How Spinx Developed Its Biggest Store to Date

Brett Dworski, Associate Editor, CSP Magazine & Convenience Store Products

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- With the opening of its brand-new, 6,000-square-foot-plus convenience store in Moncks Corner, S.C., The Spinx Co. is focusing on made-to-order food and face-to-face convenience.

Stewart Spinks, chairman and founder of the company, told CSP Daily News this direction arose from recent consumer demands for fresh meals and social interaction. In meeting these demands, the new c-store features a full kitchen and is weeks away from completing the addtion of a tunnel car wash, the first of its kind of for any Spinx Co. location.

Here’s a look at how the Greenville, S.C.-based chain created its biggest c-store to date ...

Safety first

Before opening the new unit, the Spinx team had to make the surrounding highway safe for traveling patrons, as required by the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The job: to finance a brake-down lane, forcing drivers to slow down upon arriving at the c-store. Not only was this an entirely new process for Spinx, but having to fund the lane entirely out of pocket was different than anything the company had done before, Spinks told CSP Daily News. He refers to the project as a “big capital hurdle.”

Fresh food wins

Unlike the construction project, Spinks speaks cheerfully regarding the enhanced prepared-foods selection, which is led by its chicken. Cooks are trained to prepare chicken breasts, liver and gizzards—fried or baked—on demand. And keeping up with today’s health kick, the store also offers made-to-order yogurt and smoothies and provides free bananas to further promote healthy eating.

Car-wash evolution

In addition to the revamped menu’s importance, the tunnel car wash is the store’s key differentiator, Spinks said. He called it “evolutionary in the car-wash channel.” While the chain’s current car washes take 12 to 15 cars an hour, the tunnel system is expected to wash up to 60 cars an hour. Moreover, the car wash is service-attending, which means employees work face to face with customers during the payment process to ensure everything is set to go. Spinks said this system aligns with some consumers’ aversion to frictionless service. Then, in tunnel-washing fashion, the customer sits in the car for the ride. The car wash also ties into Spinx Co.’s customer-loyalty program, which translates purchased car-wash packages to fuel-pump discounts.

This location is the 10th Spinx c-store built in just under four years, and Spinks said his team is far from its end goal. “We’re shooting for 25 stores [in Charleston, S.C.],” he said. “It’s a big financial commitment, but in today’s market, it’s possible.”

Spinx ranked No. 71 in CSP's 2017 Top 202 list of the largest c-store chains in the United States.