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    More C-store Chains Join Mobile App Universe

    KenJo Markets partners with Verge; U-Gas with OpenStore.

    MARYVILLE, Tenn. and ST. LOUIS — The number of convenience store operators offering a mobile app is growing like gangbusters. Recently, two more chains joined the gang.

    Maryville-based KenJo Markets, operator of 36 convenience stores, partnered with Verge Retail to deploy Verge Connect to its customers this month. Verge Connect is a customer marketing platform with multiple configuration options that allows c-stores to interact with customers through a personalized, branded mobile app. Through Verge Connect, c-stores can distribute coupons and communicate daily with customers through loyalty games and interactive features.

    “After deciding to create a customer marketing app of our own, it was clear Verge Connect was the best option for our needs,” said Wes Carruthers, president of KenJo Markets. “The Connect platform allows us to personalize the app to our brand without the expensive and time-consuming task of building an app from scratch.”

    Also adding a mobile app to its offering is U-Gas Inc., operator of 19 c-stores in the St. Louis area. The retailer joined forces with GasBuddy OpenStore to introduce its app, which allows customers to get real time U-Gas fuel prices, take part in exclusive deals and offers, and play games to earn points and win prizes.

    “Partnering with OpenStore empowers us to engage with customers through smartphone games, promotions and contests, which will ultimately garner increased brand loyalty,” said Bradford Goette, chief marketing officer of U-Gas Inc. “With the U-Gas App, we can provide customers with up-to-the-minute gas prices, special offers and savings on the brands they love in real time.”

    KenJo Markets got its start in 1977 with its first market in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The company has since expanded to 36 locations throughout eastern Tennessee. KenJo Markets feature Marathon, Shell, Exxon and Mobil gasoline products.

    U-Gas, founded in 1977, is locally owned and operated and well known for its Gigi’s Cafe Express foodservice offering. 

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