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Little General Stores Looks Back on 40 Years

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Little General Store Inc. is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year by continuing to expand into Virginia and Ohio, according to a Register-Herald report. The chain's newest convenience store is a Beaver, W.Va., location that opened Oct. 30.

Little General President Greg Darby told the news outlet that rebuilding existing stores and constructing new ones, as well as acquiring foodservice franchises to go with them, has been a recipe for success, as has the "good people" the c-store chain employs.

"We have a lot of good people in the field that [have] been here long term," Darby said. "You've got to have a good staff and we've built that staff up over the years."

Little General has averaged two or three renovated or new-build stores per year. Continuing that pace, the retailer has two rebuilds scheduled for Daniels and Princeton, W.Va., in 2016. The company also plans to build five Dunkin' Donuts stores in the Charles and Huntington, W. Va., areas in the near future.

The newest store in Beaver replaced a 35-year-old location and now features a larger building, expanded fueling area and an Arby's franchise inside. The company selected Arby's because the brand does not already operate in the area.

"We pick the food based on who's not here already, in most cases," Darby said. "That's why we've built so many Arby's."

Service to the communities Little General serves, such as its scholarship program that gives 20 students $1,000 scholarships annually, is one way the company has set itself apart for four decades, according to the exec.

"The thing that separates us from our competition is we're very involved in our community," he said. "We're very involved in giving and raising money and donating money."

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