Costco gas stations vs. Kroger gas stations (or, good vs. evil)

There’s a Kroger gas station about five minutes from my home in Spring Hill, TN.  That makes it pretty convenient.

It’s also the only gas station on our highway exit.  That makes it pretty chaotic…and it makes me long for a Costco gas station.

If you’ve ever been to a Costco gas station, you know that each one is designed to minimize stress and wait times.  You pull in one way, you wait your turn in line for an available pump, you pump your gas, and you exit on the other side.  They designed the pump hoses so that the location of your vehicle’s fuel door isn’t a concern.  Believe it or not, Costco even provides information on its website about how traffic should flow through its gas stations:

Costco gas station design

You can tell that Costco was intentional about its gas station design.  The Kroger gas station near my house, on the other hand, has more of a hands-off approach.  Their philosophy seems to be, “We’ll provide the pumps…you figure out the rest.”  People circle the gas station like vultures, reverse into gas pump lines, gesticulate wildly when someone’s taking too long, and generally create a Black Friday-esque sense of anarchy.

I can’t cure Kroger’s bad gas station design.  However…here are my humble tips for navigating Kroger gas station lines.  Follow them and there’s a good chance you’ll make it out alive (after a 10-15 minute wait, of course).

For what it’s worth, keep this gas station anecdote in mind when you’re designing websites, store signage, and just about everything else related to your business.  Creating something that’s user-friendly and easy-to-navigate makes a world of difference…and it makes people more willing to come back and visit.  I’d love to be of assistance in those efforts, and contacting me is easy.  I won’t even make you wait in line.

The importance of mystery

Allen Bluff mule painting in Liberty, TN

I recently wrote an article covering Liberty, TN’s Allen Bluff mule painting, Spring Hill, TN’s blue tortoise, and the importance of mystery.  You can read it here, although I can’t promise that it’ll give you the “heading to my grandparents’ house” feeling that it provides me.  

Photo by Brent at SeeMidTN.com.  Used via the Creative Commons License.