5 Areas of Opportunity for C-Stores Post-Pandemic

Design firms release white paper on key topics that loom large for the industry.

September 29, 2021

7 Eleven Wine Section

NEW YORK/BOSTON—Bona Design Lab and HFA Architects and Engineers released a 33-page white paper that outlines five specific areas at the forefront of the convenience retailing industry as it moves past the pandemic.

“Many c-store leaders are now refocusing on giving customers the social interaction they’ve been missing, and on making sure their stores convey a strong sense of local identity,” wrote authors Joseph Bona, founder and president of Bona Design Lab, and HFA’s James Owens.

The white paper, “Reimagining Sites & Stores: Perspectives on the Future of Convenience Retail,” explores five areas of opportunity for the global industry: integrating omnichannel offerings; revolutionizing convenience foodservice; anticipating cultural shifts; capitalizing on electrification; and returning to the corner store.

The white paper also discusses the role of micro-fulfillment centers in the industry; the need to harmonize site and store design with digital ads, “gamified” rewards programs and other marketing initiatives; and how to reopen food programs with a stronger emphasis on qualities such as healthy, fresh, creatively packaged and merchandised, customizable, novel and surprising.

The authors note that this white paper is a departure from existing “future of c-stores” think pieces. “All too often, discussion of the future of c-stores ends up in speculative territory that feels disconnected from the industry’s roots, the realities of the marketplace and what has worked in the past,” write the authors. The white paper instead focuses on new or accelerated trends that could translate into business opportunities for c-store clients, from the forecourt to the cash wrap.

You can read the white paper for free. Bona recently spoke with NACS Magazine on strategic designs for c-stores, and how technology, pickup/delivery and changing demographics are shaping convenience store design.

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