A sense of community means something different to everyone. For many, community is typically viewed through a geographical lens: showing support for and pride in a hometown or showcasing the unique culture or history of a town. But geography is only a small part of how community comes to life in many instances. Community is about so much more than the place—it’s also about the people.
How stores can foster a sense of community with store upgrades
Cenex®-branded locations across the country understand the need to foster community, and they’re up to the task of ensuring communities thrive in their area. In Wahpeton, N.D., Wade Griffin, retail manager for Southern Valley Travel Center, is motivated by the people who stop at the location each day.
“It’s very important to me and to a lot of the employees here to take care of the customers that come in,” said Griffin. “We enjoy the day-to-day interactions and conversations. It’s a rewarding feeling when someone comes in and you can say, ‘Hey, how did your son’s ballgame go yesterday?’ Through the Cenex LIFT initiative, we’ve been able to build a space that encourages that type of community feeling.”
Griffin and his team were considering remodeling what was the existing Southern Valley Travel Center but determined that tearing down and building a brand new location was best for the needs of their community. To accomplish this, Griffin and his team partnered with CHS on its new LIFT initiative, a lighting, image and facilities transformation designed to revamp Cenex-branded stores through a series of exterior and interior updates, along with optional no-interest loan funding for in-store improvements.
A welcoming exterior
In addition to the local community, many people served at Southern Valley Travel Center are travelers and truck drivers. For these folks, curb appeal and ease of access can make all the difference when determining where to stop on their route.
One of the upgrades addressing both these needs is the all-new Halo forecourt image. The new Halo image includes improvements to the canopy, forecourt and main ID sign, including a 360-degree LED light band, new Cenex logos and three-dimensional backlit blue arches.
A comfortable interior
From the moment customers walk into Southern Valley Travel Center, they feel the care and thought that went into making this location a star in the community. Because this project involved a complete rebuild, the team decided to create enough space to include a Caribou Coffee in the store. With room for both a coffee counter and an area to gather, Southern Valley Travel Center quickly became the go-to spot for a group of locals.
LIFT upgrades are making an impact on business
The Cenex brand developed the LIFT initiative not only with the goal of helping local stores become a community favorite, but also with the intent to help store owners and operators make as big an impact on their bottom line as possible through renovations. Both goals have been met at Southern Valley Travel Center.
“With all the upgrades we included, foot traffic has increased three to four times what it was before we began this project,” said Griffin. “The Cenex LIFT initiative has helped us become the great business we are today.”
To learn more about the project and the LIFT initiative, visit cenex.com/lift.
This post is sponsored by Cenex®