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EMPORIA, Va. — In just under four months since its grand opening on Oct. 6, Little Oil Co.'s CornerStone Market BP is celebrating its first milestone: The new convenience store in Emporia was ranked No. 1 in BP Rewards in the country based on average usage for the year ending Dec. 31.
Located at 501 W. Atlantic St., the 5,000-square-foot CornerStone Market BP brought Little Oil back to convenience store operations after 20 years, and is the first BP located in the northbound lane of Interstate 95 in the state of Virginia, according to Barry Grizzard, sales manager for Little Oil.
For the year, CornerStone Market BP averaged 64 BP Rewards registrations per month. Year-to-date registrations topped 384 by Dec. 31 — not even three full months after the store debuted.
During the month of December alone, 28 percent of the fuel gallons sold at CornerStone Market BP were purchased by members of the BP Rewards program.
When asked what this milestone tells customers about CornerStone Market BP, Grizzard replied that the answer lies in the savings being delivered. "It proves that we put our customers first in trying to save them money on every trip to CornerStone Market BP, and that we will give the best customer service to all of our valued customers," he explained.
The store's enrollment process for the rewards program is what sets it apart, Grizzard believes. While any customer can go online and register for enrollment, CornerStone Market BP employees have personally enrolled every interested customer via the store's computer. The registration is tied to a customer's phone number, which is given at the time of enrollment.
"The personal touch with [enrollment] is the No. 1 way this program has been successful," he said. "Many people have the best intentions to enroll at a later time, but getting it done on the spot is the best way to get it done."
On a monthly basis, CornerStone Market rounds up employees and places them at the fuel pumps. There, employees engage with customers and ask for permission to help save them money on their fuel purchase that day. With customers' consent, employees use a preprogrammed BP Rewards loyalty number to offer an on-the-spot discount for their fill-up. The discount can be any number of cents off per gallon.
While filling up, employees take those few minutes to explain the BP Rewards program and encourage the customer to enroll. If he or she agrees, all they have to do is provide a personal phone number to tie to their account for instant enrollment.
Employees then engage with the next customer and reset the preprogrammed BP Rewards loyalty number, which spits out a different cents-off-per-gallon discount each time.
"It is kind of a game of chance for a customer to know what their reward will be," said Grizzard.
CornerStone Market BP uses the national BP Rewards program, in which members receive 50 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent on gas and diesel for 90 days, followed by 10 cents off per gallon on an ongoing basis.
Under the BP Rewards program, CornerStone Market BP members can:
- Apply rewards toward purchases of up to 20 gallons;
- Tie rewards to a corporate or consumer credit card, debit card, or use with cash in-store; and
- Share their BP Rewards number with more than one person.
When members use a fuel dispenser at CornerStone Market BP, the screen prompts them with their current rewards balance and asks if they would like to use their accrued rewards now or later.
"The reason for this is you would like to maximize your purchase to get as many of the 20 gallons allowed under the program with the current fill, or postpone your rewards to another fill while continuing to grow the rewards on each fill," Grizzard explained. "Some people like to keep earning rewards until their next fill-up only costs 1 cent per gallon for up to 20 gallons."
The executive noted that everyone is looking to save money on gas and this is the "perfect" program to do it with because of its simplicity and quick effectiveness. Grizzard said these factors are what have helped make CornerStone Market BP a successful venture in such a short amount of time.
"It is a match of an outstanding BP program, dedicated jobber, and a customer-friendly c-store that has embraced the program to take it to the highest level," he concluded.
To learn more about CornerStone Market BP, click here to view our exclusive Store Spotlight feature from the December 2016 issue.