Free on the 1st'

Xtramart offering complimentary java every month

NORTH GROSVENORDALE, Conn. -- Going beyond what has become a fairly frequent holiday tradition among some larger convenience store chains--offering free coffee for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve--Xtramart has rolled out "Free on the 1st," a promotion offering free coffee on the first of each month.

"This is our small way of saying thank you to our loyal and valued customers," the company said in a promotional email and on its website,, which includes a "get your free coffee in..." countdown [image-nocss] meter.

Dallas-based 7-Eleven, Framingham, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms and Wilmington, N.C.-based Worsleys (VPS Convenience Store Group chains including Scotchman, Young's, Li'l Cricket, Village Pantry and Next Door Stores)--to name a few of the higher-profile retailers touting their promotions for 2010--traditionally offer free holiday coffee as a community service.

7-Eleven stores in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, southern Nevada, Daytona and Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg and greater Fort Myers, Fla., offered free Christmas coffee in 2010, the company said.

A CSP Daily News Poll last week asked, "Are your stores offering free coffee for New Year's Eve?" Although most (about 70%) of the nearly 120 respondents at press time said "no" or "not this time," about 30% said "yes, we always do," "yes, for the first time" or "yes, we sometimes do."

North Grosvenordale, Conn.-based Xtra Mart has locations in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. It sells gasoline and grocery items and offers its own deli counters and in-store cafes with its own line of coffee. Its stores also feature car washes.