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MILWAUKEE — Kwik Trip Inc. is increasing its store count in southeastern Wisconsin as part of the company's overall expansion efforts, reported BizTimes Milwaukee.
New stores are planned for Pleasant Prairie, Kenosha, Racine, Oak Creek, New Berlin, Sussex, Menomonee Falls, West Bend, Mukwonago, Saukville, Sheboygan and Waukesha, Wis.
La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip currently operates 41 stores in the region. For the next five years, the company plans to add approximately 40 stores per year to the existing 430 stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.
"There is still an awful lot of room in the market for us," stated Director of Real Estate Hans Zietlow.
Kwik Trip stores occupy 7,000 square feet on average and offer fresh grocery items, standard convenience store offerings, a car wash and fueling stations. Construction has already begun on several of the planned area stores, and could begin later this year or in 2016 for the others.
When searching for locations to add new stores, Kwik Trip looks for geographic gaps, Zietlow added. "We need traffic, access, demographics."
No Kwik Trip stores currently exist in Milwaukee, though the company will add them eventually, according to Zietlow. In developed communities, it can be difficult to find good sites that are large enough to house new stores. Kwik Trip looks for two-acre sites, according to the report.
Objections from potential neighbors and competitors can also present difficulties in opening new stores.
"It's easier to go where you are welcome," Zietlow said. "In a free market, you can look at a large area and compare [locations]. Some places are more difficult to go than other places."