Creating an enticing holiday-themed retail experience has become a custom for c-stores—and for good reason.

The Christmas weekend is upon us. Some may find its speed of its approach hard to believe, but not convenience store operators. They’ve been deep into the season for months now, outfitting their stores for the occasion, changing the composition of their inventory to include specialized merchandise, and introducing holiday-themed promotions.

It’s become as good as tradition for a successful c-store to create an enticing holiday-themed retail experience, and (in the process) make the most of the profit potential inherent in the time of year. And just as people around the world have for centuries practiced their own unique holiday traditions, the way c-stores ramp up for Christmas is also quite varied. Here are some examples:

  • It should be no surprise that almost everybody enjoys a good giveaway around Christmas time. Love’s traditional 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway is an example of a program that creates much excitement for and loyalty to the brand.
  • You might remember that last week we mentioned the Weigel’s Family Christmas in passing. This week we’re following up with a C-store Decisions video of the 24th annual event, which just took place.
  • And though technically not a c-store itself, one of the biggest Christmas traditions in Japan is feasting on Kentucky Fried Chicken. Someone just has to make sure the country doesn’t run out of fried chicken first!
  • Christmas movies become traditions over time, even iconic. No one knows this better than Stewart’s Shops. In somewhat of an odd occurrence, the convenience retailer, famous for its ice cream, put on a promotion for their specialty. They never dreamed it would attract someone, or something, from the well-known holiday favorite, A Christmas Story. Just the same, it happened.
  • Last, but certainly not least, comes a c-store holiday tradition that doesn’t have to do much with the nuts and bolts of the business: the industry’s willingness to step forward and give of itself through community service. These efforts take place in many shapes and forms, but almost always include some connection to the locality in which the store operates (creating a store-community bond that’s worth its weight in gold). For some examples of how convenience retailers are reaching out this way, we invite you to take a look at this this article.

SSCS would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and best wishes for the Season. Ours will filled with good memories of our customers, our industry partners, our SSCS colleagues, and most important of all, our friends and family.

For us, it’s a tradition like no other.