Plaid Pantry C-Stores Helping Customers on Bikes

Resident cyclist's idea leads to aid stations chain-wide

Plaid Pantry (CSP Daily News / Convenience Store Petroleum)

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Convenience store chain Plaid Pantries Inc. has announced its latest effort to become more appealing to customers who arrive by bike: Bicycle aid stations.

The new aid stations will be available at all 108 c-stores in Oregon and Washington by May 1 and will consist of a floor pump, tire patch kit and basic tools, the company said.

Each store will keep the aid kit behind the counter, and bicyclists in need must ask a store employee to use it, said the report.

"As the weather is improving, I am seeing more bikes on the road," the company's administrative manager, Laura Sadowski, told "Not everyone is prepared for a flat or adequate nutrition and fluids, so we want to be there on (mostly) every corner to aid them!"

In addition to the aid kit, all stores will soon display a bright yellow "Aid Station" graphic at the main entrance, the report said.

Sadowski adds that this idea comes from Plaid Pantry executive vice president Jonathan Polonksy, who is "an avid biker himself."

In November 2012, the retailer installed new bike racks at 12 c-stores in the Portland, Ore., area. Sadowski said that program is alive and well, and the chain has continued to add more bike parking at stores throughout the state.

Beaverton, Ore.-based Plaid Pantries operates more than 100 c-stores in the states of Oregon and Washington.

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Part of CSP's 2014 Convenience Top 101 retailers