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    Twice as Nice

    Daily’s stores are being converted to the progressive Twice Daily concept.

    By Renee M. Covino, Convenience Store News
    This month's store of the month

    What’s better than getting customers to visit your convenience store every day? Getting them to visit at least twice a day, of course.

    That is the simple theory behind the rebranding of Nashville, Tenn.-based Daily’s convenience stores into Twice Daily, a progressive convenience concept built on fresh daypart offerings, excited customer service, an in-house media network and pride in its Music City culture — all working together to encourage customers to shop the stores multiple times throughout the day.

    The thinking is that customers will come by in the morning for a coffee and fresh-prepared Danish or fruit cup, and then return in the afternoon for an artisan sandwich or afterschool snack with the kids. That’s where the Twice Daily name comes from — a convenience offering that’s so on target and in tune with its market, customers will want to shop at least twice daily.

    In November, Tri Star Energy LLC rebranded its 17th store from Daily’s to Twice Daily, marking one-quarter of its 71 stores now converted. And the company couldn’t ask for a better market to fit this new concept. Nashville is a progressive market predicted to almost double in size in the next three to five years; was voted one of the top five cities to visit by a major travel publication; and is in the growth spotlight from both a population diversity and industry perspective.

    Fresh All Day

    Fresh offerings all day long are the hallmark of Twice Daily. In fact, “fresh all day” is its tagline.

    “Foodservice is the hottest topic in our industry, and we heard it again at [the] NACS [Show]. If you’re not in the food business, you’re not in the convenience business,” said Tom Woodard, director of communications for Tri Star Energy.

    The Twice Daily breakfast offering begins before sunup and is available until about 10:30 a.m. Breakfast goodies include a full pastry/Danish assortment prepared in stores every morning, along with breakfast biscuits and muffins, a fresh fruit cup to go, and eight flavors of coffee changed fresh every hour on the hour with a full cream and condiment bar.

    The lunch offering is merchandised around 10:45 a.m. to cater to the working crowd that starts very early. Lunch options include Italian and pizza flatbreads; artisan sandwiches made with chicken, chipotle beef and rustic turkey; two types of chicken salads; a Caesar salad; veggie cups; and there is even a “fantastic PB&J [peanut butter and jelly] sandwich for the kids that goes great with a fruit cup,” Woodard maintained.

    In addition, any food by request is made fresh to order at any time of the day.

    In the beverage department, Twice Daily stores feature 28 flavors plus flavor shots, ICEE and f’real milkshakes. “We actually tried to do an algorithm based on how many different flavor combinations there are — it’s crazy,” he said.

    Meet & Greet

    Twice Daily isn’t keeping its fresh food offering bottled up in-store. “We’ve taken the food to the people,” Woodard explained. By that, he means the company has showcased its new food offering at events that it previously didn’t attend and/or wasn’t associated with.

    One recent event was a fall festival at The Hermitage, the former plantation/estate of President Andrew Jackson. Twice Daily provided the food for the donor dinner, including finger sandwiches, veggie and fruit trays, and cookies. Attendees were “wowed” and surprised to learn the food came from a convenience store, according to Woodard. At another recent local event, a live radio concert one Thursday night, Twice Daily dropped 24 dozen doughnuts and fresh pastries in the VIP area at 9 p.m.

    At these events, coupons are also “dropped” for free cups of coffee with a breakfast sandwich or a pastry to encourage surprised consumers to come into the stores. “A small part of the uptick we’ve had in sales, we believe, is due to the fact that we’ve gone out and fed the city at events that had previously been tended to by a caterer,” said Woodard.

    Each Twice Daily store has a hostess (or host) who also samples food in-store. However, this position goes beyond just highlighting the food. It’s about taking customer service to a higher, more excited plane. “We created the hostess position to greet our guests and explain the changes at Twice Daily,” he said. “It’s a more personal touch, it has a personal shopper feel and it’s all about being guest-oriented. We believe service is lost in America and in the South, especially, it’s really important to us.”

    This new position has proven to be a growth tool for the Twice Daily concept, garnering positive comments on social media and locally by word of mouth. “It simply blows people away to be greeted in our convenience stores with, ‘How can we serve you today?’ and ‘How is your day going?’” Woodard relayed.

    In-House Networking

    More excitement at Twice Daily comes in the form of the company’s in-house media network. Full TV screens operate at the pumps, with audio piped into the stores. Product offerings, promotions, contests and employee opportunities are some of the message topics.

    “We used to have different vendors that ran screen content at the pumps, but we’ve chosen to bring that all in-house with Twice Daily,” Woodard explained. “We control the messaging and we are using our stores as the medium. It’s a pretty big deal.”

    One of last year’s promotions was a partnership with The Coca-Cola Co. where guests had the opportunity to win gas weekly, given away on Sundays at midnight.

    Because guests have to register through their local Twice Daily store, this kind of content has grown the company’s customer database tenfold, according to Woodard. The stores also run a “Word of the Week” promotion where customers have to enter the store to find out the word and then enter it online to potentially win a prize.

    “It’s much better than a ‘text-to-win’ promotion, we feel, because it’s more of a personal touch,” he said. “It creates conversation between our GSR (guest service representative) and our guests. It excites both our guests and our team members.”

    Twice Daily also takes great pride in its Nashville culture. “We have a heart for Music City” is another company tagline that’s tied into its philanthropic efforts. “This is the way we love on our city,” said Woodard. Twice Daily is a locally owned business and so it gives back to a host of local organizations and efforts, including the children’s hospital.

    Overall, the new Twice Daily concept has proven positive for the company culture.

    “It has reinvigorated our people to focus on service,” Woodard said. “It challenges our people every day in positive ways. This new image has really rallied our people. It has elevated the excitement and culture of the whole company.”

    The conversion plan is for most of the remaining Daily’s stores — there are 54 currently — to be changed over to Twice Daily in the next two to three years. The chain is averaging about 15 conversions a year, according to Woodard.

    By Renee M. Covino, Convenience Store News
    • About Renee M. Covino Contributing Editor Renée M. Covino is a veteran researcher, editor and writer with more than 30 years of experience in the mass retail sector. Her articles and columns have appeared online and in print for dozens of industry trade magazines, newsletters, metro newspapers, Fortune 500 company reports and college textbooks. Covino is a self-named “store connoisseur” who not only writes about retail, but happily supports it.

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