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NATIONAL REPORT — The convenience store industry landscape is constantly changing as chains open and close stores each week. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these comings and goings in this special roundup.
Here are the latest company spotlights:
Army & Air Force Exchange Service
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) ushered in a new era of service and support for military in Moon Township, Pa., with a newly updated facility. A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the final phase in a years-long process to open a new Express and commissary here after the closure of a nearby facility.
The new 10,741-square-foot Express houses military clothing, an outdoor living section, and electronics with name brands such as Samsung, Sony and Beats. A barber shop and Class Six facility with a walk-in cooler round out the $4.3-million facility, which supports 168,000 soldiers, airmen, reservists, guardsmen, military retirees and their families in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where soldiers, airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense.
CST Brands Inc.
Two new Corner Stores opened in Texas — one in Round Rock and one in Plano. The Round Rock store, located at 3100 North A.W. Grimes Blvd., is 4,683 square feet and features indoor dining, an ATM, Redbox station, ethanol fuel (E-85) and 14 pump stations. In Plano, the store is located at 7040 W. Spring Creek Parkway and is 7,707 square feet, featuring a modern design, indoor dining, Redbox station, ethanol fuel and car wash.
This year, CST Brands said it planned to build 30 new stores in the United States, adding to its network of 1,046 stores throughout Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and California. More than half of CST’s U.S. stores are in Texas, one of the fastest-growing states in the nation.
The new stores are larger with ample parking, a colorful and spacious design, and a wider variety of food options. Most are equipped with kitchens to prepare breakfast tacos with homemade tortillas, empanadas, whoopie pies, cookies, doughnuts, savory kolaches and other items in the store’s signature food line, Fresh Choices.
Stewart’s Shops' newest store in Liverpool, N.Y., opened its doors as the company's first location in Onondaga County, and there has been discussion about expanding in other areas of central New York, according to a report by Time Warner Cable News.
As part of the grand-opening celebration, Stewart's donated $1,000 each to Northern Onondaga Volunteer Ambulance and the Moyers Corners Fire Department, which are both located near the store.
In other company news, the chain closed its store in Castleton, N.Y., after more than 40 years despite locals protesting to keep the store open. Protesters collected more than 1,100 signatures on a petition urging Stewart’s to reverse its decision, and stood outside the store chanting “Save Our Stewart’s” and “Don’t Abandon Castleton.” The store, however, closed at the end of October.
Stripes Convenience Stores
Stripes opened a new location in Cleveland, Texas, and another in Corpus Christi, Texas. The company held a grand opening for the Cleveland store on Nov. 18, which showcased food from the Laredo Taco Co. restaurant located inside the store.
Stripes also recognized Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce members and presented $1,000 to the Cleveland High School AFJROTC Scholarship Program.
Meanwhile, the new Corpus Christi store, which marked the first Sunoco fuel site in the area, also offered samples from Laredo Taco Co. at its Nov. 14 grand opening. The festivities included giveaways, an official NASCAR show car appearance, and the chance to meet former Dallas Cowboys player Kevin Smith as well. The company also presented $1,000 to the Mary Grett School Transition Center.