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OKLAHOMA CITY -- To mark its 50th anniversary, Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores is planning "unprecedented" new store growth throughout the year.
In a typical year, Love's opens approximately 20 new stores. This year, it plans to open 30 new stores and also enter its 40th state -- Maryland.
"I'm humbled every day by success," said founder and Executive Chairman Tom Love. "Our unwavering commitment to our customers has been a significant force that's driven us full speed into the second 50 years of Love's. We've never shifted focus. We're growing so that we can meet the growing needs of our customers."
In addition to opening many new stores this year, Love's will reinvest in current locations. Multiple stores will be remodeled and expanded, and some will undergo raze and rebuilds. The travel stop operator will also offer compressed natural gas at select fueling stations.
Love's began in 1964 when Tom and Judy Love leased an abandoned filling station in Watonga, Okla. The company has grown to 312 stores in 39 states and more than 10,000 employees.
"Many companies are still struggling due to the economy, but we're fortunate to maintain our growth status," said Tom Love. "I'm proud of how far we've come, but this unprecedented year of building that coincides with our 50th anniversary goes a long way toward showing that Love's has a lot more ground to cover."
Oklahoma City-based Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores is currently ranked No. 9 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies.