What's In Store: Big Red Stores, Pilot Flying J & TravelCenters of America

Melissa Kress
Senior News Editor
Melissa Kress profile picture
Team members prepare to greet customers at the new Love's Country Store in Wynnewood, Okla. on March 1.
Team members prepare to greet customers at the new Love's Country Store in Wynnewood, Okla. on March 1.

NATIONAL REPORT — The convenience store industry landscape is constantly changing as chains open and close stores each week. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these comings and goings in this special roundup.

Big Red Stores

Big Red Stores has begun construction in it's 37th location in central Arkansas. The store is located in North Little Rock and will serve the Maumelle and North Little Rock communities. It is slated to open in April.

The latest Big Red Stores site will feature the company's new contemporary design, touchless bathrooms, and fresh food offerings including fruit, pizza and hamburgers.

"Being a locally Arkansas-owned company, central Arkansas is home to us. We are excited about further serving our friends and neighbors," said David Hendrix, president of Big Red Stores.

The retailer also plans to open two additional convenience stores in central Arkansas this year. One is located in Bryant, and the other is yet to be announced.

Circle K

Circle K opened a new store in Columbus, Ohio, last month. The retailer held a grand opening celebration on Feb. 16 with a local radio station and a new bike giveaway. Specials on items such as pizza, hot dogs and coffees ran from Feb. 12 through Feb. 18.

Kum & GO LC

Kum & Go threw open the doors of its newest Colorado store on March 8. The Brighton store measures nearly 6,000 square feet store and focuses on fresh food and features a variety of offerings. 

A key feature of the store is an expanded and open food preparation area that customers can see from the moment they enter. Other location features include:

  • Elevated food experience with Kum & Go's "Go Fresh Market"
  • Open kitchen layout, clear aisles and easy-to-navigate zones
  • Indoor seating area with dining tables and counter height stools
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi and charging stations for customers
  • Design using energy efficient and sustainable design practices

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores

Love's continues its new store spree. On Feb. 1, the company began serving customers in two new locations: Mills County, Iowa, and Alma, Texas. The travel stops add a combined 200 parking spaces to Interstates 29 and 45.

The Mills County location features a Subway restaurant, laundry capabilities, a game room, 60 truck parking spaces, and five showers. The Alma store offers Chester's Chicken, Godfather's Pizza and Subway restaurants; laundry capabilities; a game room; 138 truck parking spots; and eight showers.

One week later, Love's cut the ribbon on another Iowa travel stop, this time in Waterloo at the intersection of U.S. Highways 63 and 20. The location features a Wendy's restaurant, laundry capabilities, a game room, 65 truck parking spaces, five showers and seven diesel fuel pumps.

Moving to the east, Love's opened a new location in Prince George, Va. on Feb. 22. The travel stop features Arby's restaurant; laundry capabilities; a game room; 73 truck parking spaces; five showers and seven diesel fuel pumps.

All the travel stops are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offer a Love's Truck Tire Care and other driver services.

Aside from travel stops, the company also welcomed customers at a new Love's Country Store in Wynnewood, Okla., on March 1. The 4,000-square-foot facility features Godfather's Pizza and Subway restaurants; and 37 car parking spots. 

Love's Hospitality was also busy, opening a new Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Chanute in Chanute, Kan. on Feb. 21. InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, is the parent company of the Holiday Inn Express brand.

The hotel is located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 169 and 35th Street. It features a heated indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, 24-hour guest laundry, and a covered patio with a fire table surrounded by seating. In addition, the hotel provides a 24-hour business center with copy and fax services along with free high-speed internet access.

Pilot Flying J

Motorists have several new Pilot Flying J locations to choose from along highways in North America.

The company opened a Flying J Travel Center in Summerville, S.C., in mid-February. Located off Interstate 26, the travel center's amenities include 16 gasoline fueling positions, two RV fueling lanes, and seven diesel lanes with high-speed pumps. It also features PJ Fresh fast-casual food offerings, including PJ Fresh Pizza, a Wendy's, a Dunkin' Donuts Express, in addition to a Western Union, a driver's lounge and a CAT Scale.

It is Pilot Flying J's 27th company-operated location in South Carolina.

In early March, Pilot Flying J pulled off a triple play, welcoming customers at three new sites on March 3.

Flying J Canada Inc. cut the ribbon on a Flying J Travel Center in Ste. Agathe, Manitoba, off Lord Selkirk Highway (Hwy 75). It is the company's 28th company-operated travel center in Canada. Amenities include eight gasoline fueling positions and five diesel lanes with high-speed pumps; 34 truck parking sport and 41 car parking spots; four showers; fresh food offerings; a Western Union; a driver's lounge; and a CAT Scale.

In the United States, a new Pilot Travel Center opened in Suffolk, Va. It is Pilot Flying J's 19th company-operated location in Virginia. Amenities include 10 gasoline fueling positions and six diesel lanes with high-speed pumps; 17 truck parking sports and 36 car parking spots; two showers; PJ Fresh fast-casual food offerings; a Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru; a Western Union; a driver's lounge; and a CAT Scale.

Moving west, the company began ringing up customers at a new Pilot Travel Center in Falfurrias, Texas. It is its 61st company-operated location in Texas. Amenities include six gasoline fueling lanes and six diesel lanes with high-speed pumps; 54 truck parking spots and 50 car parking spots; three showers; PJ Fresh fast-casual food offerings; a Dunkin' Donuts Express; a Western Union; a driver's lounge; and a CAT Scale.

TravelCenters of America LLC

The TA Restaurant Group (TARG), a division of TravelCenters of America LLC, opened a new Fazoli's restaurant in Monroe, Mich. The food offering is located at exit 15 off Interstate 75.

The restaurant's dining room seats 106 customers and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Menu items include classic Italian dishes, pastas, pizza, Submarinos sandwiches, salads, and desserts.

The Monroe location is the fourth Fazoli's operated by the TARG and its first in Michigan.


Weigel's is planning a new convenience store in Bristol, Tenn. The 5,700-square-foot location will feature the retailer's new store prototype design, including made-to-order food offerings and self-service food ordering kiosks. The c-store's forecourt will have eight to 10 fuel pumps.