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08/31/2022

Par Mar Stores Enters Maryland

Four newly acquired stores will soon begin operating under its banner.
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Par Mar Stores logo

MARIETTA, Ohio — Par Mar Stores is extending its footprint into Maryland through the acquisition of four convenience stores in the Westernport area.

The convenience store operator recently acquired Best Price Market in McCoole, Fair Price Quick Stop in Westernport and Rite Price Quick Stop in Oakland from a local business owner. It also purchased the former Route 135 Fuel Stop in Westernport, reported the Cumberland Times-News.

"They're all stores that are doing well, and we just love the area," said Dave Allen, spokesperson for Par Mar Stores. "The people are wonderful."

Three of the newly acquired stores will begin operating under the Par Mar banner by early September. The Westernport fuel stop is scheduled to open later in the fall.

Par Mar Stores selected these locations for acquisition because they are all performing well and located in good areas, according to Allen. The retailer was also drawn to the area due to its potential for growth and tourist attractions such as Deep Creek Lake and local campgrounds.

Par Mar Stores primarily seeks to purchase existing stores from independent businesses rather than construct new builds. Upon acquisition, the company interviews all existing employees with the intent to hire them back. It also takes into consideration how long someone has been on staff and designates them a Par Mar Stores employee for the same length of time.

"We interview all staff, and we hope that as many as possible will stay on," Allen said.

Based in Marietta, Par Mar Stores operates nearly 200 convenience stores in five states.

NETWORK EXPANSION

Other convenience stores have also announced plans to grow their footprints in recent months. In June, eastern Pennsylvania-based Wawa Inc. discussed its goal of expanding the number of locations it operates in central Pennsylvania by adding more locations along the Susquehanna River.

The retailer's plans call for Wawa to double its store count there over the next three to five years, with the first new central Pennsylvania store likely to open as early as 2024. There is the potential to add up to 40 additional stores in the area, Wawa said.

"With a commitment to fulfilling lives, we're thrilled to continue our growth and expansion in our existing markets to provide quality fresh food, beverages and support to the community," said John Poplawski, vice president of real estate for Wawa. "In addition, Wawa's continued expansion will mean even more convenience and new jobs in the central Pennsylvania community."

Wawa also plans to move into the Nashville, Tenn., market, with its first location slated to open in 2025.

Meanwhile, Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is leasing space for smaller-format Circle K convenience stores in and around downtown Chicago's Loop.

"We're growing the Circle K brand," said company spokesman Chris Barnes. "We are finding new ways to meet customers where they are."

Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc. is expanding further into western Ohio with 20 new convenience stores over the next five years. Its first location in that region is expected to open in Dayton in 2024.

The retailer is also solidifying its position closer to home with a plan to double its western Pennsylvania footprint by opening as many as 30 new stores there over the next three to five years.