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TULSA, Okla. -- Chet Cadieux, CEO of QuikTrip Corp., the privately held convenience store chain based here, is this month's subject of Retail Vision's "Meet the Boss" video interview series.
In this exclusive Retail Vision interview, Cadieux, son of QuikTrip founder Chester Cadieux, talks with Dan Munford, Insight managing director, about his motivations and the secrets to the retailer's success.
"One of the things I genuinely love about my job is the opportunity to do 'Meet the Boss' interviews with some of the leaders in our sector," said Munford. "I have to tell you, if you are a leader in our industry or have aspirations to become one, then just listen to all Chet has to say about his own motivations. I promise you one thing -- you will be inspired and may look at your own business differently."
Founded in 1958, QuikTrip has grown to a $9 billion company with more than 580 stores in nine major metropolitan areas.
"Like many great businesses, QuikTrip is more than c-stores and gasoline retail," Munford continued. "QuikTrip is about the human element of business -- its success comes from its people and this stems from a business culture that looks after its own and, in return, they look after the customers. It's a winning formula developed over time that results in a very high standard of retail. It's also a formula which, according to QT, cannot be copied. It takes time to build."
Another key to QuikTrip's success, according to Munford, is standardization. "Each store is the same in both layout and range. [There are some minor product variations across certain markets]. Over time, this has encouraged QT customers to become more loyal. You know what to expect when you enter a QuikTrip store, be it in Dallas, Atlanta or Tulsa; same offer, same service and same standard," he observed.
In addition, QuikTrip has the ability to control its destiny through its own distribution network. The retailer distributes more than 70 percent of the items stocked in its stores through its QT Distribution, a wholly owned subsidiary of QuikTrip Corp. "It has three state-of-the-art facilities located in Missouri, Georgia and Phoenix, employing over 400 people," noted Munford, and the QT distribution fleet consists of 56 tractors and 90 trailers, which travel approximately 3.3 million miles annually.
"All of these things can be bought and copied, but the one key element that brings it all together and makes it work is execution, which cannot be copied," concluded Munford. "So for me, it all comes back to the people and the culture. QuikTrip's success is based fundamentally upon the human element of business and it's pretty inspirational to the rest of us, as you'll hear in the interview."
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