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    Thorntons Accelerates Its Entrance Into Florida

    First store now scheduled to open in Clearwater this November.

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Thorntons Inc. has moved up its entrance into the Florida market. Its first planned store in the state, originally scheduled for spring 2013, will now open in Clearwater in late November 2012, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

    Fifteen to 20 stores are still planned for the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater area over the next three years.

    "Our goal is to have six stores open by the end of this year or early next year," said John Zikias, senior vice president of supply chain and category management with Thorntons.

    All of the planned locations will be open 24 hours a day and offer three grades of gasoline plus diesel fuel. E85 flex-fuel will not be available until delivery logistics have been worked out, according to the report. Thorntons plans to hire several hundred employees for its Florida stores in upcoming months.

    Louisville, Ky.-based Thorntons operates more than 160 c-stores in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee.

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