When State Oil Co. is training its area managers, store managers and customer representatives to operate its Marathon and Phillips 66 gas station/c-stores in Illinois, the company knows it wants “friendly faces and good service.”

“We emphasize always saying ‘hello’ when someone enters the store,” President Pete Anest says. “It is important to make sure you acknowledge the customer so they are noticed and feel appreciated. We want to make sure [employees] have nametags on and are learning the names of frequent customers. That’s really important. We want them to stay upbeat and positive, even if they have a complaint, because that will keep getting them coming back.”

Customers judge convenience stores by their appearance on a daily basis when they decide whether to stop at one over the other. Knowing outdated looks don’t lure customers, Orton Oil is remodeling its older sites and coming up with fresh marketing ideas to rival competitors.

Founded in 1958 by Leland and Maude Orton, Orton Oil remains family owned and headquartered in Walker, Minn. Fourth-generation owner and Vice President Frank Orton says over the past 55 years the company has grown significantly from where it started as a single oil service station and Ford dealership. 

When Hess Corp. announced earlier this year that it was exiting the oil and gas retail market to focus wholly on its exploration and production operations, it was simply a continuation of a trend that has been happening for nearly a decade. Oil exploration and production companies have been divesting their retail assets and instead choosing to sell to jobbers who market the product to end-customers. For oil and gas retailers already in the market, the industry trend has created ample opportunity for growth. 

A slice of “Seacoast Pizza,” a “Boathouse Bacon Burger” and a “Rockland Roast Beef” sandwich sound like menu items from a restaurant somewhere on the coast. It’s partly true – the location is in coastal Rockland, Maine – but the food is from the menu of a local convenience store deli. 

Maritime Farms offers customers a change from the typical convenience store selections, says Charon Curtis, operations manager. Lighthouse Delis inside each of the convenience stores are decorated with farm and water themes, including harbor images. “The graphics and décor in our stores are unique,” Curtis says. “We are always adding new items to our deli. Recently we added the macaroni & cheese pizza.” The delis offer a range of freshly made items including specialty pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and breakfast items.

Latest issue

Latest issue cover2

Check out our latest Edition!

New & Notable

 

Contact Us

Retail Merchandiser Magazine
79 West Monroe St., Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60603

  312.676.1100
  312.676.1101

Click here for a full list of contacts.

Latest Edition

Spread The Love

Back To Top