Conveniently, Convenience Store

Conveniently, Convenience Store

It was a Saturday morning at 7:58am and we are finally loaded into the car and pulling out of the driveway on our way to visit family out of town. I’m feeling great because we’re only 28 minutes behind schedule and this is a huge win when you have two kids under the age of 5.

We are not even 4 miles away from home and it starts: the 5 year old has to go to the bathroom (how is this even possible when he just went 7 minutes ago?), I forgot my coffee on the kitchen counter, the gas light just came on, and did I mention none of us ate breakfast? Now what do we do?

I could go to the gas station to get gas and use the bathroom, run to the coffee shop to get coffee and stop somewhere else to get breakfast but this does not sound like fun or convenient for anyone. Then it hit me. It’s called a convenience storenot a gas stationfor a reason!

This got me thinking: What in the world did families do before convenience stores existed? When did they first come to be?

“Then it hit me. It’s called a convenience storenot a gas stationfor a reason!”

NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, defines a Convenience Store as “…a retail business with primary emphasis placed on providing the public a convenient location to quickly purchase from a wide array of consumable products (predominantly food or food and gasoline) and services.” [1]

The first fueling station opened in St. Louis, Missouri in 1905–this fueling station required the shopkeeper to fill a five-gallon can from behind the store and bring it to the customer’s car [2]. By 1927, the convenience store concept began in Dallas, Texas. Selling bread, milk and eggs after the grocery stores were closed; this store was open from 7:00am–11:00pm and seven days a week. As the company grew, they changed the name to 7-Eleven [2].

breakfast sandwiches and coffee

Now, back to the trip. The gas tank is full; the bathroom breaks are completed, hot coffee loaded, freshly baked muffin, donut holes and breakfast sandwich ready to go. We are officially on the road! Now, let’s see how long we can make it before we have to stop again. The good news, there always is a convenience store right around the next corner.

The next time you stop to get gas or grab a drink or food at a convenience store, think about how far they have come from the first fueling station in 1905 and take a minute to appreciate all that convenience stores have to offer us!

We’d love for you to tell us about your favorite convenience store item, or share your story of what makes them convenient for you, in the comments below. 

1. NACS Online, "What is a Convenience Store?" []
2. NACS Online, "The History of Fuels Reatialing" []

Tagged with: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We don't just create signs or store interiors. We create experiences.

Enjoying Our Content?

Get valuable tips & ideas via email