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    Take A Look: Some C-Store Designs You Should Consider

    In 2015, 12% of all c-stores underwent renovations[i]  ̶  because re-inventing your store’s design is one of the best ways to draw in new customers. Throughout the year sales can rise and drop, so it is very important to make sure you are continually trying to make your store the best that it can be. One way to do this is by placing a greater emphasis on your store's forecourt design. By creating an inviting destination for all customers especially your key demographics, you are enhancing their overall experience and encouraging them to shop more frequently.

    Everyone’s Doing It

    The convenience store industry has invested billions of dollars in new store builds for both rural and urban locations[ii]. This is because the benefits drastically outweigh the costs that come with simply making smaller improvements to your store. However, if building a completely new store is not in your plans (or budget), you may consider major re-designing and renovations to improve your store for the New Year. A fresh, well-kept business is always more likely to attract customers and keep them coming back time and time again.

    Before You Re-Design

    "It's one thing to have an attractive store that grabs the attention of motorists driving by. It's another thing to have an attractive store that delivers an in-store experience unlike anything else consumers have ever encountered”[iv]. When choosing to re-design first consider your motivations. Planning and deciding what your will update is an important first step in the renovation process. Think about what you want your store's new brand to be:

    • How do you want to be seen or perceived?
    • What kind of experience do you want your customers to have?
    • Are you wanting smoother operations or to draw in more customers?

    Place a greater emphasis on your forecourt design to keep customers in your store. Focus on the outside of your building if you want to draw more customers in. Whether it is inside or outside strive for a clean, fresh, and friendly look. Avoid harsh colors and bulky equipment that can confuse or overwhelm the customer. Your main goal is to satisfy the customer, and adding in unique customer service elements may also help boost your business.


    Big Changes, Big Results

    If you have a larger budget, there are some options that will benefit your store in many ways.

    Consider using a touch-screen order point system to help customers quickly navigate through store inventory to find healthier options[vi]. With this system, you can search through different categories such as ‘400 calories or less’ or ‘less than 6 grams of fat’. This gives the customer more control and cuts down on time they would spend searching through the store.

    Lighting can also make a huge difference for your business. Updating to newer fixtures will better illuminate your store making it safer and products more appealing. Fresh coolers can also draw in shoppers who are wanting fresher options. Focus on stocking salads, healthy alternatives, meats and cheeses[vii].

    If you are searching for design ideas that will completely change your store consider replacing the floors, walls, counters, or fuel pump islands if you also sell fuel. No matter what changes or updates you decide to make, design with the future in mind, so that you can adapt to changes in the market and customer needs.

    Low-Cost Remodel Ideas

    You do not need to spend a lot of money to clean up your store. Some simple visual changes can help alter the overall appeal of your store creating a more inviting environment. Focus on a color scheme that will brighten up your store. Complimentary colors like blue and green are calming and can help make your store seem fresh and open. You will want to brand your store with an updated logo or create an icon with the same appealing colors. This will give your c-store a fun or distinct personality that separates you from your competitors[v].

    You should also pick a theme to unify your stores visuals. Some stores have chosen a retro look, while others choose to go with a theme based on their heritage. After you decide what you want to change you should start de-cluttering your store. There is no such thing as being too organized. Having your products displayed properly and consistently stocked will help customers find the products they want quickly. Also, you should get rid of the large and bulky signs that distract your customers. Consider updating both your inside and outdoor signage to match your new colors and theme.

    Another low-cost remodeling idea, that steps outside the realm of your physical location, is getting a website or updating your current one. Try engaging on social media by offering coupons or discounts that can draw more shoppers into your store. These options can help to increase foot-traffic and give your store a fresh look.

    The end goal of re-designing your c-store is for your customers to choose you over your competitors. With these design ideas in mind begin planning how you can best change your store to have the greatest impact on your shopper's overall experience.