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    Sheetz Exec Talks Strategy

    Company president details plans, answers questions during local business meeting.

    CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- When asked at the recent Greater Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Breakfast about his goal as president of Sheetz Inc. -- the 342-unit convenience store chain headquartered in Altoona, Pa. -- Stan Sheetz replied, "My goal is to just have fun," the Herald-Mail reported.

    If continued success equals fun, then Sheetz is meeting his goal. CSNews Online reported that Sheetz opened its 342nd store in Zanesville, Ohio last week; was named the No. 1 retailer in Pennsylvania for the sixth consecutive time; and was one of the top 100 companies on Forbes list of America's Largest Private Companies in 2007.

    The head of the company also discussed its business strategies with attendees. "We don't really do much market research," Sheetz said, adding that the company does conduct monthly lunches with groups of about 20 customers. "We just sit down and talk with them and listen to what they have to say."

    Inside the stores, the company is adding french fries and other fried foods to its menu, and is building a 140,000-square-foot commissary to prepare food for the stores, along with a bakery to produce rolls and 9 million doughnuts a year, the newspaper stated.

    When asked if those items were the company's idea of a healthy menu, Sheetz replied, "A lot of people talk healthy and eat fat and that's OK. We're here to serve," while pointing out that stores offer 16 menu items with less than 400 calories.

    Sheetz also fielded questions about local gas prices. When asked why the price at some stations can be 10 cents higher than others, he jokingly said, "We're greedy."

    In reality, stores sometimes have not gotten the call to raise or lower prices, or are reacting to nearby competition, he explained. He cited one case, an older store in Greencastle, Pa., that has a small lot, and as a result, "we actually have to price the gas so we don't choke the parking lot," Sheetz told the group.

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