By Sara Counihan
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Convenience retailers are always on the lookout for the latest ideas to bring back stores. On this week’s NACS Convenience Matters podcast episode, The Hub CEO and NACS Chairman Jared Scheeler says that some of his best ideas come from others in industry.
“One of the beautiful things about this industry is that we’re also willing to share what we know, share what we’ve learned, share our best practices, share things that haven’t worked. That comes into effect from big companies to small companies,” said Scheeler. “When I became the chairman of NACS this past October, I made an objective to help as many small retailers as I can, to take their game to the next level. And that’s manifested itself in some visits that I’ve had.”
Scheeler has hosted a few visitors to his store in Dickinson, North Dakota, to learn from his store and methods, but Scheeler admits he learns just as much from them.
“Kind of the dirty little secret is that they come thinking they’re learning from me and most of the time I take away more than I might have given them,” he said.
On the flip side, when Scheeler is on the road, he tries to pick up ideas wherever he is.
“I get so many ideas from other businesses in other channels that are innovative and a lot of it’s in foodservice because you see different types of cuisine or different site types of equipment, or different ways of going about business,” he said.
When Scheeler makes road trips, he schedules stops in various places that he wants to see or various stores within the convenience channel. Whether it’s a high-volume store in a busy area or a truck stop that has a food court containing four different QSRs, he wants to see how they do it, he said.
“I’m always a student of the industry, of retail and foodservice. I think a lot of times, especially here in North Dakota, you get caught up in the same old, same old,” he said. “Take the opportunity to go to areas that are maybe more developed or more advanced or have more options. There’s so much to learn out there. I really enjoy that aspect of it.”
Reflecting on this past year of chairmanship, he said being in a position to help other operators and build friendships has been the most rewarding.
“My biggest takeaway was I was hoping to inspire more small retailers across this country by what I do, what I know, what I’ve learned, and hopefully, having the ability to share that. I’ve built friendships out of it and I’ve learned so many things that I didn’t know through these friendships,” said Scheeler.
Learn more about Scheeler and his time as NACS chairman in this week’s NACS Convenience Matters podcast episode No. 349 “Where To Look for Great Ideas.”
Sara Counihan is contributing editor of NACS Magazine and NACS Daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.