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PUMPING UP P-O-P

As I filled my gas tank this morning, it reminded me of how that point-of-purchase has evolved over the past 25 years. I remember the first time I ever paid at the pump: an AM/PM store in Pittsburgh in the late 1980’s. The common wisdom then was, “Retailers won’t adopt this convenience because they want the shopper in the store.” Ha!

Fast forward to today. Most gas stations are convenience stores and vice versa today. Virtually all of them offer pay-at-the-pump. I infrequently enter a convenience store when I get gas, instead conducting my business at the pump. Quick and easy, I scan my loyalty and credit cards, clean the windshield, replace the gas cap and go. Beyond the price of gas, of course, the attributes I appreciate are: pump clean and in working order, including the receipt printer. Trigger holder so I can clean my windshield while gas dispenses. Newer squeegee with actual windshield wiper fluid (not just water) in the well. Trashcan that’s not overflowing. Sufficient space between pumps so cars can easily park side-by-side. Canopy to keep me out of the weather.

And when I find the attributes I like, I tend to return again and again. And I’ll go to that convenience store when I don’t need gas. The gas pump P-O-P makes a difference.

How about you? How do you choose what gas station you patronize?