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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.
Here are the latest company spotlights:
Coastline Partners Inc.
Coastline Partners reopened a gas station and large-format convenience store in Riverside, Calif. The company purchased the property out of bankruptcy in late 2014 for $3 million. The property also includes a restaurant space, smog shop and a Meineke repair shop.
Getty Realty provided sale-leaseback financing back in 2014, and Petroleum Equity Group Ltd. served as advisor for the transaction.
Following a number of strategic management and operational changes, the retail gas facility is now Shell branded following a reimaging plan (from the Mobil brand) completed by SC Fuels. The large-format convenience store reopened and will be fully operational following transfer of appropriate permits.
The current plan for the convenience store is to eventually carry a recognized brand under a franchise agreement. These facilities are now known as Riverside Travel Center, and Coastline Partners is the operator/management team as well as master tenant for the entire property.
"The yearlong purchase process was exhaustive, and we are so pleased that in the end we were victorious in securing the property, improvements and businesses. The management team appreciates the support from Getty Realty, and we will continue to work tirelessly to become a premier master tenant and operator," said Coastline Partners CEO Eric Dransfield.
CST Brands Inc.
CST Brands marked the openings of two Corner Store locations in Texas last month.
The retail arm of CST Brands welcomed customers to its new store in Frisco on Sept. 10 The store is located at 6529 Dallas Parkway on the corner of Stonebrook Parkway. At 4,853 square feet, the c-store features a Redbox kiosk, indoor/outdoor dining, E85 fuel and 24 fueling stations.
One week later, Corner Store opened its newest store in Temple on Sept. 17. The store is located at 2502 W. FM 93 at the intersection of South 31st Street. At 4,683 square feet, the store features a Redbox kiosk, indoor dining and 14 fueling stations with E85 fuel.
Cumberland Farms Inc.
Cumberland Farms opened its latest Rhode Island store in Woonsocket on Sept. 16, with a grand-opening celebration held Oct. 15.
The 4,738-square-foot convenience store features a high-top counter with bar stools and outdoor patio seats with umbrellas. Food items include pizza, macaroni and cheese bites, chicken tenders and hot dogs.
In addition, a coffee station offers a variety of flavors, and the "Chill Zone" offers an array of fountain and frozen beverage flavors. The location has 24 parking spaces and six gas dispensers.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
Love's welcomed customers to a new location in Hungerford, Texas, along U.S. Highway 59. The new store offers gourmet coffee, fresh fruit, gift items, and McDonald's and Chester's restaurants.
The 24/7 travel stop features seven showers, 83 parking spaces, RFID cardless fueling, CAT scales and a Love's Truck Tire Care center.
NOCO Express held the grand opening of Tim Hortons at its store located at 2080 Abbott Road in Lackawanna, N.Y. The store also marked the completion of a two-month interior and exterior remodel to provide an updated look and expanded fresh product selection.
"This is essentially a brand-new store for our Lackawanna customers as everything both inside the store and outside at our fuel pumps has been updated to provide an expanded selection of fresh food offerings to easily grab while on the go," said Jim DeFilippis, vice president and general manager, NOCO Express. "With any remodel, we look for ways to enhance the convenience store experience for our customers, and this store features a first for NOCO — a vestibule at the entrance to the store to provide added space."
The Abbott Road store now features a variety of meal options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tim Hortons offers customers a selection of coffees, specialty beverages, sandwiches and baked goods available both in-store and at the new drive-thru. Freshly prepared and prepackaged sandwiches, salads, wraps and snack packs from Nickel City Foods are available throughout the day, offering customers more options for fresh grab-and-go foods.
The remodel also boasts a newly constructed vestibule; an open layout that includes the addition of new cooler space for fresh foods, dairy and juice products, frozen foods and craft beers; and new wall graphics throughout the store.
NOCO also gave the exterior of its Abbott Road location an overhaul with a completely new forecourt location, fuel pumps and canopy. Customers have the option to select from new fuel assets including diesel, E85 and 91 octane conventional non-ethanol fuel.
Pilot Flying J
Pilot Flying J opened a Pilot Travel Center in Lufkin, Texas, on Sept. 18. Located off U.S. Highways 59 and 69, the travel center offers many amenities for area residents and the traveling public, including: five gasoline and seven diesel lanes with high-speed pumps for quicker refueling; Moe's and Cinnabon restaurants; proprietary PJ Fresh fast-casual food offerings; and premium coffee and cappuccino selections.
The new Lufkin facility is Pilot Flying J's 57th travel center in Texas.
QuickChek Corp. welcomed customers to its new Fairfield, N.J., location on Oct. 13. The store is open 24 hours a day and features Q Café, which offers nearly 40 varieties of handcrafted hot and iced cold coffees, iced caramel macchiato, fresh brewed cappuccinos, lattes and espressos, blended-to-order real fruit smoothies, and decadent frozen treats.
The Fairfield location also features QuickChek's latest foodservice offering, Walking Tacos. Other new menu items include six signature mac ‘n cheese bowls including the Signature (made with elbow macaroni and a creamy sauce with a three-cheese blend and a touch of spice), Buffalo Chicken, Meatball Marinara, Cool Ranch Fiesta, Loaded Baked Potato, and Cheeseburger Mac ‘n Cheese.
"We look forward to being a great neighbor, offering those who live and work in the area the quality, convenience and friendly service we’re known for," said QuickChek CEO Dean Durling.
The store employs 25 people. It additionally provides no-fee ATMs, six fueling stations offering high-quality fuel at value prices, and 38 parking spaces.
Thorntons held a grand-opening ceremony for its new store in Algonquin, Ill., on Sept. 25. This location is the next in a series of stores focused on Thorntons being not only a place to fuel up, but also a food and beverage destination.
The store offers "hot off the grill" convenience food items; an assortment of hot, cold and frozen beverages; and food and grocery items at economical prices. Additional features include a treat center with ice cream toppings.
As part of the grand-opening celebration, 100 customers received pre-loaded Refreshing Rewards cards with one card featuring free gas for one year.