Grand Opening: Sixth Sense (Slideshow)

RaceTrac’s 6K design takes a holistic path to innovation and fun

By 
Allison Moran, CEO, RaceTrac

Photographs by Kurt Glenn

At RaceTrac, our people are our competitive advantage, and it is our people who continually inspire innovation across our organization.

When we decided to drastically modify the layout of our existing 5,000-square-foot stores, we felt it was a great opportunity to create a new, distinctive design that took a holistic approach to the store from the perspective of our store team members and our guests. The result was our RT6K model: a 6,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art store that reflects our brand personality both inside and out.

We have more than 90 6K stores in operation, with our next 6K opening on West Sandlake Road in Orlando, Fla. The store will showcase RaceTrac’s legacy of innovation, with features such as Swirl World, our proprietary frozen-yogurt offering; an expanded coffee bar; and fresh food options including sandwiches, wraps, salads and whole fruits.

Putting People First

One of the things we knew going into the design process was that our guests and team members were our No. 1 priority. A huge part of doing things “the RaceTrac way” is putting people first, and we wanted to integrate that into the design process.

In addition to consulting with design firm Chute Gerdeman, we opened the door for everyone, from our store associates to our Store Support Center team members, to have the opportunity to offer input. Using their feedback, we identified the pain points of our existing store model and ways to improve the RaceTrac experience.

We wanted to ensure we were making our store teams’ lives simpler and more enjoyable within the store. Our associates shared with us that one of their biggest issues had to do with part of the store guests never see: the back storage rooms. Space was tight, so we increased the size and added back-room adjacencies to allow for safer storage and space in which to move around.

With the ability to store more items in the back, we were able to make more space on the sales floor, allowing our teams to spend more time with guests. With a more open sales floor, we relocated the cashwrap to place it front and center, making it easier for associates to move around and be readily available to serve our guests. A more central cashwrap also allows guests to experience a welcome smile and greeting as soon as they walk through our doors.

From our guests’ perspective, we wanted to break the mold and create an environment that was welcoming and inviting. The 6K format is brighter and more colorful, and with a layout that is 1,000 square feet larger, it is much more open and appealing.

We also updated our branding and signage in the store, making the layout more intuitive for guests. Our signage throughout the store is more consistent and boasts a sense of humor that reflects our brand culture of living for fun every day.

We did not limit the inviting experience to the inside of our stores, however. The exterior is updated with distinctive stacked stonework, outdoor seating and eye-catching signage that extend our brand personality all the way to our pumps.

Constant Innovation

Introducing a new store model opened the door to creating new and exciting ways to serve our guests.

For example, Swirl World offers customers 10 flavors of frozen yogurt and more than 40 toppings. And while we aim to be the convenience store of choice for people on the go, the new layout offers guests the opportunity to relax and enjoy a meal or a snack while using our indoor and outdoor seating and taking advantage of our free Wi-Fi.

Looking ahead, RaceTrac will continue to introduce the 6K model to new areas within our six regions in the Southeast. We are proud of our legacy of innovation and are constantly developing and vetting new ideas and ways to improve our stores. Each new location will be built with the latest technology, innovative design principles and fresh offerings that will deliver upon the needs and desires of our guests and store teams alike.