New c-store concept is high-tech inside and out
Convenience stores and gas stations are changing fast, and those retailers that do both may be facing a very different consumer landscape in a short period of time. Small Denver-based convenience store and natural grocer Choice Market is one retailer that’s trying to get ahead of the game with a concept that incorporates new payment technology on the inside and new transportation technology outside.
Choice Market is planning to launch the new concept in the second half of 2019, according to Convenience Store Decisions. Inside, the 2,700-square-foot store will feature a natural grocery selection as well as a fast-casual restaurant and will allow customers to order and pay ahead via an app to avoid checking out conventionally. Outside, the concept will feature fuel pumps, electric vehicle superchargers, a bike share terminal, electric scooter chargers and solar energy collection.
Choice Market’s introduction of a mobile pay/pickup model within the store is in line with many industry-wide experiments in streamlining the checkout process and minimizing the time customers spend in line. And on the outside, the proposed offerings address numerous trends in personal and green transportation growing popular with customers, some of which may define the future of convenience stores that offer fuel.
The advent of the electric car has gotten gas stations and adjacent convenience stores looking ahead to what their role may be if electric vehicles match or surpass gas-powered ones in popularity. With electric car batteries requiring a longer time to charge than a traditional gas station fill-up, some have suggested that there is potential for fuel station convenience stores to focus on services that can leverage the increased customer dwell time.
Choice Market’s other charging solutions suggest that the chain is reconceptualizing the convenience store to act as a hub for other personal transportation and green energy needs.
Bike shares, for instance, have grown in popularity in major U.S. cities in recent years. The number of bike share doubled year-over-year in 2017, according to statistics by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO).
- Choice Market Opening C-Store with Autonomous Checkout – Convenience Store Decisions
- What will more electric cars mean for convenience stores? – RetailWire
- Bike Share in the U.S.: 2017 – NACTO
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the new Choice Market concept in line with the needs of today’s consumers or a too far ahead of its time to take hold? What features of the concept do you think will become commonplace within the convenience channel in the years ahead?