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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The Parker Cos. concluded a banner year on Friday when the convenience store chain received Savannah Morning News' Entrepreneur of the Year award.
In receiving his latest accolade, Parker pointed to overcoming a fear of failure, hiring the right people and analyzing data as keys to the company's success.
"What differentiates us is we worship data in this company," Parker told the Morning News. "And we are really good at analyzing data. We also use technology in a way that other people don't."
The company's PumpPal loyalty program -- which now has more than 75,000 enrollees -- is another key to success, the chief executive added. "We've given back $3.5 million to our customers since we started it," Parker told the news outlet. "And that's significant, it's meaningful and it makes me very, very proud. Because not only did we do it, but we forced our competitors to react to it."
Savannah, Ga.-based The Parker Cos. operates 34 c-stores. A 35th store is expected to open next month, with another 17 locations in the pipeline. The CEO said it's a great time to grow his business.
"Money is cheap, real estate values are down, unemployment is up, which means there are lots of good, talented people to hire," he told the news source. "So our thought has been, grow now and when the economy starts to heat up, we're in the catbird seat."