These 6 Retailers Are Operating the C-Store of Tomorrow

NACS Ideas 2 Go videos showcase how they are redefining the future of convenience.

October 05, 2022

LAS VEGAS—Six innovative and forward-focused convenience retailers headlined the 2022 edition of the NACS Ideas 2 Go video program, which made its debut yesterday at the NACS Show.

“Convenience retailers continue to redefine what convenience means,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “The retailers featured in this year’s Ideas 2 Go program show how our convenience retail industry is revolutionizing the customer experience and delivering excitement with new and unique offers.”

The retailers featured in this year’s Ideas 2 Go program are:

TXB Stores Inc.
TXB—which stands for Texas Born—is a reimagined retail concept located in Georgetown, Texas, an Austin suburb. “We use the term Whole Foods meets Hill Country,” said TXB Stores CEO Kevin Smartt. “It’s a new convenience store concept, but it’s not anything radically different—it’s just authentic.”

Fresh prepared Tex-Mex fare takes center stage in TXB’s foodservice offer. “Everything we have in the store, food wise, we make here,” said Smartt. TXB also places a big focus on private-label products, from beverage tumblers to beef jerky. “Private label represents the brand, and our goal is to try to source everything in Texas, and we have so far,” he said.

The Walk-Off Market, powered by Amazon
Earlier this year, Amazon launched both its Just Walk Out and Amazon One frictionless technologies at T-Mobile Park—a first for a Major League Baseball ballpark. The two technologies are featured at the venue’s new Walk-Off Market, which is designed to eliminate lines and allow fans to enjoy baseball.

“This type of buying experience is new for us but desperately needed,” said Malcolm Rogel, vice president of fan experience for the Seattle Mariners.

Lou Perrine’s Gas & Groceries
Single-store operator Anthony Perrine became a two-store operator in April with the opening of a new Lou Perrine’s Gas and Groceries convenience store in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The location taps into the history of the company that his grandfather built with nods of nostalgia in store décor and aesthetics.

"We are a community hub where people come together. My grandpa used to say they’re not just a customer, they’re family. There’s an emotional attachment to them—we want them to feel like family,” said Perrine.

Coen Markets Inc.
About six years ago, Coen was a collection of retail brands in the greater Pittsburgh area. Today, Coen is consolidating its brands into Coen Markets and establishing a unified image and opening next-generation stores in a highly competitive c-store market.

“We’re on our way to consistently doing new builds,” said Charlie McIlvaine, Coen chairman and CEO. “It's about creating a retail environment that is attractive, inviting and meant to say ‘fresh’ and it’s meant to say ‘food,’” he said.

Kwik Trip Inc.
La Crosse, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip’s 800th store showcases its third-generation concept. The store, located in Holmes, Wisconsin, is 2,000 square feet larger at about 9,000 square feet, features an updated color scheme, new flooring and ample space for customers to shop the store.

The new store also allows Kwik Trip to focus on food—especially the dinner daypart. “We have expanded to fresh chicken in all our stores,” said John McHugh, director of public relations. Kwik Trip wants to be known for more than chicken and pizza, and that includes fresh meats. “You can stop at Kwik Trip and get steaks, hamburgers and chicken breasts. We want to be known as the full meal solution for all your options, not just a few,” he said.

Wakepoint LBJ
Fuel. Food. Fun. That’s the tagline for Wakepoint LBJ, a unique convenience store, bar and barbecue joint on Lake LBJ in Kingsland, Texas. Whether customers come by boat or car, Wakepoint is the destination for water enthusiasts and those enjoying the outdoor space for live music, festivals or Sunday gospel services.

“The anchor to the concept was going to be the convenience store, but being on the lake, we wanted to add an experience to the traditional convenience store experience. And from there it just blossomed,” said owner Scott Westlund.

Ideas 2 Go showcases how retailers today are operating the convenience store of tomorrow.

The 2022 NACS Show took place at the Las Vegas Convenience Center from October 1-4. This year’s event featured thousands of new products and technology solutions across 425,000 square feet of expo space, 250+ new exhibitors and 45+ education sessions.