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MUNSTER, Ind. -- Family Express Corp. has plans to expand its convenience store and fuel retailing business westward from its Valparaiso, Ind., base, according to the Northwest Indiana Times. The family-owned company currently operates 57 locations in northwest and north central Indiana, including three just-opened Lake County sites. Company president and CEO Gus Olympidis said the retailer spent almost $8 million to purchase the property for and open the three new locations during the last three months. He also noted that Lake County's proximity to Family Express' central distribution center makes it a sensible area for expansion.
"Our company has been around for (about) 40 years; we have always experienced some degree of growth and development," said Olympidis. "Because the development was happening further south like Lebanon, Frankfort or West Lafayette, in Lake County, people may not have been cognizant of it."
Olympidis added that as part of the company's efforts to expand the reach its brand, the Lake County expansion has resulted in a surprisingly positive reception from markets that are not as familiar with Family Express.
There are plans to add a car wash to its Griffith, Ind., site as well.
Family Express isn't the only area company expanding; its competitor Luke Oil Co. is also planning to increase its number of convenience stores and gas stations, the Times reported.
According to Olympidis, such expansion is related to current market conditions, which allowed Family Express to "acquire some wonderful assets."