CRU Exclusive: Inside QT and RaceTrac

See what visiting retailers have to say about two of the industry’s top chains

By 
Mitch Morrison, Vice President of Retailer Relations

QuikTrip convenience store checkout
Photos by Mitch Morrison

DALLAS -- Retailers attending CSP’s Convenience Retailing University (CRU) caught the latest prototypes Wednesday of two of the channel’s premier chains: QuikTrip and RaceTrac.

Here’s a quick snapshot of each store and what retailers had to stay:

QuikTrip

QuikTrip's Gen 3 convenience-store model in Richardson, Texas, is 5,700 square feet, features 10 fuel dispensers, 11 cooler doors and is designed like an eagle with a center entrance flanked by entranceways at each wing.

Retailer likes:

  • “Superior commissary. I can’t price snacks this cheap,” one operator said of a chocolate-covered Rice Krispie clone retailing at $1.49.
  • “They have [foot-traffic] drivers everywhere. Go left, you get tea and fountain; go right, and you have coffee. Clever.”
  • “Very symmetrical. Each point in the store has a destination.”
  • “Great mix of [major] brands and their own private label. You can tell that QT is the brand.”
  • “Cool lighting. It shifts depending on the theme within the store.”
  • “Great kitchen, better than what I remember a couple years ago.”
  • “Pairings are really strong: candy and snacks with coffee.”
  • “Store associates are active, always moving: cleaning, greeting.”

Retailer dislikes:

  • “It felt tight, a bit claustrophobic.”
  • “Because they have so much stuff, the store feels smaller than its true size”
  • “You kind of walk past the automotive and newspapers.” [They appear to the immediate right upon entering through the store center.]
  • “Don’t like that they moved the checkout from the middle of the store. Now you walk right past them when you come through.”
  • “QT is famous for their customer service, but I think they lost something by moving the checkout. You don’t get that big Hello!”

CONTINUED: A Look Inside RaceTrac's RT6K

Part of CSP's 2015 Convenience Top 101 retailers

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