SEYMOUR, Ind. — Huck’s, operator of more than 120 convenience stores in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee, realized that today’s busy consumers are more concerned with convenience than at any time in the past. That, coupled with statistics showing how many consumers struggle with meal decisions, led the retailer to seek a new long-term approach.
As one company executive put it: “Today we’re a gas station that sells food. In the future, we want to be known as a restaurant that sells gas.”
Thus, the Huck’s Market brand was born.
Nearly a year in the making, Huck’s Market made its debut at 1373 W. Tipton St. in Seymour, Ind., on Jan. 14. The retailer tapped retail services provider GSP to help achieve its goal of shifting to a fresh, new look and feel that would resonate with both new and existing customers.
“We have been in the prepared food business for over 40 years. There is certainly nothing wrong with our traditional stores’ look, but we felt that it was time for a change. We think our new look will attract more female customers, millennials and Generation Z,” Huck’s President and CEO Murat Tokad told Convenience Store News. “The new Huck’s Market is all about the food. While the traditional Huck’s stores carry high-quality food and drink offerings, the new version takes it to another level with fresh pizza, fried chicken, subs made on-site, salads, fresh bakery items, and many more foods not usually associated with a convenience store.”
Huck’s Market aims to have what customers are craving, no matter the daypart:
- For the morning drive to work, the store offers breakfast sandwiches, breakfast pizzas, and bakery fare comprised of doughnuts, cookies and pastries.
- Lunch and dinner finds include Godfather’s Pizza and Cluck’s Famous Fried Chicken. Other menu options are livers, gizzards, submarine sandwiches, salads, hot dogs and other roller grill items.
- In-between-meal fillers and snacks include healthy options, such as fresh fruit, keto-friendly snacks, yogurt, and a wide offering of protein-packed items. More indulgent packaged goods can also be found.
The Huck’s Market in Seymour is not a one-and-done deal. This summer, the Carmi, Ill.-based retailer plans to introduce a second location that’s larger at 6,000 square feet — the first of this size for Huck’s — in Newburgh, Ind. Remodels of existing stores are on the drawing board, too.
“Remodeling existing stores to mirror the new image will be an ongoing project. With 125 stores to update, it will be long-term plan that will eventually touch the entire company,” Tokad said, adding that two other Huck’s Market locations are currently at various stages of construction in Washington, Ind., and Hannibal, Mo.