Welcome to our Koupon News Update series, where we share news and trends that are shaping the convenience store industry! In this week's update, learn how Koupon Media and Skip's new partnership is helping Ricker's, 7-Eleven's investment in mobile payment technology, and the FDA's crackdown on e-cigs.
C-Store Retailer Trends
Koupon Media Partners with Skip to Bring Mobile Offers and Frictionless Checkout to C-Stores
- Koupon Media is excited to announce a partnership with Skip, a scan & go startup that provides c-store customers with control via frictionless checkout. The partnership allows Koupon Media to send CPG-funded offers to customers as they shop using Skip’s technology.
- Koupon Media and Skip’s mutual client, Ricker’s, has already shared their thoughts on the partnership. "By combining the frictionless experience of cashier-less checkout from Skip and mobile offer technology from Koupon Media, Ricker’s will be better able to drive impulse purchases,” said Quinn Ricker, CEO and President of Ricker’s. “The fully integrated experience will allow us to leverage CPG-funded offers through mobile checkout in a seamless way."
- Insight: Stop by the Koupon Media booth #6111 at NACS to see how the partnership is bringing next generation technology to the c-store industry.
TravelCenters of America Debuts TA Express
- As it steps away from the stand-alone convenience-store business, TravelCenters of America LLC has opened its first four travel centers under its new TA Express smaller-format brand. "Today's customers want a different kind of convenience, and we are proud to carry on QD's legacy of customer-focused programs with the addition of QD Quick Delivery."
- “We’ve listened to our customers and have adapted our facilities to meet their needs, including their need to have our locations in some areas where you just cannot put a large format TA or Petro travel center. New distribution centers countrywide have changed freight patterns and call for additional fueling locations not restricted to interstates and 25-acre parcels.”
- Insight: TravelCenters of America sold off their Minit Mart c-store brand, but is continuing to serve truckers with small-format TA Express stores.
Stripe built a payments powerhouse by focusing on e-commerce. Now it’s following its customers into bricks and mortar.
- The San Francisco-based upstart, founded in 2010 by brothers Patrick and John Collison, is hoping to make a big splash into brick-and-mortar retail next and is unveiling a new product called Stripe Terminal that it believes will take it there.
- The new offering, fueled by the acquisition earlier this year of a software startup called Index, aims to make Stripe a payments solution for fast-growing internet businesses that sell products and services in person as well as online — a trend that has gained momentum in the past couple of years.
- Stripe also believes its technology is a differentiator. The company is promising that its new product will make it easy for stores to customize what shoppers see on the checkout screen, whether that’s a special discount offer or other messaging.
- Insight: Stripe has already conquered e-commerce payments, and their new technology is going to help brick & mortar stores simplify the payment process.
7-Eleven rolls out Apple Pay, Google Pay to all US stores
- 7-Eleven said this week that mobile payment systems Apple Pay and Google Pay will be accepted at most of its nearly 8,000 U.S. stores this month, according to a press release. The convenience retailer already accepts Samsung Pay.
- Mobile payment is among a growing list of digital advances at 7-Eleven, according to the release. These include the 7-Eleven NOW smartphone app which enables mobile ordering and delivery; 7-Eleven Rewards; the 7-Eleven Bot on Facebook Messenger; Amazon Locker and Amazon Cash; and the BillPay app powered by PayNearMe.
- Insight: 7-Eleven is continuing to invest in mobile technology with the roll out of mobile payments across all US stores.
FDA Issues 1,300 Warnings, Fines to Retailers on E-Cig Sales to Minors
- In a sweeping move to reinforce its public statements on preventing underage sales of electronic cigarettes—and a move that may potentially affect product flavors—the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued 1,300 warning letters and fines to an undisclosed number of retailers as a result of a summerlong undercover operation at the store level, the agency announced.
- “I believe certain flavors are one of the principal drivers of the youth appeal of these products,” said Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Silver Spring, Md.-based agency, in a statement released Sept. 12. “While we remain committed to advancing policies that promote the potential of e-cigarettes to help adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes, that work can’t come at the expense of kids.”
- Insight: E-cigarette manufacturers will need to implement new strategies and technology, like age verification, or actions will be taken by the FDA.
Home prices often soar when coffee shops open in a neighborhood, but c-stores are a leading indicator as well.
- “Starbucks locations are chosen by individuals with very good judgment about where prices are going to increase,” it’s also true that other retailers such as convenience stores contribute to rising home values too, according to a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research written by Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, Hyunjin Kim and Michale Luca.
- Convenience stores in particular aren’t necessarily hip, but the small shops often are the initial step in transforming an urban food desert. C-stores also “hint that newcomers, flush with cash, are willing to pay extra for the convenience of having basic goods nearby,” the Washington Post wrote.
- Insight: C-stores are an indicator of rising home prices as new comers look for easy access to goods when and where they need them.