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ATLANTA — RaceTrac is staying close to its southern roots, building up its footprint in Florida.
The Atlanta-based retailer closed out 2016 by adding 24 new convenience stores in Florida. The new locations brought its portfolio in the Sunshine State to 207. That accounts for nearly half of RaceTrac's 435-plus store count that also includes locations in Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
Now RaceTrac plans to double down on its commitment and investment in the state by opening roughly 50 additional c-stores in Florida over the next two years.
"Florida is an important market for RaceTrac," said Robby Posener, vice president of marketing, merchandising, construction, and architecture and design at RaceTrac. "By the start of 2017, we will have in excess of 200 stores throughout the state, many of which are strategically positioned along commuting routes and interstates, leaving us ever more confident of our ability to double our store count in Florida in the coming years as we in-fill locations throughout the state and serve the growing population in addition to our existing guests.
"We look forward to being a valued neighbor within our Florida communities and providing our guests with the delicious eats and elevated store experience we are known for," Posener added.
In addition to new store growth, RaceTrac launched a remodeling initiative at its older Florida stores. The effort will bring those locations "up to the same standard of these new stores with their enhanced offerings," according to the company.
On a path to be completed by the end of 2018, RaceTrac's remodel program will update all older stores with a more modern layout that features updated building architecture, Swirl World frozen treat stations, an expanded coffee area with more counter space, free Wi-Fi, plus additional indoor and outdoor seating and lighting.
RaceTrac remodeled nearly 20 stores in Florida in 2016 and plans to remodel another 70 stores in the state by the end of 2017.
According to the retailer, new and remodeled RaceTrac locations will feature:
- The new made-to-order experience. Available at a limited number of locations at this time, guests are able to order breakfast and lunch sandwiches, personal pizzas and slices, espresso beverages, milkshakes and smoothies made fresh the way they like through a touchscreen ordering system.
- RaceTrac's Swirl World frozen treat station that offers frozen yogurt, ice cream and Italian ice options, and a large assortment of toppings that include a variety of fresh fruits, chocolates and candies.
- Five blends of fresh-brewed coffee, from Columbian to hazelnut, with popular creamers, sweeteners and toppings like whipped cream and marshmallows.
- Classic food and beverage options including roller grill favorites and limited-time offers, which can be topped with offerings from the expanded Taste Works toppings bar. There will also be a number of grab-and-go options available in the hot case, as well as sandwiches, salads, wraps, fruit cups and whole fruits available in our cold case and pastries in the bakery case, which are all delivered fresh each day.
"We look forward to rolling out all of our latest and greatest food and beverage offerings to our guests, and are working towards making these offerings consistent across every store location," Posener said. "Our goal at RaceTrac is to make people's lives simpler and more enjoyable and we let that influence all that we do — from providing those easy grab-and-go options to creating an experience where choice and comfort live at the heart — and we hope to provide a little something for everyone at our stores that can brighten your day and make your life easier."