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WilcoHess Testing Vending Machines on Gas Island

CARY, N.C. -- WilcoHess, a leading operator of travel plazas and convenience stores in the Southeastern U.S., announced a partnership yesterday with Vendgogh LLC, a leader in integrated gas island vending solutions, aimed at adding vending machines at the pumps at several WilcoHess stations. Initially, the test involves two Raleigh, N.C., area stores: one in Raleigh and the other in Garner, about four miles away.

Through this partnership, the two companies will install Vendgogh's patented, UL-approved vending solutions at selected WilcoHess locations directly on the gas island. The vending machines are integrated with WilcoHess' point-of-sale (POS) system to offer gas customers who don't routinely go into the store the opportunity to buy at the pump. With a single swipe of their credit card, gas customers will be able to purchase cold drinks while they refuel, then be on their way without delay.

"We are excited about our partnership with Vendgogh," said Larry Lytle, WilcoHess vice president of marketing. "This partnership is all about convenience. It will help us enhance the customer experience for our gas only customers and bring an unprecedented level of convenience to the gas island."

The partnership will mark the first installation of its kind anywhere in the U.S.

"WilcoHess is serious about taking care of their customers and this partnership further demonstrates that commitment," said Larry McAnallen, vice president of business development at Vendgogh. "We believe our partnership will make a real difference in their business and help increase their customer loyalty."

According to Vendgogh, research has shown that up to 70 percent of convenience store customers buy only gas at the gas island and do not enter the store. With convenience store owners continually looking for new and innovative ways to draw customers into the store, the WilcoHess-Vendgogh test is designed to help bring the store to those gas customers and improve their overall buying experience. The initial installations are expected to be completed by March and will feature the top-selling cold drinks from the respective WilcoHess store locations.

WilcoHess, a joint venture company formed in 2001 by A.T. Williams Oil Co. and Hess Corp., operates more than 400 stores and restaurants.

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