DALLAS --CSP’s Convenience Retailing University kicked off to a rainy start early Feb. 23 with an inside look at newer store formats by four innovative and celebrated retailers: QuikTrip, RaceTrac, Whole Foods Market and Eatzi’s Market & Bakery.
QT’s two-year-old Gen 3 store kept store-tour participants intrigued with its design around the kitchen, which meant an accent on foodservice, including kiosk-ordering and multiple merchandising areas for fountain (carbonated soft drinks and frozen beverages to the right, and coffees and iced teas to the left) and cold vault (nonalcohol to the right, and dairy and alcohol to the left).
Whole Foods Market
Convenience retailers questioned the need to visit a 30,000-square-foot grocery store, until they got inside. Its eat-in area and multiple ready-to-eat offerings, from fresh-cut fruit to made-to-order sandwiches to smoothies, bakery and more, quickly made it clear how a giant retail site can also satisfy immediate-consumption needs.
Eatzi’s Market & Bakery
What is Eatzi’s? It’s like no other retail site or restaurant you’ve ever seen. With fresh-made breads and meals from just about every cuisine imaginable, this well-stocked store has the grab-and-go and home-meal-replacement segments covered like no other retailer. Asked whom he considers his competition, general manager Elis Droubi said, “No one really. Nobody does our quality at our volume.”
This recently remodeled convenience store revolves around RaceTrac’s new Taste Works foodservice concept, which brings together all of its roller-grill offers in a central merchandising area that gives grab-and-go a welcome boost in priority. With four grills offering a variety of foods, an ample condiment bar and more coffee options than most cafés, the only thing that can top the lunchtime/snack-time allure is the 10-flavor, 41-topping Swirl World frozen-yogurt bar.
CSP’s Convenience Retailing University continues through Feb. 25 in Dallas.
Follow CRU 2016 at #convenienceretailing.