Convenience Channel Helps Fuel First Responders & Medical Personnel

April 2, 2020 10:35 AM

NATIONAL REPORT  Convenience store retailers across the country continue to take steps to support their communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Multiple companies have announced policies of free beverages for first responders and other essential workers, as well as enhanced safety procedures for stores.


GPM Investments LLC is reminding first responders that it continues to offer them free coffee at locations permitted by local ordinances. The program already existed as a reminder and a thank you for the heroic work that first responders perform every day, the company stated.

"We realize that first responders have always been extremely important in our everyday lives. We simply want to remind them that their coffee is on us!" said CEO Arie Kotle. "This is a small token of our appreciation and a way to just say thank you for all that you do."

Richmond, VA.-based GPM Investments, together with its subsidiaries, is the largest privately owned company in the convenience store channel of business. The company operates or supplies fuel to more than 1,400 stores in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia and Wisconsin.

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores

First responders and medical professionals can get a free drink at Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores every day through the month of May. The offer is available at all 516 Love's locations across the country.

Customers who are wearing a first responder uniform or medical scrubs, or who present their work identification card, will receive a free medium fountain drink or coffee as thanks for their hard work and dedication during the COVID-19 crisis.

"At Love's we know that professional truck drivers are the heroes of the highway and are crucial, especially during this time, so we've worked hard to make sure we can continue to keep our locations open for them," said Shane Wharton, president of Love's. "But during this time, we also want to say 'thank you' to our first responders and medical professionals who are on the front lines of this pandemic. This is just one small way we can do that."

Based in Oklahoma City, Love's travel stop network operates across 41 states.

RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.

RaceTrac Petroleum is extending its longstanding policy of free "Crazy Good" coffee and fountain beverages for first responders in uniform. Now, all essential workers are included, from doctors to hospital support staff to truck drivers who keep the supply chain operating. They can enjoy a free small coffee or small fountain drink per day through April 7. Either a uniform or an ID badge is required.

The company continues to follow stringent hygiene and sanitation practices across its footprint. Stores have implemented enhanced measures such as implementing social distancing procedures, continuously cleaning of high contact-areas, and a nightly store stand-down for cleaning and sanitization.

Atlanta-based RaceTrac operates more than 550 locations in Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee.

Wawa Inc.

All of Wawa's store locations are offering healthcare workers and first responders free coffee to fuel their shifts.

"We want to salute the many health care heroes who are doing great work throughout our communities. From Main Line Health to CHOP to Penn Medicine to Jefferson in Philadelphia. From Orlando Health to Winter Haven in Florida. From Virtua Health System to Bay Shore Medical in New Jersey. From Johns Hopkins to MedStar in Maryland and Virginia and Christiana Health in Delaware," said Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens. "These are just some of our partners who are also truly amazing health care systems now on the front lines of this crisis. You have our deepest thanks and gratitude."

Wawa is also enhancing in-store safety by asking both customers and employees to main a six-foot distance from one another. This is supported by in-store signage, announcements and videos. Stores feature visual floor markers to support maintaining a healthy distance, and clear plastic shields will serve as distancing aids at checkout counters.

"We continue to focus on supporting our associates during this time, who have truly come to the forefront to serve our communities," Gheysens said. "Nothing is more important to us than doing our best to continue to support our incredible associates and maintain our Wawa family now and for the future."

Pennsylvania-based Wawa operates more than 860 c-stores across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.

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