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WESTLAKE, Ohio — TravelCenters of America LLC (TA) is moving full steam ahead with plans to expand its Minit Mart convenience store banner.
In its latest step, TA closed its previously announced purchase of four c-stores in Kansas and Missouri. The sites, which previously carried the Meiners banner, will be rebranded as Minit Mart c-stores and undergo improvements in the next few months.
This transaction brings the number of c-stores the company has acquired in the Kansas City area to 59. In addition to the Meiners locations, TA bought former Gas-Mart USA Conoco locations, according to The Kansas City Star.
TA is refreshing the stores with new paint and lighting, repairing closed car washes at some of the locations, and updating gas pumps. The retailer may also add quick-service restaurants at some locations, Tom Liutkus, spokesman for the company, told the newspaper.
"Our vision for this brand is it will be bright and cheery with extremely clean restrooms," Liutkus said. "We pride ourselves on great coffee. We also pride ourselves on great customer service."
TA has been making a name for itself in the convenience channel over the past two years. As of early November, the company had acquired more than 153 locations during the year, including more than 100 in the latter part of the third quarter, as CSNews Online previously reported.
While TA acquired 153 standalone c-stores in 2015, the total number of c-stores it operates — including those at truck stops — is more than twice that amount. CEO Tom O'Brien revealed in the spring that the retailer would rebrand all the c-stores at its truck stops to the Minit Mart name as well.
Westlake-based TravelCenters of America operates in 43 states and Canada, primarily under the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands and the Minit Mart convenience store brand.