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    Plaid Pantry Plans to Grow

    By pricing competitively and weeding out underperforming stores, the 100-store chain has carved out a solid niche in the c-store market.

    BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Plaid Pantries Inc., operator of 100 convenience stores, could open up to 50 more stores in the future, Mark Conan, vice president of finance and CEO, told the Portland Business Journal.

    He estimated that Plaid Pantries serves 20 percent of the convenience market in Portland and 15 percent in Oregon. "We would like to grow it larger than that," he said.

    A big part of the chain's success can be traced to pricing. Plaid Pantries has made itself the place to stop for a quick pickup like milk or cigarettes and for midweek runs for pantry staples. The ongoing "It's a buck" campaign means there's always something on sale, which helps attract repeat visits from the 60,000 daily customers who shop Plaid Pantry stores, the report stated.

    In addition, about a quarter of Plaid Pantry stores provide check-cashing services through a partnership with CashWorks, a subsidiary of General Electric Co. Customers use an ID number to withdraw cash from an ATM in the store. Fees are competitive with those charged at stand-alone cash-checking businesses.

    After closing underperforming locations, which slimmed its portfolio from 177 locations to the current 100, the company raised revenue by 50 percent, to $150 million, according to the Journal.

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