sheetz chairman: Focus on customer experience key to convenience store growth
Constant evolution required to compete for quick-stop customers
Convenience stores are always changing and must improve shoppers’ experiences to overcome increased competition, the president and CEO of the Sheetz store chain says.
The industry’s evolution has included value menus, quick service restaurants, e-commerce and new technology for customer experience.
“We compete against everyone who sells convenience, and increasingly that seems like everyone,” Joe Sheetz pointed out in his keynote address at the National Association of Convenience Stores Show in Las Vegas.
Increased competition drives stores to deliver unique experiences, says Sheetz, the NACS chairman whose Altoona, Pa., company operates 575 stores in six states.
Sheetz develops messages and offers for customer groups, such as workers frequenting stores in the morning or parents stopping for snacks and fuel. Customers soon will be able to pay for food and other store items in advance through the Sheetz mobile app.
“We need to know who our customers are and what types of food, drinks and experiences motivate them,” Sheetz says.