Express Convenience Centers to Change Operating Model

APPLETON, Wis. — U.S. Venture Inc. is stepping back as owner of the Express Convenience Centers chain to concentrate on fuel distribution.

According to the Post Crescent, this change comes to light as Kwik Trip Inc. readies its purchase of two Express Convenience Centers locations in Appleton, slated for Dec. 18. The stores will be rebranded to the Kwik Trip banner.

"In the coming months, U.S. Venture's 10 remaining company-owned Express locations in the Fox Valley and Green Bay areas will change over to new ownership. Most stores will continue to operate under the Express Convenience Centers brand," U.S. Venture said in the statement.

About 34 Express locations will continue to operate as the retailer switches from a franchise operating model to a license model.

As U.S. Venture backs away from c-store ownership in Wisconsin, Kwik Trip is looking to grow in the Fox Cities market. The La Crosse-based retailer also signed a purchase agreement for vacant land in Grand Chute where it will build another store from the ground up, the news outlet reported.

"We're investing money in a market we see going in the right direction," said Hans Zietlow, director of real estate for Kwik Trip. "We're investing where we see continued growth. When I compare this market to the rest of the state, I see it as a good place to invest for the future. The whole Fox Valley is in a much better economic position than much of the rest of the state or neighboring states."

Appleton-based U.S. Venture is a leading energy and transportation products distributor and marketer.

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