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Clark's Pump-N-Shop Expands, Invests

ASHLAND, Ky. -- Clark's Pump-N-Shop, the convenience store division of John Clark Oil Co., grew its base this month when it opened two new locations near its hometown in Ashland, following another opening of a store in the same area in April 2009.

The chain's three new convenience stores—Ironville Panther Mart, Burnaugh BP and Shopes Creek Marathon—bring the chain's store count to 66 across Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio. All locations were acquired from local single-store operators, thanks to the downturn in the economy, Brandy Clark, spokeswoman for the convenience retailer, told CSNews Online.

"We would not have acquired these three locations if it weren’t for the downturn of the economy," she said.

The three new locations all feature a deli, and fuel brand varies by location. Ironville Panther Mart offers unbranded fuel, while the Burnaugh location sells BP-branded gas and the Shopes Creek store offers Marathon fuel, Clark said, noting the company also offers Chevron fuel at some of its locations.

The first new store underwent a three-week remodel earlier this year to the Clark's Pump-N-Shop image, while the two other locations will be remodeled and restocked by the end of September, Clark said, noting there will not be official grand opening celebrations, but the "positive changes that take place in each location will let our customers know their store is getting better."

While there are no plans to grow further this year, Clark's Pump-N-Shop will make improvements to its current locations over the next 12 months, including the addition of new and improved beer caves, delis and equipment, Clark told CSNews Online.

Clark's Pump-N-Shop is also in the process of becoming PCI compliant by upgrading its Verifone Ruby registers to Sapphire registers, and implemented the latest back office software in every convenience store that is capable of scanning.

"We strive to have the best locations so our customers will continue to do business with us," she added. "We pride ourselves on clean, well lit, well stocked locations, with great customer service."

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