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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.
CEFCO Convenience Stores
On July 30, CEFCO welcomed customers to its newest ground-up store located at 813 N. Ferdon Blvd. in Crestview, Fla. This rebuild represents the 20th 5,500-square-foot prototype location the retailer has opened over the past several years, and is the fifth prototype opened in 2015.
CEFCO has multiple additional ground-up stores and rebuilds planned for the remainder of this year.
"We are excited to open our second location in the panhandle of Florida and our first in Crestview," said Brett Giesick, chief retail officer for CEFCO.
This latest prototype store incorporates a number of innovative enhancements made possible by an open, fresh design with modern treatments and upgraded finishes. The new c-store offers CEFCO's hot and cold "Fresh Eats" grab-and-go offerings, as well as its traditional food and beverage offerings, and it marks the retailer's third "Fresh Yo" frozen yogurt concept location.
CST Brands Inc.
CST Brands cut the ribbon on a new Corner Store in Tomball, Texas, that is the first to sell Phillips 66 fuel as part of a new co-branding relationship between the companies.
The move adds Phillips 66 to Corner Store’s diversified fuel offerings and gives Corner Store the ability to share branding space on the fuel canopy to gain increased visibility for its popular Corner Store brand.
At 4,650 square feet, the new Tomball Corner Store features a large format, eight fueling stations, a diesel truck island and a Redbox rental kiosk.
New-to-industry Corner Stores like the one in Tomball are typically larger with ample parking, 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 retailer's signature food line.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
A new addition to the Love's portfolio opened its doors for business July 23 in Knightstown, Ind., along Interstate 70.
The new store offers gourmet coffee, fresh fruit, gift items, name-brand electronics, and McDonald's and Subway restaurants. The travel stop features seven showers, 89 parking spaces, RFID cardless fueling and CAT scales.
"Knightstown is along the well-traveled Interstate 70 so this is an ideal location for a new store," said Greg Love, co-CEO of Love's. "We're always looking for ways to improve service to our loyal customers, and opening in this area will provide needed services to professional drivers."
For a limited time, professional drivers can earn up to five points with their "My Love Rewards" loyalty cards at all Love's locations.
Ricker Oil Co.
Indiana-based Ricker Oil Co. opened a new Ricker's convenience store in Edinburgh, Ind. The location is one of five flagship stores the chain will open this year.
"This store follows the new flagship design of the Ricker's brand," said President and CEO Quinn Ricker. "Quality food and drink offerings in convenience stores are the future of our industry."
In addition to its sleek new design, the store features a variety of products that break the mold of the typical convenience store. It offers fresh "bean to cup" gourmet coffee, cappuccino, iced coffee and frappés, along with several different flavor syrups and creamers. All machines employ reverse-osmosis water filtration. There is also a selection of wine priced lower than most liquor stores.
This location is home to Ricker's own brand of fast and fresh Mexican cuisine. "We are proud to offer such a fresh, high-quality and affordable product that is also unique to the Ricker's brand," Ricker said. "We prepare all food items fresh, in-store and made to order. Kiosks are in place to allow each order to be customized to the individual's liking."
Additionally, the new Edinburgh store carries Ricker's own brand of frozen yogurt, available in a variety of flavors and topping combinations.
The new store also provides Lucas Oil additives in its premium and diesel fuels to increase power and fuel mileage and lower exhaust emissions. It has a tax-exempt diesel island for trucks to refuel, as well.
Ricker's next new convenience store location is planned for Columbus, Ind.
TravelCenters of America LLC
TravelCenters of America, operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, welcomed its first customers to a newly built TA Truck Service facility located in Columbia, S.C. The facility offers two service bays and is open to serve customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The TA and Petro Truck Service Network specializes in providing light-duty repair, brakes, electrical, alignment, air conditioning, preventive maintenance, inspections and RoadSquad emergency road call services.
All TA Truck Service and Petro:Lube service centers now carry full lines of tires from Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear, Continental and Samson.
"Our Columbia, S.C., truck service center is the fifth brand-new truck service facility we have built in 2015. Our commitment to truck service centers starts with our commitment to professional drivers looking for a one-stop facility to meet all their driving needs. We get them in and out, and back on the road safely," said Tom O'Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters.
Turkey Hill Minit Markets
Turkey Hill Minit Markets expanded its footprint in Columbus, Ohio, with a new store opened at 2731 Winchester Pike.
The 5,600-square-foot store showcases Turkey Hill's most up-to-date features, including expanded grocery offerings, a beer cave with a wide selection of beer and wine, and a deli serving an extensive menu including Built Your Way sandwiches and pizza. The store also features an in-store seating area, and the merchandise mix includes produce and flowers.
Serving customers 24 hours a day, the Winchester Pike store employs approximately 40 associates, provides 10 gasoline dispensers with 20 pumps, and carries a wide selection of grocery items. Foodservice offerings include more than 100 fresh, grab-and-go meal and snack options from the Real Time Café, including hot breakfast sandwiches, cheeseburgers, subs, deli sandwiches, pizza and hot dogs.
The store's extensive beverage and frozen product lines include coffee — brewed with soft-heat for better freshness and flavor — as well as cappuccinos, ice-cold pop and Slusheys, and a selection of Turkey Hill ice cream, iced teas and drinks.
Customers can save on fuel with the Kroger Plus program. Those who visited the new convenience store through Aug. 9 had the opportunity to enter a drawing to win a $500 Turkey Hill gift card.