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.
Clifford Fuel Co. Inc.
Clifford Fuel Co. Inc. is acquiring Reilly's Dairy convenience store and car wash located in Sauquoit, N.Y. Rich Reilly and his wife, Kathy, opened Reilly's Dairy in 1977. The store will be rebranded to a Cliff's Local Market this month. Reilly will maintain ownership and operation of the storage units.
A new Forward Shell station and convenience store opened in Gaylord, Mich., on the site of the former Forward Shell and Schnapps & Hops stores. Both were demolished earlier this year to make room for the new c-store. The site also includes a Hops & Schnapps and Subway restaurant. The Gaylord store is based on recent remodels in Tawas and Bay City.
The Subway store boasts a new layout with more seating than the old restaurant, which was located across the street, and drive-thru service, and the convenience section of Forward offers snack and grocery items, a small walk-in beer cooler, and a full coffee bar.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores is now serving customers in Big Cabin, Okla., and Elkhorn, Wis. The Big Cabin travel stop is located on Interstate 44 and adds 79 truck parking spaces to Craig County. The Elkhorn store is located on Interstate 43 and adds 102 truck parking spaces to Walworth County.
At more than 8,000 square feet, the Big Cabin travel stop features a Carl's Jr. restaurant, 47 car parking spaces, two RV parking spaces, eight diesel bays, and seven showers. Also at more than 8,000 square feet, the Elkhorn travel stop features a Hardee's restaurant, 87 car parking spaces, three RV parking spaces, seven diesel bays and seven showers.
Both locations include a Speedco location, laundry facilities, a CAT scale, a dog park, and the Fresh Kitchen concept.
Parker's marked the grand opening of two Parker's Kitchen convenience stores in South Carolina, one in Moncks Corner and the other in Summerville. They are the company's 59th and 60th stores, respectively.
Both offer Southern-style food as well as gourmet coffee, 28-degree beer, fountain drinks with Chewy Ice and a range of convenience items. Both stores feature the company's Charleston-inspired architectural design with Lowcountry-style brick, metal roofs, twin entrances and indoor and outdoor seating. The new stores also include self-checkout technology and electronic kiosks for food ordering process.
The Summerville store, located in the revitalized Knightsville Crossing Shopping Center, has a mansard-style fuel canopy and is the first Parker’s Kitchen with a "green screen" of Confederate jasmine that will create verdant walls of greenery on both sides of the fuel canopy, the company noted. The store also has a covered outdoor pavilion with seating, cedar shake roof and Confederate jasmine "green screen."
Both stores offer regular, mid-grade, premium, diesel and marine fuel. The Moncks Corner location also features diesel truck service with ample space for tractor-trailer parking.
QuickChek opened a new convenience store in Cranford, N.J., on Sept. 10. The 5,504-square-foot store offers a "Fresh to Go" design with more than 50 percent of the store dedicated to fresh food and beverages.
In addition to its foodservice offer, the store features a no-fee ATM, indoor and outdoor seating, and eight gas pumps with 16 fueling positions, and 46 parking spaces.
Rutter's welcomed customers at its 76th store on Sept. 18. Located in Leesport, Pa., the 10,257-square-foot store provides 16 fueling positions and five dedicated high-speed truck diesel fueling lanes, and it offers new auto fueling options, including flex fuel, unleaded 15, and ethanol-free gasoline. For trucks and commercial vehicles, it provides high-speed truck diesel and in-lane DEF.
The locations also features the retailer's food and beverage menus, a Rutter's 29-degree Beer Cave, and seating for 30. In addition, the newest Rutter's will be a future home to a Rutter's Video Gaming Terminal Room (VGT), pending application review. The designated VGT room will provide customers, 21 years of age and older, with five machines to play and enjoy all the offerings of a Rutter's store.
Stewart's Shops rang up customers at two new convenience stores in September. Located in a retail plaza, the store on Vischer Ferry Road in Clifton Park, N.Y., has a brick exterior to match the existing plaza exterior, resembling the look of older Stewart's Shops. The clapboard siding on the top of the shop, along with the expanded parking, gas and interior layout have all the features of the new Stewart’s Shops.
The retailer also cut the ribbon on a new store in Brunswick, N.Y. The store stands on the former site an historical house. In keeping with its history, the exterior of the Stewart's Shops store is yellow in honor of the former house.
In addition, it is topped with an original weathervane taken from a nearby barn. Inside the shop, a dedication sign is hung in recognition of the historical house and the tells the story of the history of this small town.
The company also worked closely with the town historian to gather the history and photos to incorporate into the interior sign. The window dressing above the sign was taken from the historical house and complements the sign.
TravelCenters of America Inc.
TravelCenters of America Inc. signed a franchise agreement with Biggs Petroleum LLC to add a new TA Express in Rufus, Ore. A newly constructed building will sit on a five-acre site located at Exit 104 off Interstate 84, at 91464 Biggs Rufus Highway. An opening date is planned for late 2019.
The travel center operator also inked a franchise agreement with Kishor Koladia and Dahyalal Gajera to bring a TA Express to Salina, Utah. The current nine-acre site is an Xpress Fuel Stop on at Exit 56 off Interstate 70, at 2055 South State St. It will convert to a TA Express in late October.
In addition, TA signed a franchise agreement with Shawn Ali, owner of the Oasis Mart at 5490 N. Highway 146 in Baytown, Texas, to convert the business to a TA Express. The newest TA Express will sit on an 11-acre property and have all of the full-service amenities for professional drivers and highway travelers. Diesel fueling, DEF, gasoline, travel store, showers and multiple dining options will be among the wide range of amenities offered at the location.