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New GetGo C-store Concept Debuts

PITTSBURGH -- GetGo, the 154-unit convenience chain owned by grocer Giant Eagle, unveiled a new store concept here yesterday that addresses the convenience store industry's evolution toward fresh foods and other high-quality offerings.

The prototype is "the next evolution for GetGo, even though the brand only opened in April 2003," Dan Pastor, vice president of fuels and convenience for Giant Eagle, told CSNews Online. "It is a continual progression of how to get better and evolve the concept."

To mark the opening, Giant Eagle held a "dignitary breakfast" where local officials and company representatives took a first look at the store. A ribbon-cutting ceremony followed, and then the doors were opened to the public, Pastor said.

The prototype store measures 5,600 square feet and features eight fuel dispensers and four biodisel pumps and a new décor package. Customers can sit, dine and check their e-mail in a Wi-Fi café, and choose from expanded food and beverage offerings, according to Pastor.

At the new store, the chain's existing made-to-order foodservice program was expanded to include more custom sandwiches, subs, paninis, wraps and salads, while the capacity of the program was increased to two stations with additional foodservice labor expenses, in order to service customers faster, he said. On the beverage side, the store offers cappuccino, milkshakes and six varieties of fresh-brewed tea, along with a fountain program of at least 20 heads, flavor shots and various types of ice.

Plans are in place to remodel seven locations in the spring to this décor package, which will consist of expanding the food and beverage offerings and adding the seating component in existing larger-format stores, according to Pastor.

And the coffee elements of the new package have already been implemented at all GetGo stores that offer hot beverages. "We've upscaled the coffee program with new décor, a new look for the cup and new offerings such as different varieties of syrups and whipped cream," said Pastor, who noted the program also contains a quality-assurance component that is promoted to customers. "It's about providing new alternatives to customers under the beverage umbrella."

For more on GetGo's growth strategy, expansion efforts and other initiatives, watch for the January issue of Convenience Store News.

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