In his feature interview with Canadian Business published today, Brian Hannasch, CEO of the Quebec-based convenience store powerhouse Couche-Tard talks about some of the ways that the company has tweaked its store design, operations and product offerings over the past 15 years of its hyper-expansion:
We were just choosing a point-of-sale terminal, a cash register. It’s a large investment—$40 or $50 million—so price was obviously a metric. But it came down to that idea that we’re selling time. Which meant asking, “Which one is faster?” We chose one that is three or four seconds faster. You multiply that by the number of transactions that we do a year, and that’s thousands and thousands and thousands of hours we put back in the customers’ pockets. […]
If you’re looking to have a traditional list of why people stop, the top is having a convenient location. If you look at our newer locations, we have big, easy-to-navigate parking lots. Twenty years ago, our industry was building fairly tight lots where you had to jockey to get your car out. But we know that if people have a choice, they prefer easy in, easy out. Being well-lit is a key factor; women want to feel safe. Then there’s a clean bathroom and good customer service. If we can deliver that list repeatedly across 8,000 stores, we can win.
In the video above, Hannasch gives Canadian Business editor in chief James Cowan a tour of one of Couche-Tard’s stores to talk about the growth of the company’s food and drink options, and what it can offer to a busy customer that e-commerce can’t.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW: Couche-Tard CEO Brian Hannasch on why seconds count