Sheetz to Renovate 150 Older Stores

MUNDYS CORNER, Pa. -- Extensive renovations underway at a Sheetz store here will serve as the template for work to be done at 150 older stores across the convenience store chain.

The construction could run about $750,000, with the overall goal to have all Sheetz locations sporting the same look and feel, The Tribune Democrat reported.

The Mundys Corner store was chosen to be the first renovated because its proximity to Sheetz' headquarters in Altoona, Pa. "We were looking at stores about that age group -- 15 to 20 years old -- and looking for something reasonably close to home," Joe Sheetz, executive vice president of store development for Sheetz, told the newspaper.

This way, corporate employees can buzz by to see how the job is proceeding and how it fits into the company's strategy in terms of marketing, gasoline, food sales and the like.

The retailer is learning as it goes. For instance, Sheetz noted: "Now that we've done this, it looks like we might want to do something for the ceiling."

Remodeling at the 15-year-old Mundys Corner store, at the intersection of routes 271 and 22, began a few weeks ago and should be completed by early November, the report stated.

Rick Cyman, Sheetz' vice president of store development and an architect by training, said the renovations include larger restrooms, a new kitchen, checkout counter and coffee bar, and new treatments for the walls and floors. Equipment behind the counter also will be rearranged, so it's easier for employees to do their job.

Outside, red brick will replace the white block. In addition, pavers will grace the front walk; tables and umbrellas will be added; the parking lot will be redone, LED lights will replace the area lighting; and a new white roof will top it all off, according to the newspaper.

"It's a combination of cosmetic and, I would say, efficiency based," Sheetz said.

Smaller stores of roughly 4,000 square feet will become 5,000 square feet or larger. The company hopes to do nine more renovations in 2011, spending perhaps $7.5 million, but at locations more geographically spread out. The chain has 360 stores as far as Raleigh, N.C.

Company officials will then prioritize work at the remaining older stores. At the same time, Sheetz expects to build 25 new stores per year, the newspaper reported.

"We're trying to fast-track it," Sheetz said.