VALPARAISO, Ind. — Family Express Corp. debuted a new, contemporary convenience store prototype ahead of a major expansion initiative.
Instead of the classical, colonial look that characterized Family Express stores for three decades, the new prototype has a contemporary flair and is designed to be aesthetically more inviting to a younger demographic, the chain said.
"The new prototype is challenging a successful tradition. Very much like sending one of your children to college, though you miss them, you know it will guarantee a better future," said Family Express President and CEO Gus Olympidis. "The contemporary feel of the new look is more inviting to a younger consumer, and it is transitioning our brand to the future ahead of major expansion to [new-to-industry] stores."
The prototype features a major focus on foodservice with a separate counter for traditional sales. A past Convenience Store News Foodservice Innovators Awards honoree, Family Express was named the Innovator to Watch in 2021.
The typical Family Express store offers indoor and outdoor seating, a car wash utilizing the latest mobile wallet technology and a pet wash.
Family Express announced it is also embarking on the development of more than 20 new-to-industry c-stores that will be serviced by its central distribution facility in Valparaiso. The chain's financial status puts it in a good position to significantly expand its footprint, according to company leadership.
"Our company has been debt free for a number of years, even though our past CapEx has been uncharacteristically aggressive," Olympidis said. "We feel empowered by our lack of leverage and our liquidity, as our channel is navigating through an ever-increasing interest rate environment."
Valparaiso-based Family Express operates convenience stores throughout northwest and central Indiana. Family Express is No. 76 on the 2023 Convenience Store News Top 100ranking.