At 9,100 square feet, with enhanced brand design elements and dedicated facilities for professional drivers, Rutter’s Farm Stores’ 61st location in York Springs, Pa., truly lives up to its billing as “a monument to convenience.”
As a brand with a rich history, innovation has always been a part of Rutter’s DNA, Derek Gaskins, the York, Pa.-based convenience store chain’s chief customer officer, told Convenience Store News. Through the years, Rutter’s has adapted its retail model to better cater to the needs of its shoppers, and its new York Springs site is no exception.
The “monument to convenience” label plays off the store’s location just 10 miles north of famed historic site Gettysburg, Pa., as well as the store’s sheer size.
“By this, we acknowledge the history surrounding Gettysburg, but we truly mean that customers will be able to get what they need and continue on their way in a store built to high standards,” Gaskins explained. “Speed of service is key. However, we also understand that after a long day of traveling and sightseeing, there is a need to rest, stretch, refuel and recharge.”
The York Springs store is the brand’s third location in Pennsylvania’s Adams County. When Rutter’s purchased this parcel of land several years ago, it planned on building a larger site to cater to the needs of visitors to the Gettysburg area and travelers along routes 234 and 15. Situated on a heavily traveled route, the location is ideal for a slightly expanded location given the high volume of trucks and buses, and overall local and tourist traffic through the area, according to Gaskins.
“The new site is the latest evolution [of our retail model] that we have refined the past few years, and we feel we have positioned ourselves well to continue to learn and adapt going forward with new sites,” Gaskins noted.
The overall Rutter’s brand will benefit from the York Springs design.
“With a solid pipeline of new store development, many of the changes debuted at this location will manifest themselves into stores slated for development over the next few years,” he said. “We will also take elements of the store exterior décor and branding and add them to existing sites as we remodel them.”
With a firm belief that everyone is a potential customer, Rutter’s looks to offer an array of options at its convenience stores to meet diverse customer needs.
The brand, as Gaskins further explained, has a vision of true personalization and mass customization. The York Springs site is this ideal come to fruition — built to deliver a world-class customer experience to diverse consumer segments.
The 11.5-acre site is the first store within 5 miles of the region, bringing the Rutter’s value proposition to the surrounding communities that have longed for the brand’s products and services, according to the executive.
A NEW SIGNATURE
Drawing inspiration from Las Vegas where brands transform their look to appeal to diverse consumers and have a completely different feel by day vs. night, Rutter’s latest store boasts an exterior that’s been sharpened for a dynamic and vital look.
“The redesign of the fuel high-rise, monument sign and gas canopy will become signature elements of our exterior branding,” Gaskins reported. “We used LED lighting technology to give a differentiated experience by day and by night. The final result is a look that appeals to the different consumer segments that shop our stores at various times. … We feel our look is unique and will quickly become a signature component of our brand.”
At 9,100 square feet, the store is the largest of Rutter’s locations and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The retailer aims to fulfill the needs of not only the surrounding community and tourists, but also professional drivers traveling through the area.
Among the store’s amenities are:
- Touchscreen kiosks for food ordering and customization of Rutter’s award-winning menu;
- A 36-person seating area;
- Free Wi-Fi;
- Gourmet coffee bar;
- 14 fueling lanes for gas and auto diesel;
- 7 high-speed truck diesel fueling spaces;
- 23 truck parking spaces;
- Approximately 2,000 square feet dedicated to professional driving accessories;
- Rutter’s private-label dairy products for purchase; and
- Large, state-of-the-art restrooms.
WHY GO ANYWHERE ELSE?
While Rutter’s is always exploring new opportunities, Gaskins told CSNews the company doesn’t have another site of this magnitude currently planned. However, its next store is set to open in Leola, Pa., this month and will measure more than 7,000 square feet.
Gaskins maintains that one of the great things about convenience stores is the channel’s ubiquitous appeal to a wide demographic — from millennials and baby boomers to soccer moms and road warriors. “But the real strength is that virtually everyone needs a convenience store at some point during their routines,” he said.
As Rutter’s continues to evolve its brand identity, the chain keeps this in mind.
“Whether it’s on-the-go consumers looking for high-quality restaurant alternative meals, tour buses looking for a rest stop on their way to regional destinations, or any commuter that desires clean restrooms, convenient products and services, we feel [our York Springs] site delivers against those objectives and answers the question [and the Rutter’s tagline]: ‘Why Go Anywhere Else?’” said Gaskins.