Sheetz Inc.’s strong store offer, including a sophisticated made-to-order foodservice program, makes its sites a strong draw for fuel customers. The Altoona, Pa.-based chain’s fuel brand had a relatively narrow 0.97-cents-per-gallon price differential from its market competitors in 2016, according to OPIS, showing how much pull the backcourt has in luring customers onto the forecourt.
The chain focuses on driving gallons, since more than a third of its fuel customers enter its stores. A typical Sheetz location is highly engineered to facilitate fuel buying; this includes having a high-traffic location with proper ingress and egress, adequate space for cars at peak periods and brightly lit canopies.
“Gasoline is a hostile retail transaction,” Mike Lorenz, executive vice president of petroleum supply for Sheetz, told CSP. “No one likes to buy gas. We have to make it as simple and easy as possible.”
Sheetz is adding E15 and electric-vehicle charging stations, showing its credentials not only as a leading gasoline retailer, but its alternative-fuel potential, as well.