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Convenience and fuel retailers are more essential than ever during pandemic

Published April 22, 2020

It’s no surprise that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security named the convenience store industry an essential workforce — virus or not, people still need fuel. But c-stores are also playing an even bigger role in supporting their communities during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Here are three ways they’re rising to the challenge. 


1. C-stores are becoming an alternate grocery store to consumers

Grocery stores are experiencing shortages of many essential items during the coronavirus pandemic; items like toilet paper, paper products, non-perishable foods and cleaning supplies are the first to sell out—and fast. That means consumers are turning to alternative places to buy these items, including convenience stores, which are helping fill the gap.


2. They're also taking care of first responders during the coronavirus pandemic

Convenience store chains like Wawa and Circle K are doing their part to support those risking their health to take care of our communities. They’re offering free refreshments to first responders and health care workers—Circle K has even extended this offer to their own employees. 


3. Convenience stores help truckers keep on trucking

As road traffic decreases, truckers are tasked with keeping the world moving. They’re delivering food, much-needed cleaning supplies and medical equipment. And c-stores are sometimes the only food option for truckers. Pilot Flying J knows drivers need food options available any time of day or night—and when they close food options (like self-service food) for the night, there are other choices available onsite. 


As c-stores to continue to play such an integral role in supporting the community and the economy, retailers are having to rapidly adapt their store technology to meet the sudden spike in demand. Solutions like store virtualization can help convenience retailers keep up while keeping costs down—whether that means moving the checkout to the door or the forecourt, or adding mobile ordering and checkout. 


We’re here to help

If you’re looking for ways to virtualize your convenience store to create a more agile infrastructure that is ready for any future demand, visit NCR or contact us

For more COVID-19 resources, articles and tips, visit

Learn what EMV non-compliance could cost your c-store

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