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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Speedway LLC expanded its territory southward with the opening of its first Chattanooga store, located on Bonny Oaks Drive off of Interstate 75. The Marathon Petroleum Corp. subsidiary plans to open at least three more stores in the area, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
This latest move is part of Speedway’s larger plan to expand into other regions adjacent to its current areas of operation. The retailer is currently examining places "where we have existing logistics infrastructure that enables Speedway to provide a good value to customers," Marathon’s Communications Manager Jamal Kheiry told the news outlet.
Speedway's expansion into Tennessee accompanies the chain’s debut in Pennsylvania, increasing the company's footprint from seven states to nine. Speedway already operates in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The Enon, Ohio-based chain operates more than 1,400 convenience stores and gas stations.
The new Chattanooga store is open 24 hours a day and features a Speedy Café that serves freshly prepared food, said Kheiry.
Potential sites for future Speedway stores in the area include locations on Shallowford Road and South Broad Street in Chattanooga, and in Cleveland, Tenn., according to the report. Speedway already has a handful of stores in the Nashville region.
The company’s interest in the Chattanooga area follows the entrance of heavyweights RaceWay and Pilot Flying J into the market. Atlanta-based RaceWay has opened at least three new stores in the region, while Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot Flying J opened a new site off I-75 in Cleveland, Tenn., at Exit 20.
Convenience Store News Editorial Director Don Longo told the Free Press that Speedway usually enters a market with a group of stores for more efficient branding and advertising. He also noted that Speedway is one of many traditional convenience store chains that are becoming more focused on improving their amenities and offerings.
"For example, Speedway has recently upgraded their hot coffee program with new expresso-based drink offerings," Longo said. "They've also been growing their prepared foods business."