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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 Convenience Stores kicked off the new year by reopening its Vernon, Texas, store at 2822 US Hwy 287 W. The rebuild is the retailer's second travel center prototype location, co-branded with a Huddle House Restaurant.
The concept reflects CEFCO's latest design for the next generation and offers guests a great shopping experience. It incorporates a number of innovative enhancements made possible by an open, fresh design with modern treatments and upgraded finishes.
The Vernon store now features showers, a travel lounge and over-the-road merchandise. The forecourt offers diesel exhaust fluid and payment at the pump.
This new store is part of CEFCO's growth strategy of adding up to 10 organic locations per year.
NOCO Express celebrated the opening of its newly rebuilt store at 1898 Whitehaven Road in Grand Island, N.Y. The former 950-square-foot store has been replaced with a new 4,000-square-foot store to accommodate the needs of today's on-the-go customers.
Open 24 hours daily, the new store features Nickel City Foods, a prepared foodservice offering with a variety of meal options. In addition, the store's U-Swirl Frozen Yogurt is the only frozen yogurt shop on Grand Island and provides customers up to 20 nonfat flavors and more than 60 toppings.
An expanded selection of grocery and beverage items are also available. The new store features both indoor and outdoor seating, along with free Wi-Fi. Outside of the new NOCO Express, customers can choose from one of 10 fueling stations. Diesel and E85 fuels are available.
The Grand Island store was constructed with several environmentally friendly building technologies to reduce energy consumption.
Pilot Flying J
Pilot Flying J opened three new travel centers in December in Texas, Iowa and Florida.
The Pilot Travel Center in Junction, Texas, features Subway and Cinnabon, PJ Fresh fast-casual food offerings, eight diesel fuel lanes, seven showers and 74 parking spaces for trucks.
The Pilot Travel Center in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, features Arby's and Cinnabon, PJ Fresh fast-casual food offerings, seven diesel fuel lanes, five showers and 72 parking spaces for trucks.
The Pilot Travel Center in Jasper, Fla., features Subway and Cinnabon, PJ Fresh fast-casual food offerings, 10 diesel fuel lanes, nine showers and 90 parking spaces for trucks.
Each new location also offers gas and diesel fuel; diesel exhaust fluid at the pump; food and beverage options; restrooms; and other merchandise and services for professional drivers.
QuikTrip opened two new convenience stores in Wichita, Kan., in January. The Tulsa, Okla.-based retailer opened one location near K-96 and Ridge Road, and the second near 35th Street North and Oliver Avenue.
Construction on both facilities began last summer. These facilities are part of QuikTrip's plan to improve or replace existing stores and build new ones in the Wichita market.
Sheetz welcomed customers to its newest location at 2425 Old Philadelphia Pike in Lancaster, Pa. The new store features the same made-to-order food menu as all other Sheetz locations and created 30 new full and part-time jobs.
As part of the grand opening in late December, Sheetz made a donation of $2,500 to Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Sheetz has been a proud supporter of the Special Olympics for more than 20 years with both financial and product support, as well as providing event volunteers.
The Lancaster Sheetz is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and offers fresh food such as Angus beef burgers, premium grilled chicken sandwiches, freshly made salads, French fries and onion rings. It also features the MTGo! and Shweetz Bakery lines of sandwiches, wraps, doughnuts and muffins, along with Sheetz Bros. Coffee, a full-service espresso and smoothie bar, and a car wash.
TravelCenters of America LLC
TravelCenters of America, operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers brands, expanded its network with a new TA travel center in Lincoln, Ala.
The 24-hour location offers seven diesel lanes, a laundry room, four showers on a fully automated system, a fully stocked Travel Store, and an UltraONE Rewards Program kiosk and swiping system.
It also offers a variety of other full-service professional driver amenities, including Wi-Fi, a truck scale, 75 truck parking spaces, an ATM and check-cashing services. Western Union and TripPak/Transflo Express services will be added soon. Further renovations are expected to include a TA Truck Service facility and a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.