C-Stores Lift Up Their Communities Amid Crisis

Here are some feel-good stories about retailers serving their neighbors during the pandemic.

March 18, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—From giving away goods to dedicated shopping hours for seniors, retailers are showing why they’re the heart of their communities. Here are some stories about convenience retailers and grocers who are going the extra mile to help customers during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

La Crosse, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip is providing free delivery via EatStreet at more than 70 Wisconsin locations for items such as bread, eggs and toilet paper, Madison Magazine reports.

“These are largely unprecedented times, and we want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to get the items they need without having to take on additional costs,” said David Jackson, Kwik Trip’s digital marketing and loyalty manager. “Whether you need bread and eggs, or some comfort food like our famous chicken sandwiches and a Big Buddy, we’re going to make sure you’re able to get what you need without having to leave home.”

Choice Market in Denver is offering food pickup or takeout discounts to service industry employees who are hard hit by the sudden closure of in-store dining in bars and restaurants, plus emergency responders who are on the front lines of the public health crisis.

“In an effort to support our fellow colleagues who have been the most impacted, Choice is offering a 20% discount on the entire bill for any employee in the service industry as well as any first responders and medical personnel,” Choice said in a notice to customers posted on its website. The hybrid c-store/fast-casual restaurant also is offering $5 off any UberEats delivery of $20 or more to help reduce the delivery expense to customers.

Choice Market is featured in the 2019 Ideas 2 Go

Across the Atlantic in Drylaw, Edinburgh, Day-Today convenience store has given away more than $6,000 in free products to seniors, as a way to help them prepare for quarantines, the Good News Network reports. Owner Zahid Iqbal packaged toilet paper, tissues, anti-inflammatories and antibacterial hand soap into “coronavirus kits” that he delivers for free to customers age 65 and older or to anyone with mobility problems.

“We’ve given away more than a thousand now, that’s just over the weekend,” said Iqbal. “It’s a time when we need to stick together.”

Meanwhile, some grocery stores and discount stores in the United States are setting aside special times reserved for elderly shoppers to help those most vulnerable to COVID-19 shop for essentials, CBS News reports.

Foodtown, a grocery chain of about 30 locations in Texas, is opening its doors from 7 to 8 a.m. “to allow those ages 65 and older to shop in a less crowded environment,” the company announced on its website.

Starting Thursday, Massachusetts-based Stop & Shop will open earlier to serve only customers who are age 60 and older from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., the company announced on its website.

At Dollar General, the first hour stores are open will be for older shoppers only, USA Today reports. The chain is encouraging other customers to please shop “around this window of time to allow the most susceptible customers in our communities the ability to shop during the first hour that stores are open.”

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.

Editor’s Note: Please share your feel-good c-store stories with us at news@convenience.org.

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