Monday, April 30, 2012
More Hispanics, tacos and beer = Stripes' growth
The Corpus Christi, Texas-based Susser is near doubling the number of new-builds it plans for 2012, ramping up to a target range of 25 to 30 new stores versus 15 in 2009, 14 in 2010 and 19 last year, according to Mary Sullivan, the chain's CFO.
Part of the success of inside sales over cigarettes or fuel is the company's Laredo Taco Co. foodservice concept. Started in 2001, the foodservice offer features authentic Mexican items, with fresh ingredients including tortillas made from scratch every morning. Sullivan called the program the chain's loyalty offer because 72% of people who buy Laredo Taco products buy another item. And if that customer visits the Laredo Taco counter, then he or she visits the location 40% more than the average consumer.
Also, their success is stemming from the healthy Texas economy and the drilling boom in and around the Permian Basin area, which bring population growth to West Texas. Many of the chain's newer stores are located there.
The growing population and, in particular, the demographics of the area are playing into Susser's success, as well. Growth in the Hispanic population in the chain's core markets is expected to hit 37% versus the national average of 16%. In addition, the 18-to-35-year-old male demographic is higher in south Texas than the national average, 60% versus 50%.
With younger, male customers, Sullivan said, "We're in the path of future beer drinkers" CFO Mary Sullivan offered.