Convenience stores are on the front lines of the Covid crisis, providing essential items for scared customers. There is already some discussion that in providing this service, c-store operators are making themselves vulnerable to lawsuits from employees and customers who contract the virus. Industry groups like NECSEMA ( are working with the government to try to eliminate frivolous lawsuits for stores that are providing this essential service. While this is welcome news, store owners need to be vigilant and proactive in keeping their stores clean and educating employees and customers on safe habits. Here are some ways for convenience stores to deal with Covid now and in the future.

Practices to put in place immediately for safety:

  • Clerks should wear masks and gloves
  • Have a plexiglass partition to separate clerks from customers
  • Offer gloves and wipes to customers at the fuel dispensers and inside the store
  • Encourage customers to use touchless forms ofpayment
  • Encourage customers to wear masks and maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from others
  • Discontinue use of personal cups for coffee refills
  • Pre-package fresh goods and condiments
We are also likely to see long-term changes to convenience stores, like installing automatic doors on new builds, more use of drive-thru windows, and more touchless payment options.
This is a very difficult time for operators with the threat of the virus and the reality of large sales declines. There may be some ways to increase loyalty and income during this difficult time. You could ask your vendors to procure hard to find staples for loyal customers (toilet paper, flour, wipes, etc.) Companies like Panera Bread and even your local restaurants have started to offer these items to customers to keep them coming in the doors and to keep their loyalty. You can also offer curbside service or even a delivery service for convenience items. Now is a great time to think out of the box and come up with creative ways to help your customers and earn more revenue.

Please let us know of any ways you are trying to engender loyalty and make more money. We would love to hear from you!

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