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    Waco Becomes Hot Spot for C-store Openings

    Stripes plans to open five acquired stores in the Texas town by the end of the year.

    WACO, Texas -- Several convenience store retailers are turning their attention to the Waco, Texas, area, with Stripes, 7-Eleven Inc. and Valero ramping up their presence in the Texas town.

    To date, Corpus Christi, Texas-based Stripes had bought five prime locations on which to build its 6,844-square-foot stores and is negotiating to acquire three others in the Greater Waco area, according to Waco Trib.com.

    In addition, Dallas-based 7-Eleven is building a store on the site of a former Arby's building on University Parks Drive, near Interstate 35. The retailer continues to grow its presence in Waco after exiting the market in 1988; it returned last year.

    Another Texas retailer, San Antonio-based Valero, has been a familiar player in the area but is now upsizing. It is placing a larger 4,600-square-foot Valero Corner Store prototype at North 19th Street and Lake Shore Drive. It will have fuel islands to accommodate 16 vehicles at the same time, a carwash and an ATM, according to the news report.

    "In these stores, we will carry a larger variety of our proprietary and fresh-made foods," Valero spokesman Bill Day said, adding the company typically places its larger stores in high-traffic areas "where we are confident they will be very successful."

    Stripes' newly acquired sites include the Town & Country Gardens location at 603 S. Valley Mills Drive; South 26th Street and Franklin Avenue; New Road and Bagby Avenue; Sun Valley Boulevard and Bagby Avenue; and U.S. Highway 77 and Primrose Drive.

    "We have five locations that we are very proud of," Stripes spokesman David Marks told the news outlet. The company first will begin construction of a store at New Road and Bagby Avenue, and then break ground on a new store each month thereafter, he said, adding five new stores should be complete by the end of the year.

    Marks also confirmed Stripes has three other locations under contract in the Waco area.

    7-Eleven also has big plans for Waco, spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said.

    "We want to further develop stores along the I-35 corridor, joining 7-Eleven's stores in the [Dallas- Fort Worth area] with our operations in Austin," she said in a statement to WacoTrib.com. "This will not only expand our brand, but will better support and drive business for our fresh-product delivery partners."


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