MAPCO Express Rolling Out Prototype

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MAPCO Express Rolling Out Prototype

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- Starting this week, MAPCO Express Inc., operator of approximately 500 convenience stores based here, will raze and rebuild its store at 1691 Poplar Ave. in Memphis, featuring the chain’s upscale prototype -- MAPCO Mart, The Daily News reported.

The MAPCO Mart will be the first for Memphis, and will be followed by another in Bartlett, Tenn. MAPCO's goal is to build between six and 10 of the MAPCO Mart store models per year, the report stated.

"Every location we have is not suitable for this concept," Paul Pierce, vice president of marketing for MAPCO Express, told the paper. "But, we do intend to look at all of our stores and start to change the imagery over to this type of a look."

The new store -- expanded from 1,000 to 4,250 square feet -- will feature modern lighting, a brick or stone façade, stained concrete floors, warm tones inside the store and an exposed ceiling, the report stated. The store's foodservice offering -- GrilleMarx -- will offer customers the ease of touchscreen ordering for items such as hamburgers, cheese steaks, wrap sandwiches, french fries and onion rings, according to the report.

The drink area will include a wider variety of cold beverages, milkshakes and a mix of 10 to 15 hot drinks, with brewed coffee made every half hour, the report stated.

"It's a much more upscale store, and it's designed to attract more females and more business professionals," said Pierce. "However, our goal also is to continue to draw what we see as the typical convenience store customer, which would be a male, blue-collar, 18- to 35-year-old."

Once construction begins at the Memphis site, it will take approximately 120 days before the store is opened, he said, adding that the company will be watching its operation there closely, as it sits on a smaller footprint.

"The store on Poplar sits on six-tenths of an acre, so that's a critical location for us," he told the paper. "If we can put one of these on six-tenths of an acre without creating too much congestion and traffic issues, that opens up the door to a lot more locations. Starting out, we thought we needed about an acre and a half for these."