The Luck of the C-Store
“Bigger” holidays may get the attention, but don’t undersell St. Patrick’s Day when it comes to creating excitement and profitability for your c-store.
The holiday heavy hitters—Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc.—well, we write about them a lot and for good reason. They’re big! Not just in the hearts and minds of the general public, but within the convenience store industry, too, where operators can generate significant holiday-themed revenue while creating positive attention for their stores.
Those holidays, however, are far from the only ones that can have a beneficial effect on a store’s visibility and bottom line. As all the best operators know, it’s a matter of taking the time and energy to create excitement around these secondary holidays, until they aren’t all that secondary at all.
St. Patrick’s Day—that’s today!—is a case in point. Like Cinco De Mayo, the appeal of St. Patrick’s Day long ago transcended its specific cultural origins and is now recognized and enjoyed by a wide range of the populace. Green beer, green popcorn, green inter-city rivers . . . what’s more American than that?
While some keep their efforts focused on the day, itself, other c-stores choose to extend the Irish theme into a multi-week celebration. They do it in a manner of ways: through stocking special merchandise, sponsoring charitable events, implementing holiday-themed promotions, and creating a seasonal environment heavy on the green and white. Here are a few examples:
- Wawa gives out free Matcha drinks on March 17.
- Cliff’s Local Markets in central New York raises funds for its local Muscular Dystrophy Association through St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock donations.
- Also from a store in Central New York, Byrne Dairy Green Milk has become synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day.
- Speaking of green, Stewart’s Shops offers their own variation on a famous green milkshake, called the Shenanigans Shake.
- You can purchase more than one style of Buc-ee’s St. Patrick’s Day t-shirts on eBay in case you want to know.
- Be on the lookout for the Aldi Gnomes, who always make an appearance at this time of year.
- Oh, and if a little guy dressed in green shows up evangelizing about St. Patrick’s Day c-store promotions from days gone by, well, be careful! Especially if his name is Darby!
In the spirit of the holiday, we’ll close you with an image of one of our favorite corner stores in Westport, Ireland: McGreevy’s.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from SSCS!
 For a short summary of the origins of St. Patrick’s Day, which has been around since the 1600’s, click here.