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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
CEFCO opened its newest ground-up store at 1600 E. John Sims Parkway in Niceville, Fla., on May 21. This rebuild represents the 18th 5,000-square-foot prototype location the retailer has opened over the past several years, and is the third prototype opened this year.
CEFCO has multiple additional ground-up stores and rebuilds planned for 2015. This latest new-generation store reflects the chain's latest design, and offers customers a great shopping experience, the retailer said. The store incorporates a number of innovative enhancements made possible by an open, fresh design with modern treatments and upgraded finishes.
"We are excited to open our first location in Florida," said Brett Giesick, chief retail officer for CEFCO Convenience Stores. "This new store represents a logical and contiguous buildout from our existing marketing areas. We are also proud to offer our first ground-up proprietary 'Fresh Yo' self-service yogurt program at this location."
As part of CEFCO's commitment to the Niceville community, the retailer presented a $25,000 check in the form of C.E. Fikes Endowment to officials from Northwest Florida State College.
Corner Store celebrated the grand opening of its newest store in Phoenix at 1111 N. 67th Ave.
At a ribbon-cutting, George Engle, zone manager for CST Brands, Corner Store's parent company, presented Sunridge Elementary School with a check for $5,000 to show the company's commitment to the community.
"At Corner Store, we want to be team players in the communities we serve," said Kim Lubel, president and CEO of CST Brands. "Our team members (employees) build strong relationships with customers, and we are excited to meet and get to know the wonderful people in the neighborhoods surrounding our newest Phoenix Corner Store."
The 4,683-square-foot store features a Redbox, car wash, and 14 gasoline dispensers with E85 fuel.
This year, San Antonio-based CST Brands plans to add 35 to 40 new-to-industry stores to its network of more than 1,000 Corner Stores throughout Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and California.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
Love's opened four new locations, one each in Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Texas.
The retailer's newest location in Jacksonville, Fla., is situated along Interstate 95. It offers gourmet coffee, fresh fruit, gift items, name-brand electronics, and Chester's Chicken and Subway restaurants. The 24/7 travel stop also features seven showers, 82 truck parking spaces, a Love's Truck Tire Care center, RFID cardless fueling and CAT scales.
Love's also cut the ribbon on a travel stop in New Baden, Ill., along Interstate 64. The spot offers gourmet coffee, fresh fruit, gift items, name-brand electronics, a Hardee's restaurant and a game room. This 24/7 travel stop also features seven showers, 97 truck parking spaces, a Love's Truck Tire Care center, RFID cardless fueling, CAT scales and other driver services.
In early May, Love's Travel Stops expanded its presence along two major routes: Interstate 20 and U.S. Highway 283 in Baird, Texas, and U.S. Highway 24 and State Route 101 in Woodburn, Ind.
Both facilities are open 24 hours a day and feature name-brand snacks, gourmet coffee, electronics and gift merchandise. The Baird travel stop has Subway and Chester's Chicken restaurants, a game room, 68 truck parking spaces and seven showers. The Woodburn travel stop offers Subway and McDonald's restaurants, 76 truck parking spaces and seven showers.
Love's Truck Tire Care centers, RFID cardless fueling, CAT scales and other driver services are also available at the two travel stops.
TravelCenters of America
TravelCenters of America, operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, opened liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling lanes at its TA locations in Dallas and San Antonio.
The lanes are part of a partnership with Shell to develop a network of LNG fueling stations for heavy-duty road transport customers, with sites phased to customer demand.
TravelCenters has also completed retrofitting its TA Truck Service and Petro:Lube facilities to provide truck maintenance and repair on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and LNG fueled trucks at the following locations:
• TA Harrisburg, Pa. (I-81, Exit 77)
• TA Baytown, Texas (I-10, Exit 789)
• TA Lafayette, La. (I-10, Exit 101)
• TA San Antonio (I-10, Exit 583)
• TA Dayton, Ohio (I-70, Exit 10)
• TA Dallas South, Texas (I-20, Exit 472)
• TA Santa Nella, Calif. (I-5, Exit 407)
• TA Wheeler Ridge, Calif. (I-5, Exit 219A/219B)
• Petro Shawn Hubbard Ontario, Calif. Stopping Center (I-10, Exit 57)
• Petro Jerry Fritts Jr. West Memphis, Ark. Stopping Center (I-40, Exit 280/I-55, Exit 4)
"Dallas South is our fifth site to offer LNG and we now have 10 truck maintenance and repair facilities for LNG and CNG vehicles," said Tom O'Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters. "All of our LNG lanes are 'super lanes' in that they are equipped to dispense LNG, diesel and DEF. Because super lanes are integrated with existing fuel lanes, we do not interrupt truck traffic flow, or reduce available truck parking spaces."
As customer demand grows in the United States, TravelCenters and Shell plan to open additional truck fueling lanes.
"This is another step forward in providing LNG fuel supply to heavy-duty road customers in the U.S.," said Christian Buelow, Shell's general manager, Downstream LNG Americas. "We expect the strengthening supply chain in North America to give customers reassurance that LNG is a viable fuel alternative to diesel today. We believe in the potential of LNG fuel becoming a bigger part of the marine and road transport fuel mix and continue to look at supply opportunities in the region."