RaceTrac Eyes Expansion to Two New States

Proposals call for three new convenience stores in Ohio and South Carolina.
RaceTrac's Davenport Travel Center exterior

ATLANTA — RaceTrac Inc. is throwing its name into the ring of convenience store retailers who are expanding their network footprint into new territory.

Atlanta-based RaceTrac is planning to enter the Ohio and South Carolina markets with the addition of three new convenience stores. The family-owned company currently operates more than 550 locations in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee. 

The retailer's first location in Ohio is set to open along U.S. Route 36/State Route 37 at Davidson Lane in Delaware. A report by the Delaware Planning Commission shows plans that call for a 6,008-square-foot c-store accompanied by eight traditional fueling islands, diesel fueling islands and 34 parking spaces built on 4.6 acres, reported NBC4i.

"RaceTrac believes [central Ohio's] diverse population — along with the growth in commuting and mobile workplaces — is a natural fit for its stores," a RaceTrac spokesperson said in a statement. "This expansion into Ohio starts to plant roots further north, and we look forward to becoming a part of this flourishing community."

The commission voted unanimously on Dec. 7 to recommend approval to the Delaware City Council. The council held a public hearing for the site on Jan. 9 and will continue considering the proposal on Jan. 23 before voting for adoption on Feb. 13.

"While the new store in the Delaware area is still very much in the planning and permitting phase, we look forward to being part of the community and announcing a grand opening soon," the spokesperson commented.

In South Carolina, RaceTrac reportedly has plans to establish its first locations in the state in the city of Columbia, with one of its two proposals already having initial approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals, reported Petrol Plaza.

According to a report, the c-store retailer has submitted two proposals for construction. The first one is set to be built at the intersection of Garners Ferry and Fountain Lake roads, while the second one will be located at Shop Road and Pineview Drive.

The news outlet cites that the Garners Ferry site was met with some resistance from the local authorities due to the high commercial area already having numerous fuel retail sites. 

Site plans for both locations call for an 8,000-square-foot c-store accompanied by nearly a dozen gas pumps.

New RaceTrac locations typically bring anywhere from 20 to 30 new jobs to the communities they serve and offer both full- and part-time team members, according to the company.

Other C-store Retailers Eying the Buckeye State

Fellow convenience store retailer Wawa Inc. is also setting its sights on Ohio as part of its expansion path. On Dec. 7, the retailer officially announced plans to open its first convenience stores in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

The upcoming stores in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky are part of Wawa's new market expansion that includes its entrance into Tennessee. These market launches will take place sometime after 2025. Estimated timeframes and ranges for the number of stores by state will be announced in 2023.