Blog Series

Cross-Channel Competition Is About to Get a Jolt

Walmart plans to have a coast-to-coast EV charging network within seven years.
Melissa Kress
Executive Editor
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An electric vehicle dashboard

Convenience store operators have been hearing about the need to future-proof their businesses for several years now and part of that is planning for the changing mobility landscape. Yes, retailers have heard countless times before about the need to add electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to their sites. Sure, gas-powered vehicles still dominate the road. But waiting for the day when the balance tips toward EVs will put convenience retailers behind the competitive eight ball.

Need more proof? Walmart Inc. recently announced it will create a coast-to-coast charging network at its stores, as well as Sam's Club locations by 2030. With stores within 10 miles of approximately 90 percent of Americans, the company believes it is in a prime position to deliver convenient charging options that will help make the conversion to EVs possible in all living areas — urban or rural. Given Walmart's previous partnership with Murphy USA, it should not be a complete surprise that the retailer is eying the evolving forecourt.

Convenience stores, though, have long been battling other retail channels for share of the consumer's wallet. Big-box stores and mass merchandise retailers have been slowing taking dollars out of c-store registers, figuratively.

With so much cross-channel shopping, why give consumers one more reason to head to Walmart instead of their corner store? That consumer filling up at your pump today may be charging up at the nearest station five years from now. Why shouldn't that nearest station be yours? 

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