ALEXANDRIA, Va.—On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Understanding the Art of Convenience Retail,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives, and Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic initiatives, discuss the ins and outs of running convenience stores with Roy Strasburger, president of StrasGlobal.
“My family’s been in the retail business for over 80 years, starting off in the supermarket side, then [moving] into convenience stores in the 1960s,” Strasburger said. StrasGlobal owned and operated a chain of stores throughout Texas until 2012, and during the past 30 years, the company also provided contract management and operations for other convenience retailers. “So we have a wide range of geographic knowledge as well as a long history in retail, gasoline and convenience, and meeting the customer’s demand.”
What do all convenience stores give people? “It’s a bit of a cliché now, but what we really sell is time,” Strasburger said. “The difference is that time means different things to different people, depending on where you are. Being able to provide the services, or the products or the entertainment that people are looking for in a quick and easy way is really what drives our business. That can range from providing somebody with a fountain drink in the United States on demand to providing live fish in a market when we used to run stores in the Philippines.”
What StrasGlobal does is “bring a uniformity to the day-to-day operations to create the whole platform as to what customer service is all about,” Strasburger said. That involves clean stores, the right product mix, and meeting the needs of the local neighborhood. “We combine that with the unique character of the store to tell that store’s story, that owner’s story, to the customers.”
Strasburger also talked about passing along the business to future generations. “I come from a family business background, so I know how sensitive family relations can be when you’re trying to wear a family hat and a business hat.”
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, other podcast apps, YouTube and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than 130,000 times by listeners around the world.