What’s in Store: Openings & Closings

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

Here are the latest company spotlights:

Fuel City
Fuel City, also known as "The Ranch in downtown Dallas," opened a second location of the popular travel center at the start of this month. Three times the size of its Dallas location, the new Lufkin, Texas, site provides more than 150 jobs to the area.

Open 24/7, amenities include homemade tacos; a Denny’s restaurant; The Original Fried Pie Shop; truck parking; showers and clean bathrooms; 20 gasoline fueling positions; seven diesel fueling positions; and more.

"We are so excited to be expanding into east Texas and Lufkin," said John Benda, proprietor of both Fuel City locations. "Located on the southeast corner of the Highway 59/69 intersection, the property was an obvious choice for our second location. We are looking forward to being a part of the Lufkin community."

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
The Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Love’s chain opened two new locations built from the ground up – one in Davenport, Iowa, at Interstate 80, Exit 292, and the other in Idaho Falls, Idaho, at Interstate 15, Exit 113.

The Davenport location features an Arby’s restaurant and 80 truck parking spaces, while the Idaho Falls location includes a McDonald’s restaurant and 70 truck parking spaces. Both travel centers offer diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) at all diesel lanes, an on-site Love’s Truck Tire Care center, an expanded fountain drink selection and more.

"We are proud to call 12 new communities home to Love’s Travel Stops,” Greg Love, president of Love’s Development Cos., said of the chain’s 2012 expansion efforts. "We are constantly seeking the best areas to build locations, and we look forward to continued expansion in 2013 to meet our customers’ needs."

Pilot Flying J
Pilot Flying J, a Tennessee-based truck stop and convenience store chain, recently added three new locations to its portfolio of more than 650 travel centers across the country.

The chain purchased its second truck stop in Fredericksburg, Va., on the northeast side of Interstate 95, from Ashland-based Highway Services Ventures Inc. for $10 million, according to Fredericksburg.com. The facility includes Wendy’s and Patriot Farms restaurants, fueling stations, showers and additional amenities.

Pilot Flying J also opened a new store in Williston, N.D., on the northeast side of Highway 2 and Highway 85, offering five private showers, 75 parking spaces, eight diesel lanes, eight DEF lanes, a hot food bar and pizza, a Cinnabon and CAT scales.

The company’s third new location opened in Moss Point, Miss., adding 66 jobs to the local community. Located off Interstate 10 at Exit 69, the travel center offers 10 diesel lanes; 12 gasoline lanes with high-speed pumps; two RV fuel lanes, along with bulk propane and an RV dumping station; a Moe’s Southwest Grill; expanded food offerings that include pizza, salads, sandwiches and hot dogs, premium coffee and cappuccino; and general merchandise.

Royal Farms
Royal Farms’ newest location opened in Georgetown, Del., on Nov. 15, marking the 158th store for the Baltimore, Md.-based convenience store chain, which now has more than two dozen sites in Delaware, according to the Sussex Countian.

The new Georgetown store features "green" elements, such as materials containing recycled content, low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, low volatile organic paints, energy-efficient LED light fixtures and energy-efficient components within lighted beverage and food cases.

Sheetz Inc.
Sheetz is expanding in West Virginia with a new location in Rock Branch at the intersection of routes 25 and 62 on the site of a former Hardee’s. This will be its third location in Putnam County, with the other stores located in Scott Depot and Hurricane.

The Pennsylvania-based chain also announced plans to build a fourth location in the area in the near future – close to the intersection of Teays Valley Road and Mount Vernon Road.

United Express
United Supermarkets opened its second freestanding United Express convenience store on Dec. 27, near its new Market Street location at 19th Street and Quaker Avenue in Lubbock, Texas. The store’s hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, according to Tony Crumpton, executive vice president of facilities, fuel and supply for the company.

The c-store is almost identical to its sister location at 4th Street and Milwaukee Avenue in Lubbock, which opened in May 2011. The only difference is that the new store features a full-service drive-thru window for added convenience. The new store boasts a six-pump (12-dispenser) fuel station, offering both gasoline and diesel, along with traditional c-store items and “fresh-to-go” items made inside the main store, including breakfast burritos, hot sandwiches, fresh fruit and f'real milkshakes.

"One of the key attractions of the new store – and especially for the drive-thru window – will be our specialty coffee and tea service," Crumpton said. "Using our own popular Arriba brand, we’ll offer a full line of made-to-order coffees and tea – including lattés, smoothies and frappes on par with any other coffee retailer anywhere. Whether it’s grabbing a hot latté in the morning, or a bag of ice and gallon of milk on the way home, our Lubbock guests are truly going to enjoy the drive-thru experience."

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