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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.
Texas-based Buc-ee's welcomed guests to its latest travel center, in the North Texas town of Terrell. The retailer's other 29 stores are in Central and South Texas. The new 60,000-square-foot store features 84 gas pumps, the company's well-known big and clean bathrooms, and 700 parking spots.
The Terrell location offers down-home decor, camping and casual clothing. In addition, meals, snacks and fudge are served alongside four soda docks with 20 offerings each, a coffee area and four frozen drink centers.
CEFCO Convenience Stores
CEFCO reopened its store at 2685 Lamar Ave. in Paris, Texas. The chain's latest rebuild represents the 19th 5,000-square-foot prototype location that CEFCO has opened over the past several years, and it is the fourth prototype store to open thus far in 2015. CEFCO has several additional remodels planned for this year.
The Paris prototype store reflects the latest design for CEFCO's next generation and offers customers a great shopping experience. The remodeled store incorporates a number of innovative enhancements made possible by an open, fresh design with modern treatments and upgraded finishes.
"We invite the public to visit this remodeled CEFCO location and be treated to an exciting shopping experience, unmatched by any other local convenience retailer," said Brett Giesick, CEFCO's chief retail officer. "We believe that the enhancements built into this site reflect our core values of providing the best customer experience for every customer, every day."
CST Brands Inc.
CST Brands cut the ribbon on a new Corner Store in Floresville, Texas, in early July. At 5,889 square feet, the store features a Redbox kiosk, indoor dining, and 34 fueling stations with E85 and diesel.
This year, CST Brands plans to add 35 to 40 new-to-industry stores to its network of more than 1,000 U.S. Corner Stores throughout Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and California.
The chain's 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.
Other food options include grilled sausages and all-beef hot dogs with white or wheat buns, fresh-cut fruit and salads. In addition, the new stores carry signature products such as Fresh Choices nuts and snack mixes, U Force energy and sport drinks, Cibolo Mountain coffee, FC bottled soda and Flavors2Go fountain drinks.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
Love's kicked off the summer with a slew of new convenience store openings.
The new Love's Travel Stop along Interstate 59 in Poplarville, Miss., offers gourmet coffee, fresh fruit, gift items, name-brand electronics and an Arby's restaurant. The 24/7 travel stop also features seven showers, 70 truck parking spaces, a Love's Truck Tire Care center, RFID cardless fueling and CAT scales.
The Oklahoma-based company's latest travel stop in Shorter, Ala., offers gourmet coffee, fresh fruit, gift items, name-brand electronics, and Subway and McDonald's restaurants. The 24/7 travel stop also features seven showers, 91 truck parking spaces, a Love's Truck Tire Care center, RFID cardless fueling and CAT scales.
Other newly opened locations in Jonesboro, Ark., and Bevier, Mo., also offer gourmet coffee, fresh fruit, gift items, name-brand electronics and Subway restaurants. Both 24/7 travel stops feature seven showers, RFID cardless fueling and CAT scales. The Jonesboro location has 77 truck parking spaces, while Bevier offers 67 spots.
Stripes Convenience Stores
Corpus Christi, Texas-based Stripes opened two locations in June, starting with its new store in Edinburg, Texas, on June 2. This store features a Laredo Taco Co. restaurant, Sunoco fuel and 20 Sunoco-branded fuel dispensers.
The retailer then threw the doors open on its first store in Liberty, Texas, on June 30 at 2130 Highway 146 Bypass. In addition to Laredo Taco Co., this Stripes store offers Sunoco fuel and 18 Sunoco-branded dispensers.
Both locations also include a 40-seat dining area; "the beer super cooler," a designated cooler for beer/adult beverages set to cool below 32 degrees Fahrenheit; and "the wall," a creative space for customers to customize their cool drinks with more than 1.2 billion possible fountain combinations.
TravelCenters of America LLC
TravelCenters, operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, opened a newly built Petro:Lube facility off Interstate 35 in Pearsall, Texas. The truck service repair facility offers four service bays and is open 24 hours, seven days a week to serve customers.
Highly trained ASE- and TIA-certified technicians are on staff at this location and throughout the TA Truck Service and Petro:Lube network. The network specializes in providing light-duty repair, brakes, electrical, alignment, air conditioning, preventive maintenance, inspections and RoadSquad emergency road call services.
The United Family
The United Family opened its first United Supermarkets and United Express fuel and convenience store in Brownwood, Texas.
In addition to standard convenience items, the 1,472-square-foot United Express store has sandwiches, breakfast burritos and other items available that are made fresh daily in the primary store. It also has a four-pump, eight-dispenser fuel station, which offers both gasoline and diesel.
The 42,648-square-foot United Supermarkets store features a large selection of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, including more than 100 organic options, fresh meat and seafood, and experienced meat cutters. Other notable features include a full-service bakery and walk-in beer cooler, as well as Texas-made products, a large frozen food section and an extensive selection of gluten-free items.
A drive-thru pharmacy is available for guests and plans are underway for the addition of an in-store clinic.
"This grand opening is the culmination of hard work and dedication demonstrated by many United Family team members and Brownwood community leaders," said Robert Taylor, CEO of The United Family. "We are excited to introduce this community to our company's special brand of service, while also providing a comprehensive selection of everyday items families need at an affordable price."