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:
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
Oklahoma City-based Love’s opened a new travel stop in Searcy, Ark., at exit 44 on U.S. Highway 67 that features Hardee’s and Subway restaurants, gourmet coffee, fresh fruit, gift merchandise and more.
The new travel stop is open 24/7 and equipped with several amenities for professional drivers, including 77 truck parking spaces, seven showers, an on-site Love’s Truck Tire Care center, bulk DEF at the pump at all diesel lanes, RFID cardless fueling technology and CAT scales.
QuikTrip opened a new convenience store in Peachtree Corners, Ga., near Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. The store -- part of the company’s “Generation 3” concept store project -- boasts more entrances and expanded food offerings, including made-to-order pizzas, flatbreads, pretzels, smoothies and ice cream in its QT Kitchen.
The store was built on the site of one of the company’s older stores, but QuikTrip decided to raze the old building and build a bigger and better store, which took 16 weeks to complete, Patrick Conner, QuikTrip’s real estate project manager, told the Gwinnett Daily.
Rutter’s Farm Stores
York, Pa.-based Rutter’s recently opened its 60th convenience store. Located in Middletown, Pa. at 2800 Vine St., it is the chain's second location in Dauphin County and one of Rutter's largest stores at 6,280 square feet.
The store is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offers 12 fueling spaces and four high-speed truck diesel fueling spaces. Customers have access to the chain’s award-winning food menu and gourmet coffee bar, as well as free Wi-Fi and seating for 21 people.
The United Family
The United Family broke ground this month on a new joint supermarket and convenience store location in Brownwood, Texas, and celebrated the opening of a new United Express convenience store in Wichita Falls, Texas.
In Brownwood, construction began this month. The opening of both the 42,648-square-foot supermarket and 1,472-square-foot convenience store is targeted for June 2015. These stores are expected to bring 140 to 160 new jobs to Brownwood. They will sit on a 9.8-acre site, with the United Express to be located near the corner of Commerce and Riverside Park Drive.
In addition to standard convenience items, the United Express store will offer sandwiches, breakfast burritos and other items made fresh daily in the main store. The location will also include a four-pump/eight dispenser fuel station, offering both gasoline and diesel.
In Wichita Falls, the newest United Express convenience store opened Aug. 8 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The 2,593-square-foot store marks the company’s ninth freestanding convenience store under the United Express banner, but the first in Wichita Falls. The United Family also operates 19 United Express fuel kiosks at its supermarket locations.
The Wichita Falls store is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and includes a drive-thru window offering specialty coffee and tea service featuring the company’s own Arriba brand. A full line of made-to-order coffees and tea – including lattés, smoothies and frappes – is available both inside the United Express store and via the drive-thru.
The c-store also includes a four-pump/eight-dispenser fuel station offering gasoline and diesel. In addition to traditional convenience items (fountain drinks, grab-and-go packaged food, soft drinks, beer, wine, etc.), there's also a wide assortment of “fresh to-go” items made inside the main store, fresh fruit, f’real milkshakes, ICEE frozen beverages and Dippin’ Dots ice cream.
VERC Enterprises, a convenience store and Gulf gasoline operator with locations throughout Massachusetts, completed extensive renovations at its Kingston, Mass., location and reopened the store for business.
Visitors will notice the addition of 10 parking spaces in front of the store and the Dunkin’ Donuts space inside tripled. There are also newly renovated customer restrooms and a more spacious look and feel to the store.
“We believe people will really like our new and improved store,” said VERC Enterprises' CEO Leo Vercollone, who noted that the five-month project resulted in a storefront that increased from 1800 square feet to 3800 square feet.
The popular store, located at 183 Summer St. (Route 3A) near the exit 10 interchange off Route 3, was one of VERC’s first stores, built 34 years ago. The company invested more than $1 million in the improvements, which included tearing down the original building and constructing an all-new, state-of-the-art store.