Cumberland Farms Continues to Reinvent Itself to Stay Competitive
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — If David Heilbronner, director of brand strategy and advertising for Cumberland Farms Inc., had to describe the convenience store retailer’s "next-generation" store model in three words, they would be: friendly, simple and fast.
Westborough-based Cumberland Farms debuted its next-gen store design in August 2017 with a 5,000-square-foot location at 4560 S. Washington Ave. in Titusville, Fla. The retailer has since opened more than two dozen stores sporting this model, which enhances customers’ convenience and offers an expanded menu that rivals fast-casual restaurants.
"We are always looking for ways to innovate and, based on our experience and learning from the past eight years of updating our stores, the time was right to make the change to the next version of our stores," Heilbronner told Convenience Store News. "It took about eight months from initial idea to the completion of the first store."
The new stores reflect the retailer’s latest thinking on how to serve its guests in the best way possible. The goal of the next-gen store model is to provide customers with "a wonderful shopping experience so that they want to return again and again," according to Heilbronner.
To accomplish this, Cumberland Farms amped up its food and beverage options with several new additions to the menu, all of which can be ordered quickly and easily via self-service ordering terminals.
For instance, the Titusville store’s hot food menu now includes specialty melts, pizza, frittatas, macaroni and cheese, and a roller grill. The cold food menu also has been enhanced, with ciabatta sandwiches being just one of the highlights.
If it’s a beverage they’re after, Cumberland Farms guests can select from new cold beverage options like smoothies, frozen espresso drinks, and milkshakes. If they prefer to stick to traditional java, there’s specialty hot drinks like espresso, cappuccinos and lattes.
Indoor community counters and outdoor patio seating add to the foodservice focus.
Cumberland Farms also widened and brightened the interior of the stores to give guests a more leisurely shopping experience. Additionally, the retailer optimized the spacious floor plan with enhancements such as the ordering terminals, a toppings bar, and a larger coffee prep area.
"We will continue to reinvent ourselves in the future to satisfy our customers and to stay competitive," Heilbronner said.
The executive would not disclose how many next-generation stores the company plans to open and where, but did say, "We will build the next-generation stores wherever timing and space allow us to."
Today, Cumberland Farms operates nearly 600 convenience stores in eight states.
Check out the June 2018 issue of Convenience Store News for more on Cumberland Farms’ next-generation convenience stores.