Future Store: The Forecourt

FORT WORTH, Texas — High-tech, efficient and multipurpose is what will define the convenience store forecourt of the future. It will take care of "fueling" requirements both on a vehicle and personal basis. 

In November, Convenience Store News will present a special edition of the magazine centered on the question: What will the "convenience store" look like a decade or more from now? The c-store industry's leading media brand is partnering with some of the top thought leaders and design firms in the nation to give readers a preview at how the convenience store will evolve over the next several years and how it will serve a changing customer base.

Just like today where we see many different types of c-store models in action, the future will be composed of different types of c-stores, each focused on different aspects of the convenience experience and on different customer archetypes. C-stores of the future will likely incorporate aspects of all four of these basic types: The Convenience Restaurant; The Refueling & Refreshing Center; The Neighborhood Market; and The Forecourt of the Future.

Here, we provide a sneak peek of The Forecourt of the Future. For this future store type, CSNews called on Fort Worth-based design firm Paragon Solutions to present its vision.

Michael Lawshe, president of Paragon Solutions, sees exciting technologies such as cell phone charging benches and 3-D holograms at the pump as very likely attributes of the future c-store forecourt.

"The Siri of the future will not just be a voice; it will be a holographic image of a man or woman depending on your personal tastes," he said. "It will greet you by name and ask you, 'How can I help you,' or [it] can already know past orders you placed and ask if you want to repeat that order."

Via voice recognition, the 3-D hologram will take in-store orders for foodservice items, which will then be available once a consumer enters a drive-thru following their fill-up. 

Paragon Solutions envisions the future forecourt also consisting of, among other things: 

  • Wireless electric charging parking spaces for electric vehicles.
  • Increased prevalence of vegetable oil and biodiesel alternative fuels.
  • Fuel canopies equipped with solar panels, wind energy collection and water collection. 

What do you envision for the convenience store of the future? Comment below .

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