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NATIONAL REPORT -– The convenience store industry landscape is constantly changing as chains open and close stores each week. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these comings and goings in this special roundup.
Here are the latest company spotlights:
Kroger purchased a 1.79-acre site to build a new Kroger Fuel Center in Woodlands, Texas, with 16 fuel dispensers and an 800-square-foot, walk-in kiosk, according to a report by Woodlands Online.
Construction on the first Kroger Fuel Center in this area, to be located at the corner of Bay Branch Drive and Kuykendahl Road, is expected to begin in April and be finished by July.
Kum & Go opened a new Waukee, Iowa, store that’s nearly 5,000 square feet with new features inside and outside. These include a larger product selection; an expanded Go Fresh Market offering made-to-order pizzas and sandwiches; and a larger number of fueling positions with a variety of fuel offerings.
The new store was designed to be LEED certified and boasts sustainable features such as Solatube skylights; LED lighting both inside and outside the store; low-flow, water-efficient fixtures; and high energy-efficiency equipment. Each new Kum & Go store is built using recyclable and locally sourced materials.
Love’s reopened its Love's Travel Stop location in Webbers Falls, Okla., after rebuilding the 22-year-old store. The new travel stop offers 80 truck parking spaces; a Subway and Burger King; and a Love's Truck Tire Care Center. Bulk diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is also available at the pump on all diesel lanes.
Tennessee-based Pilot Flying J, which operates more than 650 locations, started construction on its third location in the San Antonio area in December. The 11,600-square-foot retail travel center is expected to be completed in April, according to officials. It will be located at 4105 Loop 1604 South, near the intersection with Interstate 37 South.
The location will offer shower and laundry services; 12 gas lanes; eight diesel pumps; and two RV gas lanes, MySanAntonio.com reported.
Enon, Ohio-based Speedway LLC is building two new Speedway gas station and convenience stores in the Dayton area. The first will replace an existing Speedway at 607 S. Smithville Road, with a 3,900-square-foot convenience store and gas station. The other will be at the intersection of Austin Boulevard and Byers Road in Miami Township, according to a Bizjournals.com report.
Turkey Hill Minit Markets closed two locations in Lancaster County, Pa., that were undersized at about 2,500 square feet, compared to the 4,000 square feet that the chain's new stores encompass, Lancaster Online reported. These stores also lacked gas pumps, and because they had other businesses on both sides, could not be expanded. The company will offer the sites for sale.
"We're constantly evaluating our business. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to close a store," said Erin Dimitriou Smith, spokeswoman for Turkey Hill.
VERC Enterprises, a convenience store and Mobil/Gulf gasoline operator with locations throughout eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire, announced the reopening of its Weston Mobil location at 88 Boston Post Road in Weston, Mass. The completely remodeled store includes a Dunkin' Donuts and an expanded parking lot.
Next month, Walmart expects to open four small Walmart Express stores offering groceries in Four Oaks and Benson, N.C., as part of its campaign to expand into rural markets. The chain also has plans for such stores in Kenly and Princeton, N.C. The company said the new locations will allow easier access to groceries and other items for people living in some of the county’s smaller communities.
The Walmart Express small-store concept offers about 15,000 items, down from the roughly 100,000 items available in Walmart Supercenters, the North Carolina Herald reported.