Lifting the In-Store Experience

Cenex® has offered retailers $150 million in forecourt and in-store improvements through its LIFT initiative.

March 18, 2024

This article is brought to you by Cenex®, a NACS Hunter Club member.

All good stories must come to an end … or do they? Cenex® will complete its four-year initiative to renovate the exterior of all Cenex-branded locations this August. While the exterior part of the program ends this year, Cenex is continuing its in-store loan program for the foreseeable future.

The initiative is called LIFT, which stands for lighting, image and facility transformation, and by the program’s completion it will have transformed more than 1,300 c-stores across 19 states.

LIFT is two-pronged. One portion, dubbed Halo, focuses on refreshing and modernizing the forecourt, and the other focuses on improving the in-store experience for consumers. Cenex, which is the energy brand of CHS, partnered with CHS Capital to provide subsidized low-interest loans for eligible in-store improvements.

“When we first launched this program in 2020, the timing wasn’t right for everybody to take on an in-store renovation,” said Akhtar Hussain, director of refined fuels marketing, CHS Inc. “The Cenex brand is committed to continuing to offer the in-store loan program and really help retailers work through these investment decisions.”

Lifting Up A Community

Convenience stores are facing stiff competition that’s only increasing. Dollar stores, grocery stores and even Amazon could easily be considered direct competitors to c-stores, and these retailers have forced the industry to rethink how they meet the wants and desires of today’s consumer. But competition within the industry has also increased, as c-store retailers level up to engage with these new competitors.

“In order for us to continue to keep the Cenex brand strong and relevant to consumers, we have to meet our retailers where their competition is, which is offering better in-store amenities, better foodservice programs and brighter, more modern stores,” said Hussain. “That is the flexibility that we are looking to deliver through the in-store loan program.”

Continue reading in the March issue of NACS Magazine.