In a recent study of over 7,600 consumers by Market Force Information, participants were asked to rank c-store chains across the United States and Canada.The top five chains are listed below:
- QuikTrip Corp.
- Wawa Inc.
- RaceTrac Petroleum Corp.
- Speedway LLC
- ARCO/Casey’s General Stores Inc.
Other highlights emerging from the study include how the overall customer experience is key for c-store loyalty, and how a clean, inviting environment plays an important role in a consumer’s decision about where to shop (followed by service, amenities and coffee).Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force, said, "Convenience store customers are on the go and in a hurry, but they will proactively drive to a store that provides a pleasant environment -- clean, friendly, great food and service. The payoff for convenience store operators is that consumers shop longer and spend more. If stores can excel in these areas, they''ll see customers make a point to return again and again."According to the study, QuikTrip and Wawa also dominated across the board when it came to cleanliness, amenities and atmosphere.With more than a quarter of consumers willing to drive right past competitors to shop at their favorite c-store locations (according to Market Force), c-stores cannot afford to ignore the results of this study.One area often overlooked by c-store chains is their visual communication strategy – assuming that they have one in place.A well thought-out visual communication strategy has become an important and effective tool for attracting and retaining customers in the competitive c-store marketplace. It’s important to understand that every sign, point-of-purchase display, menu board and graphic has a role in communicating with the customer.The five c-store chains above understand and apply a successful visual communication strategy at all of their locations because they understand the power and impact the right signage can have on their bottom line.