Like many retailers, H&S Energy Products entered 2020 with a long list of strategy development projects. Little did it know that many of those efforts would be in action long before the year ended, as 2020 became an aggressive marketing development period that took the chain from nearly zero to 60 in the endeavor to close the last mile between its stores and customers.

The Orange, Calif.-based chain of 112 convenience stores started the year with few new-age strategies to reach its customers. By the end of the year, the chain, which does business as Power Market and as an ExtraMile franchisee, was operating a new loyalty program, an ambitious social-media outreach, two mobile apps, and food and product delivery on three third-party platforms: Uber Eats, Instacart and GrubHub.

“We wanted to make sure that our customers were able to get their favorite foods, their favorite snacks that they would get when they were driving to school or driving to work,” says Amir Hassan, operations coordinator, who developed the program with Director of Retail Operations and Marketing Fidaa Mohrez and his team. “We wanted to deliver our brand, deliver the products that these customers were used to getting.”

And let there be no doubt that the pandemic sped up these efforts.

“Yes, these are projects that we put on high priority,” Hassan tells CSP. “There were hiccups at the beginning because no one was accustomed to handling delivery before, but we got it up and running pretty quickly.”

Next on the research and development board:

• Merge the chains two apps (one for loyalty, the other for delivery) into one

• Develop an in-house delivery program

• Crack the code of ecommerce on the app and website