Exceptional leadership, great stores and unsurpassed customer service are the hallmarks of the convenience store industry’s extraordinary chains. Following these guiding principles, CStore Decisions is proud to honor Parker’s as the 2020 Convenience Store Chain of the Year.
The Chain of the Year Award showcases the best of the best in convenience retailing, and Parker’s is certainly deserving of a place in this rich tradition. As many industry marketers are struggling to reinvent themselves and to identify a strategy that will lead them into the future, family-owned and operated Parker’s continues to blaze its own trail. The Savannah, Ga.-based company operates 66 stores in Georgia and South Carolina, and has aggressive plans to build 60 new-to-industry stores in 60 months.
Over the past two years, company Founder and CEO Greg Parker has pushed the needle forward with a host of projects that have made the chain a force in the Southern market. Parker’s expanded into the metro Charleston, S.C., market with eight new stores and plans to build 32 more units in the area over the next four years. It has significantly enhanced its focus on foodservice, operating 42 Parker’s Kitchen locations serving Southern-inspired food prepared fresh on-site daily.
“Being named the 2020 CStore Decisions Chain of the Year is an incredible honor that validates our team’s hard work and ongoing commitment to serving Parker’s customers and giving back to every community where we operate stores,” Parker said. “Since our founding in 1976, we’ve been focused on delivering the ultimate customer experience. In recent years, we’ve strategically expanded our commitment to high-quality food service, cutting-edge technology, charitable giving and customer loyalty. We deeply appreciate this recognition and will continue to set the bar even higher in the future.”
Over the past two years, Parker’s has also implemented cutting-edge technology to enhance the customer experience and digitize operations. Upgrades include food-ordering kiosks, self-checkout lanes, a new Parker’s Rewards app and investing in internal “smart applications” to increase efficiencies.
The company’s goal is to have at least 40% of all transactions be completed through the Parker’s Rewards program, Parker said.
“For many years, the entire team at Parker’s has been recognized as one of the hardest-working groups in the industry. Their dedication to detail, outstanding customer service programs and constant evolution as a convenience retailer make them the perfect choice to join the elite list of Chain of the Year honorees,” said John Lofstock, vice president and editor-in-chief of CStore Decisions. “For its commitment to convenience retailing, customers and its team members, Parker’s exemplifies the spirit of the Chain of the Year award, and we are proud to recognize them with this coveted honor.”
Parker opened the first Parker’s c-store in Midway, Ga., 44 years ago. “Fast, Fresh, Friendly” is more than just a slogan at Parker’s. It’s a promise it makes to every customer it serves every day.
For example, in addition to operations upgrades, the chain increased its commitment to the Fueling the Community charitable program, giving back to every community where Parker’s operates stores. The company’s policy is to generously support education, healthcare and other important initiatives that touch communities within its corporate footprint, donating more than $7 million to date.
About the Chain of the Year Award
CStore Decisions’ Chain of the Year award annually honors a convenience store or petroleum chain that has established itself as a superior retailer and innovator in its markets of operation. CSD’s first Chain of the Year award was given to Wawa Inc. in 1990. Parker’s follows 2019 Chain of the Year winner Weigel’s. Other winners of this prestigious award include Sheetz, Maverik, RaceTrac, 7-Eleven Inc., Krause Gentle Corp., Alimentation Couche-Tard, QuikTrip, Rutter’s and Family Express.
Past Chain of the Year Winners
- 1990 – Wawa Inc.
- 1991 – SuperAmerica
- 1992 – QuikTrip Corp.
- 1993 – Casey’s General Stores Inc.
- 1994 – Sheetz Inc.
- 1995 – Diamond Shamrock Corp.
- 1996 – Mapco Express
- 1997 – Speedway Inc.
- 1998 – Krause Gentle Corp.
- 1999 – Dairy Mart Inc.
- 2000 – Amerada Hess Corp.
- 2001 – Huck’s Food & Fuel
- 2002 – Petro-Canada
- 2003 – Exxon Mobil Corp.
- 2004 – Kwik Trip Inc.
- 2005 – 7-Eleven Inc.
- 2006 – Valero Inc.
- 2007 – Alimentation Couche-Tard
- 2008 – Chevron Inc.
- 2009 – Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes
- 2010 – Rutter’s Farm Stores
- 2011 – Thorntons Inc.
- 2012 – Tedeschi Food Shops
- 2013 – Maverik Inc.
- 2014 – RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.
- 2015 – Family Express Corp.
- 2016 – QuickChek Corp.
- 2017 – Sheetz Inc.
- 2018 – Kwik Trip Inc.
- 2019 – Weigel’s Inc.
- 2020 – Parker’s