Blog Series

Convenience Store Retailers Hit the Road

Two c-store chains are exploring a new way to meet consumers where they are.
Melissa Kress
Executive Editor
Melissa Kress profile picture
Choice Market Nomad micro-store

All retailers in the convenience channel have a goal to be where the consumer is.

At first, that meant being on key corners in every community from coast to coast. Then, as the use of cellphones and mobile devices grew, retailers began rolling out branded apps to be at consumers' fingertips. Then, change came yet again in the form of delivery when the COVID-19 pandemic kept consumers at home.

What's next? For two convenience store chains, Golden Pantry and Choice Market, the next evolution includes hitting the road. As Convenience Store News and its sister publication Chain Store Age first reported, both retailers are partnering with Juxta, a venture by Vontier Corp., parent company of Gilbarco Veeder-Root, to add the Juxta Nomad store to their networks. As the name implies, the Nomad is designed to travel. It can be transported and installed virtually anywhere within 12 hours.

Choice Market is doing just that. Its Nomad store will initially deploy at the Renewal 2023 music festival in Buena Vista, Colo., from Sept. 21-24, where it will be open to campers and festivalgoers 24 hours a day. The store will then move and operate from a home base in Denver. Golden Pantry, meanwhile, will be setting up its Nomad store in a mixed-use development in its hometown of Watkinsville, Ga.

Aside from being even more convenient for consumers to access, the Juxta Nomad is fully autonomous. It does not require the labor of a fully staffed convenience store. For a channel that continually deals with high turnover, and is grappling with the labor challenges affecting all retail — a smaller labor pool and higher wages — having the ability to serve customers with less staff is appealing.

A fleet of mobile autonomous stores will never fully replace a network of brick-and-mortar stores, but it is surely an interesting solution for retailers to consider adding to their mix when they truly want to be where consumers are.

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