CHICAGO — Convenience-store chains Wesco, Hutch’s and FavTrip led a fundraising round for Vroom Delivery, a provider of proprietary e-commerce software for the c-store industry. Other professional investors were a part of the completed round.
The companies did not disclose the amounts of the investments.
The new capital will allow Vroom to accelerate its growth and continue to invest in new feature and automation development, as well as to enhance the company’s onboarding and account management programs. The company has partnered with chains representing thousands of stores in nearly 40 states, it said.
Wesco Inc., Muskegon, Mich., was the first chain to join the Vroom platform in 2018. Initially offering in-store pickup from select stores with hot food, Wesco now offers home delivery from 36 of its sites and curbside and in-store pickup from all 56 stores in western Michigan.
Wesco was instrumental in helping shape the Vroom Delivery platform intended to solve the complex needs of convenience store industry. Wesco has led the industry in launching new online features such as online SNAP/EBT (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/electronic benefits transfer) payments, menu and inventory automation and online loyalty. Recently, Wesco became the first retailer to integrate its e-commerce program with PDI Loyalty.
“Year over year we continue to see sales grow. We have been able to establish that a customer who is ordering for home delivery generates a basket size almost 3 times ring as a customer who visits our store directly,” said Nancy Westgate-Systema, co-president of Wesco.
“But even beyond the increases in sales, we have gained other benefits that maybe we didn't initially anticipate,” she said. “This feedback from one of our customer survey comments about their Vroom order says it best: ‘Always great service, and the customer service is always positive…Very helpful for people that have health issues and cannot get out or are able to have someone do errands for them.’ These types of replies cause a real pause for us for a moment, as we knew doing something like this would help our customers, but we hadn't realized just how much.”
Hutchinson Oil, Elk City, Okla., doing business as Hutch’s, was another early client of Vroom Delivery, joining in 2019. Hutch’s 21 c-stores are large-format sites that offer a robust foodservice program to their customers in largely rural areas of Oklahoma. The stores have had particular success in using Vroom to attract customers to their drive-thru, while also providing delivery and curbside pickup in several markets. Their food offering and customer service regularly receives the highest customer rankings of stores on the Vroom platform, it said.
FavTrip, a three-store chain based in Kansas City, Mo., has often played the role of first adopter of new features on Vroom. FavTrip was the first convenience retailer in the country to launch online EBT payments, as well as the first to us Vroom’s white-label, third-party delivery aggregation service that allows stores to cost-effectively deliver orders through driver networks such as DoorDash Drive and Uber Direct.
“We are humbled by the confidence that our customers have in our product, our team, and our ability to continue to bring the industry online” said John Nelson, CEO of Vroom Delivery. “Our mission is to provide an online ordering experience for consumers that delivers a seamless omnichannel experience: the same deals, coupons, product selection, loyalty, and payment options. We have already achieved many of these goals, and this commitment from our customers helps us get the rest of the way there.”
Founded in 2016 and based in Chicago, Vroom Delivery is an e-commerce solution for convenience stores, providing the technical aspects required for them to operate and manage their own e-commerce and delivery services.
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