Ten years ago, Convenience Store News honored Greg Parker, founder and CEO of The Parker Cos., as its 2013 Top Tech Executive. At the time, then CSNews Editor-in-Chief Don Longo noted that Parker was a technology leader and trendsetter, not only for his own company but for the convenience store industry as a whole.
The c-store chain had incorporated cutting-edge technology, such as PriceAdvantage, Open Store and PeopleMatter, into its store operations. We also gave props to its proprietary PumpPal loyalty program, which it rolled out in 2011.
Back then, Savannah, Ga.-based Parker's operated 30 convenience stores across Georgia and South Carolina. Fast forward a decade and the company has more than doubled its footprint, along with introducing new store prototypes and enhancing its inside offer with the debut of the food-centric Parker's Kitchen brand.
But the retailer isn't stopping there. Parker's is not resting on its laurels. Instead, the c-store chain is evolving its tech offer with a new website and a refreshed Parker's Rewards mobile app. Both have been enhanced to ramp up the customer experience with ordering capabilities and personalized features. In the pipeline for the app are games, clubs, and special curated content for customers.
Parker's and its founder are proving that you shouldn't be afraid to change. As consumers not only look for, but expect, more from retail technology, convenience store operators must continuously look for ways to up their offer.
On an unrelated note, I will be heading to Dallas next week for NATSO Connect 2023. If you see me furiously taking notes during one of the many education sessions, stop by and say hello. Hopefully we can, um, connect.