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Boulder, Col. -- QuikTrip is the nation’s most popular convenience store, according to a new study by Market Force Information. QuikTrip was voted the most popular c-store chain among the more than 7,600 study participants, followed by Wawa, RaceTrac, Speedway and Arco/ampm.
Market Force found that consumers place a high value on the customer experience when visiting a convenience store. Store cleanliness, in particular, plays an important role in their decision about where to stop and shop. When asked what they like most about their favorite convenience store chain, cleanliness was named more than any other factor. Friendly service ranked second, amenities ranked third, coffee quality was fourth and great service was fifth.
“The top-five factors relate to fundamental customer experience, and that’s no surprise to the best players in the industry,” said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force. “Convenience store customers are on the go and in a hurry, but they will proactively drive to a store that provides a pleasant environment — clean, friendly, great food and service.”
When it calculated the top chains according to attributes such as cleanliness, amenities and atmosphere, QuikTrip and Wawa dominated across the board, ranking first and second in every category.
Overall-favorite QuikTrip, which invests in its employees and institutes creative customer service techniques, was the clear leader in the friendliness and great service categories. It also ranked first for cleanliness, amenities and atmosphere.
Wawa was lauded for the quality of its coffee, and RaceTrac performed consistently well in all of the attributes, securing a third-place spot in four of the six categories. Speedway, Exxon Mobil and Casey’s General Store also outperformed many of the other chains studied in these key areas.
“QuikTrip has done an exceptional job differentiating itself in customer service. Its focus on delivering a welcoming and efficient customer experience led it to stand out in satisfaction-driven categories including friendly associates and great service,” said Eden-Harris.
In food and product attributes, QuikTrip and Wawa ranked first and second in nearly every category, with Wawa only dropping in promotions.
QuikTrip was a clear leader in merchandise selection (48%) and in and merchandise prices (35%). It slightly edged out Wawa in food quality and fell second to Wawa in food selection.
Casey’s General Store and RaceTrac performed consistently well in most categories, with RaceTrac placing in the top five across the board. Exxon Mobile made a showing in the merchandise prices category, and BP for promotions.
The study was designed to uncover which convenience store chains consumers frequent the most, as well as why they prefer one to another. Market Force first calculated the favorites based on total votes, and then factored in the number of locations for each chain for a weighted view of the results. Of the 45 chains studied, 7-Eleven and Shell initially amassed the highest number of votes, which can be attributed to the fact that they have more than 10,000 locations in North America. However, when viewed as a calculation of votes per location, QuikTrip ranked first.