PEMBROKE, Mass. — With a history of creating long-term relationships with customers since 1924, international refining and marketing company Irving Oil recently opened its first store boasting a new format that’s designed specifically to provide innovative customer experiences.
Known as The Irving, this new concept moves beyond a traditional convenience store experience. Spanning 3,200 square feet, it brings in elements of a market-style café with freshly prepared comfort food offerings, indoor and outdoor seating areas with free Wi-Fi, self-checkout options and clean restrooms — all sporting a modern and refreshing aesthetic.
“Across our company, we are always looking for ways to enhance our offer and explore growth opportunities in the areas we serve and in new markets,” said Tyler McLaughlin, director of retail operations for Irving Oil. “The opening of The Irving supports our desire to develop innovative strategies for our growing retail network, while leveraging technology and continuing to offer the very best to our customers, including our dealers and distributors.”
At the core of The Irving’s distinct offer is freshly prepared, “feel-good food.” Featuring local ingredients wherever possible, the menu includes sandwiches, salads, soups, flatbread pizzas and gourmet hot dogs, along with all-day breakfast and smoothies.
At the inaugural Pembroke location, menu items can be ordered at two self-serve kiosks, in-person at the counter or from the takeout menu. Fresh doughnuts, muffins, cookies, pastries and more are available from the bakery.
A hot beverage counter, meanwhile, brews up a variety of coffee roasts from New England’s Baronet Coffee. Also offered are organically sweetened frozen drinks for cooler consumption.
“We know that people’s lives are busier than ever and one-stop shopping is important to families and commuters alike. We designed our offer to make our customers’ lives easier by making traditional convenience store products available while also elevating the fresh food offer with both made-to-order and grab-and-go options, all prepared onsite,” McLaughlin explained.
Making good on its promise of a seamless customer experience, multiple touchpoints for enhanced convenience are showcased at The Irving. For example, two self-checkouts enable customers to quickly and easily get in and out. Additionally, Irving Rewards members can pay at the pump with Irving Debit Pay using the mobile app’s Mobile Pay feature.
McLaughlin told Convenience Store News that Irving Oil is currently focused on integrating The Irving and its new team members into the company’s overall retail network. He said he could not discuss further plans for this new concept.
With its U.S. operations based in Portsmouth, N.H., Irving Oil operates more than 900 fueling locations and a network of distribution terminals spanning eastern Canada and New England. The company also operates Canada’s largest refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, and Ireland’s only refinery, located in the village of Whitegate.