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    Future Store: The Forecourt

    Paragon Solutions sees 3-D holograms as just one exciting addition.

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News

    FORT WORTH, Texas — High-tech, efficient and multipurpose is what will define the convenience store forecourt of the future. It will take care of "fueling" requirements both on a vehicle and personal basis. 

    In November, Convenience Store News will present a special edition of the magazine centered on the question: What will the "convenience store" look like a decade or more from now? The c-store industry's leading media brand is partnering with some of the top thought leaders and design firms in the nation to give readers a preview at how the convenience store will evolve over the next several years and how it will serve a changing customer base.

    Just like today where we see many different types of c-store models in action, the future will be composed of different types of c-stores, each focused on different aspects of the convenience experience and on different customer archetypes. C-stores of the future will likely incorporate aspects of all four of these basic types: The Convenience Restaurant; The Refueling & Refreshing Center; The Neighborhood Market; and The Forecourt of the Future.

    Here, we provide a sneak peek of The Forecourt of the Future. For this future store type, CSNews called on Fort Worth-based design firm Paragon Solutions to present its vision.

    Michael Lawshe, president of Paragon Solutions, sees exciting technologies such as cell phone charging benches and 3-D holograms at the pump as very likely attributes of the future c-store forecourt.

    "The Siri of the future will not just be a voice; it will be a holographic image of a man or woman depending on your personal tastes," he said. "It will greet you by name and ask you, 'How can I help you,' or [it] can already know past orders you placed and ask if you want to repeat that order."

    Via voice recognition, the 3-D hologram will take in-store orders for foodservice items, which will then be available once a consumer enters a drive-thru following their fill-up. 

    Paragon Solutions envisions the future forecourt also consisting of, among other things: 

    • Wireless electric charging parking spaces for electric vehicles.
    • Increased prevalence of vegetable oil and biodiesel alternative fuels.
    • Fuel canopies equipped with solar panels, wind energy collection and water collection. 

    What do you envision for the convenience store of the future? Comment below .

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News
    • About Brian Berk Brian Berk is managing editor of Stagnito Business Information's Convenience Store News and Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner, where he specializes in covering motor fuels, technology and financial news. He has served the magazine industry for 14 years and has also worked in the radio and newspaper fields. Berk holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the State University of New York at Cortland and a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.

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