Welcome to our Koupon News Update series, where we share news and trends that are shaping the convenience store industry! In this week's Koupon News Update, learn about an on-demand gas startup, new Amazon Go locations, and Walmart's convenience store concept.
C-Store Retailer Trends
Cumberland Farms’ Customers Save $100 Million with SmartPay Check-Link
- Cumberland Farms’ customers have saved a total of $100 million through the c-store chain’s SmartPay Check-Link program since its launch in January 2013.
- SmartPay, which is free to join and free to use, is available as both a payment card and mobile payment app via the App Store or Google Play. Customers save 10 cents on every gallon of gasoline purchased, every day at any of the brand’s nearly 600 gasoline retail locations across the Northeast and Florida.
- In addition to saving users 10 cents on every gallon of gasoline, mobile app users can also enjoy additional benefits, such as a free coffee or fountain beverages for every 50 gallons of gasoline purchased. To date, Cumberland Farms has given away over 5 million free drinks via SmartPay Rewards.
- Insight: Retailers can drive loyalty through multiple different channels, including cents per gallon savings, mobile offers, and freebies.
Make Way for On-Demand Gasoline
- Everyone loves delivery services, but forget pizza and florists. Now Yoshi, a gasoline provider in Silicon Valley, is delivering fuel directly to individual cars and fleets in 14 cities, according to The Outline, an online news publication.
- Drivers in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, the Raleigh/Durham area, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Warren, Michigan, can get their vehicles refueled at their home or workplace by a gasoline-carrying delivery truck. Yoshi expects to be serving 25 cities by year-end.
- Convenience is the reason, according to Kurt Hoppe, an advisory board member for the Internet of Things Consortium. Since 1996 when GM’s OnStar service was launched, Hoppe has watched as autos became more connected. Thanks to Internet access and the ability to communicate with other devices, he predicts that cars, not customers, eventually will notify on-demand fuel companies when they are low on gas.
- Insight: New startups are being formed to bring convenience to the fueling-up process.
Dash In's New Store Concept Goes From Transaction to Connection
- After three years of collaborating with its design and construction partners to develop a reimagined brand experience, Dash In unveiled the fruits of its labor with an all-new, large-format "neighborhood concept store" in Chesterfield County, Va., that prominently showcases local products and the retailer’s elevated fresh food and beer/wine offering.
- An expansive kitchen serves as the centerpiece of the Chesterfield County location, allowing customers to clearly locate it upon walking into the store. The move to put foodservice at the epicenter of the store design was intentional.
- Insight: Retailers are changing stores to focus on foodservice.
Stuzo Partners with Koupon Media to Bring Best-In-Class CPG Offers to Fuel and Convenience Retailers
- Koupon Media is excited to announce a partnership with Stuzo, a leading provider of personalized and predictive commerce solutions, to deliver targeted, personalized mobile offers in a more seamless way.
- This partnership will integrate Koupon’s mobile offer capabilities and data insights with Open Commerce’s middleware connections to payment, loyalty, and digital channels, giving retailers the ability to better personalize offers for consumers, increase in-store sales, and attract new shoppers.
- Insight: Koupon Media is continuing to partner with c-store industry leaders.
Amazon Go locks in second Seattle spot
- Amazon is planning to open a second Seattle location for its Amazon Go cashierless store concept this fall at an office building in the city, according to GeekWire.
- The e-commerce giant is not alone in aiming to provide customers with a shopping experience free of checkout lines. Several convenience and grocery retailers are adopting similar technology, and Juniper Research has estimated that we’ll see $78 billion in cashierless transactions by 2022. Amazon Go may not have the most cashierless locations as the trend continues to play out, but it certainly gets credit for getting the ball rolling.
- Insight: Amazon Go continues to expand and change how people think about convenience.
Investor Group Acquires Verifone
- An investor group led by Francisco Partners, a tech-focused private-equity firm, is acquiring global payment and commerce solution provider Verifone. As part of the deal, Verifone CEO Paul Galant is stepping down, effective at the close of the transaction, which is projected to occur in the third quarter of 2018.
- The investor group purchasing Verifone also includes British Columbia Investment Management Corp. (BCI), based in Victoria, British Columbia. The group is set to acquire Verifone for $23.04 per share in cash, representing a total of approximately $3.4 billion, including Verifone’s net debt. Verifone’s board of directors unanimously approved the agreement at the time of its announcement.
- Verifone will become a private company upon completion of the transaction.
- Insight: Verifone, one of the largest POS providers, is going private.
Walmart Opening More Convenience Stores
- Walmart is planning to expand its reach into the convenience-store channel this year, beginning with a c-store that opened July 11 in Plano, Texas, according to a report by The Dallas Morning News.
- So far, the big-box chain has only dabbled in the c-store channel. But the opening of a 2,900-square-foot location with eight fuel pumps marks a revisiting of the strategy, including three more stores to open in the Dallas-Fort Worth area later this year.
- Rather than just fuel and a small selection of snacks, candy and beverages, these new
c-stores offer an expanded hot food, snack and beverage selection; soft-serve ice cream; and a full assortment of convenience merchandise, according to the report.
- Insight: Mass merchant retailers are starting to focus on small format stores.
Target expands Drive Up to 200 more stores
- Target has expanded its Drive Up curbside pick-up service throughout the Midwest and the South, making it available at 200 more stores in those regions, the company said Tuesday.
- The move follows the implementation of the curbside pick-up service throughout the South and Southeast this spring. It's now available in more than 800 stores in 25 states, with more coming in late August.
- Insight: Target is ramping up its pick-up services to better target the on-the-go customer.