Dependence on local conveniences has increased substantially. Especially now that the world has experienced an ongoing pandemic, the shift in consumer needs must be met by their local shops and stores. C-store retailers have the opportunity to reevaluate the needs of their community and the ways they can differentiate their offering among others in the marketplace.
Communities know their local convenience store as the familiar town store that serves as a meeting place. For owners and operators to keep that reputation, it’s imperative to be continuously evolving based on consumer needs.
Looking inside the c-store, increased in-store purchases have been reported during the pandemic—further evidence that consumers are looking for a place that meets their needs in more ways than ever before.
To keep pace with evolving consumer behaviors, the Cenex brand launched its LIFT initiative designed to revamp Cenex c-stores through a series of exterior and interior updates. LIFT is a lighting, image and facilities transformation centered around creating warm, welcoming shopping environments at all Cenex retail locations, both at the forecourt and inside the store. CHS’ experienced retail specialists and sales representatives are available every step of the way to partner with store owners and operators as they make big decisions that will impact their business, staff and community.
The initiative is extremely flexible and allows owners and operators of Cenex-branded c-stores to tailor their upgrades however best suits their community, all with the resources and support offered by CHS.
The opportunities through LIFT are twofold: both exterior and in-store updates are available for all 1,450 locations.
Curb appeal enhancements
The forecourt image upgrade component through LIFT that elevates the appearance of Cenex branded locations is called Halo. Halo upgrades will happen at all Cenex locations over the next four to five years, and store owners will have incentive packages available to help offset renovation costs. This is the first image upgrade the Cenex brand has rolled out since 2008, and it helps position stores so they can remain viable today and in the future.
The Cenex brand has set a goal of completing 300 sites each year of the initiative. The company is full steam ahead in order to accomplish that goal, and is well on its way to reaching it. Orton Oil Co. in Audubon, Minn. is just one of the many sites that have been completed in the first year of the initiative.
“We finished our upgrades a few months ago, and we’re already seeing increased traffic and business to our location because of the new Halo image,” said Frank Orton, Orton Oil Co. “We expect gas and diesel sales to continue increasing steadily now that the renovation is complete.”
Interior upgrades designed for community needs
Although any upgrades made to store interiors are discretionary, the in-store loan program provides retailers with the necessary support to undertake a renovation of any size. Whether a retailer is looking to rebuild or would prefer to only update the bathrooms, LIFT offers an option for every need.
A major way CHS is supporting store operators with interior renovations is by offering 0% loan financing for improvements aimed at enhancing customer experience and safety. The Cenex brand has seen an uptick in renovations through the in-store loan program to various segments of the interior like self-checkouts, touchless restrooms and other options that allow for greater safety.Beyond safety features, other available upgrades include coffee machines, internal shelving and signage, a refreshed main floor and much more.
Because the initiative is managed in-house at CHS, the initiative is a one-stop-shop for dealers. Whether a renovation is a new possibility or a rebuild has been an aspirational project for years, the flexibility provided through LIFT helps store owners and operators make their dreams reality.
While the thought of a renovation may feel like a mountain of an undertaking, the LIFT initiative helps ease renovation worries so that store owners and operators are able to focus on what’s best for their community.
To learn more about the Cenex LIFT initiative, visit cenex.com.
This post is sponsored by Cenex®