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    What's In Store: Kum & Go, Sheetz & Stripes

    QuickChek, NOCO and TA Restaurant Group also add new locations.

    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.

    Kum & Go LC

    Kum & Go turned the lights on in its newest store in Ozark, Mo., on Feb. 16. The more than 6,200-square-foot store is the company's first in Ozark and follows the new Marketplace store design. 

    The centerpiece of the store is an expanded and open food preparation area that customers can see from the moment they enter. Other location features include:

    • Elevated food experience with Kum & Go's "Go Fresh Market"
    • Open kitchen layout, clear aisles and easy-to-navigate zones
    • Seating inside with heated patio seating outside
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi and charging stations for customers
    • Designed for LEED-certified status, using energy efficient and sustainable design practice

    "This new footprint represents everything that Kum & Go strives to be for our associates and for our customers," said Kum & Go President and CEO Kyle J. Krause. "This is the evolution of our brand promise and business approach. Now customers can truly experience the 'more' that we provide."

    NOCO Express

    NOCO Express welcomed customers at its newest Buffalo, N.Y., location. The convenience retailer purchased the former Sunoco location last year and recently completed an extensive three-month interior and exterior remodel.  

    The renovation included the addition of 500 square feet of retail space, bringing the store's total footprint to 2,400 square feet. The store features a variety of meal options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A Tim Hortons is open 24 hours daily, carries a limited menu offering, and features a selection of coffees, specialty beverages, and baked goods available for take-out and at the new drive-thru.
     
    In addition, NOCO's signature Nickel City Foods items are available throughout the day, offering customers a variety of freshly prepared and pre-packaged sandwiches, salads, wraps and snack packs.

    "This store focuses on fresh food, not just salty and high sugar items, to meet our customers' increased demand for healthier items," said Jim DeFilippis, vice president and general manager, NOCO Express. "We are especially proud to offer a 'better for you' section which will continue to evolve as new healthy products are introduced."
     
    Outside, a new gas canopy with updated fuel dispensers and lighting was also installed. Fuel options include E-85, 87 and 93 octanes along with diesel.

    QuickChek Corp.

    Feb. 21 brought a new QuickChek convenience store, this time in North Brunswick, N.J. 

    The chain's new 5,496-square-foot store location is the first of several planned store openings in 2017. The 24-hour convenience store offers handcrafted, oven-toasted fresh subs, sandwiches, wraps and salads, and personalized hot and cold beverages exactly. Amenities include no-fee ATMs, indoor seating for 13 people, outdoor seating for eight, 59 parking spaces, and eight gasoline pumps.

    Sheetz Inc.

    Sheetz opened the doors on its latest Pennsylvania store on Feb. 16. The Harmar Township store, which offers approximately 30 full- and part-time job opportunities, features the retailer's MTO menu and its touchscreen order terminals. This new location welcomed customers by offering free self-serve coffee for a limited time. 

    Stripes Convenience Stores

    Stripes Convenience Stores opened a next-generation store in Corpus Christi, Texas, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 10. The location features Laredo Taco Co. restaurant and 23 Sunoco branded fuel dispensers, which include unleaded, super unleaded and diesel with truck stop. The store offers a dining area which seats 28 inside and an outdoor patio with seating for 20 guests, "the beer super cooler," and a "pour your own" fountain offering, and fountain combinations.

    TravelCenters of America LLC

    The TA Restaurant Group added new locations to its portfolio. On Feb. 13, the group opened a new Arby's and drive-thru adjacent to the Petro Stopping Center in Wheeler Ridge, Calif. The restaurant's dining room has seating for 48 people and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is the eighth Arby's restaurant operated by the TA Restaurant Group, and its third in California. 

    The following day, it opened a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen at TA Santa Rosa located in Santa Rosa, N.M. The quick-service restaurant's dining room has seating for 76 people and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is the 66th Popeyes restaurant operated by the TA Restaurant Group, and its first in New Mexico.

    The TA Restaurant Group is a division of TravelCenters of America LLC.

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