TULSA, Okla. — QuikTrip Corp. is gearing up for market expansion — this time in Tennessee.
The Tulsa-based operator is proposing to build a convenience store in Chattanooga's Lookout Valley, off Interstate 24 and Browns Ferry Road, reported Chattanooga Times Free Press.
"We're continuously growing right now," said Aisha Jefferson-Smith, QuikTrip's corporate communications manager. "High traffic areas are where we typically like to grow in."
Jefferson-Smith recently confirmed that QuikTrip had more than 40 stores under construction nationwide when it welcomed customers at four new locations on Sept. 17.
QuikTrip began scooping up sites in San Antonio in spring 2018 as it prepared to enter the market. At the time, the retailer said it planned to open roughly 60 c-stores in San Antonio and 40 in Austin, with a smaller number along Interstate 35 between the two cities, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
If the six-acre parcel located near Browns Ferry and Patten Chapel roads is approved from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), construction could start in May 2021 and likely open in 2022. It will mark QuikTrip's entrance into Tennessee.
According to a site plan, the c-store would boast about 8,200 square feet, and feature about 60 parking spaces and 10 spaces devoted to trucks. The store will employee between 20 and 25 employees.
In addition to Chattanooga, QuikTrip plans to open more locations in the state of Tennessee, including in the Nashville area.
"It has a strong economy and proximity to other markets we're operating in," she said. "That made [Tennessee] a clear choice in the expansion of the travel center business right now."
According to TDEC's Kim Schofinski, the retailer's application is considered complete and public notice is posted on the agency's website, Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.
"Currently we have not received any public comments or requests for a public hearing, but that doesn't limit any future comments or requests being submitted during the notice period," she said.
Jefferson-Smith said the company is still waiting to obtain the permit. "As soon as we get it, we'd like to start," she noted.
Founded in 1958, QuikTrip primarily operates in the Midwest and South, as well as in Arizona.