Sheetz to 'Make a Presence' in N.C.
"Newsmaker" Stan Sheetz talks food, gas, service with Fox affiliate
ALTOONA, Pa. -- "Over the next eight years, we will probably open another 100 stores in the North Carolina market. We're going to come down here and make a presence," Stan Sheetz, CEO of Sheetz Inc., told High Point, N.C., Fox affiliate WGHP-TV, which featured the convenience store chain executive in a "Newsmaker" segment earlier this week.
As previously reported in CSP Daily News, Sheetz is making North Carolina and West Virginia its top markets for expansion (see Related Content below). Sheetz's expansion plans for North Carolina include opening a large distribution facility by 2014 to serve its increasing collection of convenience stores there.
But for Sheetz, "'making a presence" means more than opening bright red stores that sell gas, products on shelves and made-to-order food. It's about the experience," said the report.
At one of the chain's North Carolina locations, and against the backdrop of one of the chain's commercials, Sheetz discusses the retailer's focus on "people on the go" ( click here to view the full "Feel the Love" commercial on YouTube).
(Watch the WGHP segment below or click here.)
He also discusses the chain's more than 40-year history, and his personal experience growing up in the business. "My father put me to work at a very young ago--I was younger than 10 when I started emptying trash cans and sweeping parking lots."
The company is "doing coffee today across six states; 14,000 Sheetz employees work in 406 stores," said the report.
Reporter Neill McNeill asks, "Do you make more money off of the food or the gasoline?"
Sheetz chuckles as he responds, "The food, by far. We are in the food business."
The Altoona, PA.-based retailer just uses the gasoline to bring the customers in to buy the food, says the report.
"Even so," it adds, "the company uses gas to full advantage--when a store opens, Sheetz drops the price below cost, resulting in long lines and a lot of buzz."
Sheetz explains: "You cannot price gas below cost in North Carolina, except for the first 10 days of opening. If we can, we will open with a very, very aggressive retail price."
But service is what Sheetz wants the customer to take away. "What do you want your customers to experience when they see the Sheetz sign when they pull off the interstate and come in here?" asks McNeill
"I want you to remember that it was a good experience, a positive experience. And what I hope you remember is the smiling face of the last employee that took care of you," Sheetz says.