C-Stores Serve With Heart

From free coffee to cents-off at the pump, retailers continue to show love to their communities.

April 08, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Convenience retailers are not slowing down when it comes to helping those who help others. Retailers and suppliers across the country are giving away coffee to first responders, providing extra pay to frontline employees, making generous donations to hospitals and simply serving in their communities.

BP and Amaco gas stations are offering 50-cent-per-gallon discounts on gasoline for hospital workers, nurses and first responders, The Indy Channel reports. To receive the discount, the customer must have his or her identity verified through ID.me, a digital identity verification system. In addition, this week ampm stores started giving free hot dogs, coffee or fountain drinks to emergency service workers and hospital staff who show an official ID inside the store.

RaceTrac is extending its free small fountain drink or coffee to essential workers through the end of April. The company will also continue its $3 an hour pay bump to hourly workers and $150 extra weekly pay to store general managers through April. “RaceTrac is committed to providing our communities with the essentials they need during this time of great uncertainty,” said Melanie Isbill, chief marketing officer, in a press release.

Global Partners LP’s convenience store brands, Alltown Fresh, Alltown, Jiffy Mart, XtraMart, T-Bird, and Honey Farms, also temporarily increased compensation for retail store employees by $2 an hour and is providing $50 monthly gift cards for each store employee. Store managers will receive a one-time bonus payment of $600.

Fleet Advantage’s foundation, Kids Around the Corner, made a $10,000 donation to the First Responders Children’s Foundation to aid in their emergency response fund. “Community involvement, charitable giving and support are a tenet of Fleet Advantage and essential to bringing our communities together as we are all deeply affected by this virus,” said John Flynn, CEO at Fleet Advantage.

QuickTrip (QT) launched an on-lot pickup service across the country. QT customers now have the option to have their items delivered to their vehicle almost anywhere on the lot upon arrival. “Our customers all have varying preferences and goals for their visits to QT, and we hope this option will accommodate many who aren’t able to come inside for a visit,” said QuikTrip Digital Marketing Manager Mattie Garrison, in a press release.

Pilot and Flying J travel centers continue to stay open to serve professional drivers and others working to support their communities. The company is taking extra precautions, such as following social distancing guidelines and disinfecting frequently used surfaces, including gas pumps, door handles, restrooms and showers. “We are extraordinarily grateful to the everyday heroes—from professional drivers to first responders and health care providers—who are working tirelessly to provide the care, services and supplies we need through this challenging time,” said Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Company, in a press release.

TA and Petro Shopping Centers are also staying open, with additional cleaning of the fuel pumps and pin pads, more frequent cleaning of showers and restrooms, and closing full-service restaurant dining. Its fitness centers and driver lounges have been closed until further notice.

The Goods Mart has created the Goods Surprise Snack Box, which is will be filled with snacks and shelf-stable beverages. Boxes come in three sizes and in vegan, gluten-free and paleo/low sugar varieties. Customers can donate a box to the Food Bank for New York or to the staff at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Mount Sinai. In addition, 10% of each box will benefit the Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation. The New York c-store was featured in the 2019 Ideas 2 Go video.

Krispy Krunchy Chicken donated 50 cases of SaniPro wipes to Baton Rouge, La., health-care facilities. The company also gave meals to hospitals in the New Orleans area, WBRZ-TV reports. ExxonMobil also donated hand sanitizer.

Common Man Roadside has reduced its hours and turned its fresh foodservice into carryout only. “We have stepped up social media activity to encourage business and have been involved in reaching out to the community, providing some meals to area hospital health-care workers. We are also offering a 50% discount on takeout meals to health-care workers and first responders,” Bill Boynton with Common Man Roadside told NACS Daily. “Business is off, but we are pushing forward in this current environment, and [are] confident that this too shall pass.”

Marathon Petroleum Corporation donated 575,000 N95 respirator masks to 45 health-care facilities, while the Marathon Petroleum Foundation Inc., gave $1 million to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief. “We are incredibly grateful for the selfless actions of doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers on the front lines of this pandemic, and we are grateful that we can make this contribution to their safety,” said MPC President and CEO Michael J. Hennigan, in a press release.

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.