Why Stewart’s Shops Likes Banks

Connected branch allows retailer, financial institution to connect with more customers

WATERVLIET, N.Y. --Stewart's Shops Corp. and Pioneer Bank have opened a new side-by-side convenience store and bank branch in Watervliet, N.Y., holding a grand opening on Aug. 11.

Stewart’s Shops purchased the property in Watervliet from Pioneer Bank, and the existing branch remained open during construction.

“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to purchase this property and partner with Pioneer Bank on such an exciting project that will allow both of our businesses to serve customers even better,” said Stewart’s Shops President Gary Dake.

The new retail development includes a 3,000-square-foot Stewart’s Shop and a 500-square-foot Pioneer Bank branch and drive-thru.

The location features a large gasoline island, new to the site, with eight fueling points.

“This site enables us to provide much-needed fuel service to this area of the city,” Dake said.

In addition to eight fueling stations, the c-store will feature freshly made pizza, made-to-order subs, a new beverage bar including fountain soda, a walk-in beer cave and a large counter area with seating.

“The new Watervliet store represents just one of many significant investments Stewart’s Shops will be making ... to help meet the growing needs of its customers,” the company said. “There is a focus on improved flow inside and outside their shops, as well as the expansion of foodservice. People are looking for easy food options throughout the day that fit into their busy lifestyles and changing eating habits.”

Pioneer’s updated branch design features the latest banking technology, including an “interactive teller machine” (ITM) and a safe deposit box vault. The ITM functions much like an ATM, but allows customers to videoconference with a remote Pioneer Bank teller.

“The marriage of these two [businesses] makes perfect sense,” Assemblyman John McDonald said at the grand opening. “There’s no better place to come and get your bread at the bank and your bread at Stewart’s."

In May, the retailer opened its first site in partnership with The Adirondack Trust Co. in Malta, N.Y. It was the first Stewart’s Shops c-store to feature a shared interior door, making it convenient for customers to buy groceries and bank in one location, the company said.

Ballston Spa, N.Y.-based Stewart’s Shops operates approximately 340 convenience stores in New York and Vermont.


Watervliet Grand Opening from Stewart's Shops Corp on Vimeo.

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