How Kangaroo Express’ Military Store Came to Be


FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- Kangaroo Express has long supported military personnel and their families, but this May, the convenience store chain took its commitment a step further with the opening of the first military-themed Kangaroo Express store here, right outside Fort Bragg.

The subsidiary of The Pantry Inc., based in Cary, N.C., even hosted a roundtable at the United Service Organization (USO) of North Carolina Fort Bragg Center to gather input on the store design from servicemen and women, along with their families.

“The roundtable was instrumental in ensuring the store achieved its goal of becoming a welcoming and inviting place for the local Fayetteville military community,” said Gordon Schmidt, senior vice president of operations at Kangaroo Express.

Kangaroo Express has more than 1,500 locations across 13 states, and more than half of the chain’s stores are within 25 miles of a military installation. In fact, one-third of the retailer's employees have a direct connection to the Armed Forces, Schmidt said, adding that the new store is located just outside of a major entrance to Fort Bragg and is another way the company can show its military support and appreciation.

While the military-themed Fayetteville store offers the same products customers would expect to find at any Kangaroo Express location, including Bean Street Coffee and ROO Cup dispensed beverage offerings, there were many additions made to this store's design and services based directly on feedback received at the military roundtable.

“The store features all of the great products and attributes guests expect from a brand-new Kangaroo Express with a military theme added to the atmosphere,” Schmidt explained. “That includes classic features being rebranded, such as the Cold Canteen walk-in cooler and Wash Rack car wash. It also includes callouts to military support initiatives, such as Support Our Troops logos on the gas pumps, and a Wall of Honor recognizing hometown heroes in the area.”

The Wash Rack can accommodate both civilian and military vehicles, with automatic wash, foam, rinse and wax options. The name of the car wash, which is known as Wash-a-Roo at other Kangaroo Express locations, was suggested and chosen based on a unanimous decision by the military participants at the roundtable.

The roundtable participants also helped select the six murals at the store that depict military men and women serving their country.

“Thanks to great feedback from participants, the murals now [depict] a wide selection of military duties and prominently feature a female soldier,” Schmidt said. “In the coming months, we will be opening up these mural locations to local artist submissions.”

For more on Kangaroo Express' military-themed store, look in the September issue of Convenience Store News.

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