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    In-store sales at U.S. convenience stores were up 2.3 percent for the first six months of 2014. How do your sales compare?

    Speedway Named Convenience Store Brand of the Year

    NEW YORK -- As Americans speed through their busy days, many shop at convenience stores. Some are standalone stores and others are part of retail gas stations.

    In the inaugural year for Harris Poll's EquiTrend study, Speedway, a division of Marathon Petroleum Corp., took the top spot for Convenience Store Brand of the Year. Arco ampm and 7-Eleven Inc. were runners up to the Enon, Ohio-based convenience store chain.

    Speedway's top scores for Quality and Purchase Consideration led to its highest ranking in this category, according to the poll, which surveyed Americans about brands across several retail segments in an attempt to reveal which brands prompted them to open their hearts, and pocketbooks.

    In other retailer categories, Walgreens was the top drug store brand and Target was the top rated value brand for the second consecutive year.

    Kohl's and Nordstrom's won their department store categories, but a big surprise was Costco's debut on the list as gasoline retail brand of the year. This year marked the first time Harris included Costco in its EquiTrend retail gas category. Costco supplanted Speedway, which was the top-ranked brand in the category for the last three years. Other brands scoring above average brand equity included Hess, Shell, Sam's Club, Sunoco, ExxonMobil and Chevron. While Shell enjoyed the highest Familiarity in the category, Costco Gasoline boasted the highest Quality and Purchase Consideration among its competitive set.

    Harris Poll EquiTrend is a leading Brand Equity tracking study conducted by Harris Interactive that measures and compares brand health for more than 1,500 brands. The study was conducted online from January 31 through February 20, 2012 and analyzes the responses of over 38,500 consumers on key measures of brand health -- including how well the public knows a brand, how positively they think of the brand and their consideration to do business with or donate to a brand. Each brand is rated 1,000 times among respondents who are familiar with the brand. Harris Interactive has conducted its EquiTrend study regularly since 1989, and can offer yearly trended data from 2005. The Equity Score, a key takeaway from EquiTrend, has been validated against financial performance by Georgetown University.

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