“It may have taken 38 years to get it perfected,” laughed Mike Garlick, Vice President of Hit N Run stores, “but we are now the #1 fountain beverage retailer among convenience stores in the country for Pepsi - by more than double. Now that’s a big deal for us!”
Hit N Run, founded in 1972 with its first store on Washington Ave. in Alton, now has 6 stores in the River Bend area: Alton (2), Wood River, East Alton, Bethalto, and Granite City. The Washington Ave. store is also celebrating a Grand Re-Opening from March 2 through 8 with $.59 Hummdingers.
“The Hummdinger was my brain-child back in 1982,” Mark Hackworth, Hit N Run Merchandising Manager, proudly exclaimed. “Our customers don’t buy fountain drinks anywhere else after they’ve had a Hummdinger.”
Hit N Run has achieved marketing fame by perfecting their curb-service convenience store brand. While you can park your car and shop inside at any store, most customers choose to just drive-thru.
“Washington Avenue has always been a popular location, but sometimes it can get congested,” explained Garlick, “that’s why we felt that expanding the store to include a second drive-up would relieve some of that pressure and speed up the purchase cycle.”
By taking out the car wash adjacent to the north side of the store, Hit N Run can now accommodate twice as many customers. The expansion has also increased the space available for stock.
“It’s twice as big,” said Hackworth with a smile, “so we can give customers more of what they want. We haven’t changed much over the years because it’s been successful; I mean we’re just now building our first website and have begun promoting online with RiverBender.com. We know it’s time to get into the 21st century! It’s nice to do so as Pepsi’s #1 c-stores.”
While Hit N Run is legendary for its Hummdingers and curb-service, they also own and manage Pancake Ranch restaurants, car washes, and laundry-mats in Bethalto and Wood River. Washington Avenue also has a laundry-mat, and gas is available at the Alton State St. and Bethalto locations.
“We’re a busy place and proud of what we’ve built,” Garlick admitted, “but we couldn’t have done any of it without our loyal customers. They are the best! We are trying to thank them with some very special prices during our anniversary, now through the 16th.”
Hit N Run headquarters are located on Homer Adams Parkway in Alton, Illinois and their phone is 618-462-9829. They can be found online at www.hitnrunstores.com.