Why Tri Star Energy Is CSNews’ Top 100 Biggest Mover

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Why Tri Star Energy Is CSNews’ Top 100 Biggest Mover

By Angela Hanson, Convenience Store News - 07/12/2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Fueled by the confidence it has in its current store concept and business model, Tri Star Energy LLC has a goal of growing to 100 Twice Daily convenience stores over the next three years, a company executive told Convenience Store News.

The chain is well on its way, adding 15 new stores in the past year. Going from No. 91 on last year’s CSNews Top 100 ranking with 70 stores to No. 72 this year with 85 locations — a jump of 19 spots — makes the Nashville-based retailer the Biggest Mover of 2016.

The CSNews Top 100 is the industry's longest-running accounting of the largest convenience store chains by store count. The annual report is compiled in partnership with TDLinx, a service of Nielsen. TDLinx defines a convenience store as a small-format store of at least 800 square feet; with 500 to 1,500 SKUs; that operates at least 13 hours a day; and carries a limited selection of grocery items, including at least two of the following: toilet paper, soap, disposable diapers, pet food, breakfast cereal, tuna fish, toothpaste, ketchup and canned goods.

The growth of Tri Star, which currently operates the Tri Star and Twice Daily brands, stems from a combination of factors, including: the growth of the Nashville marketplace; strong leadership within the company; and its ongoing conversion of stores to the Twice Daily brand.

The Twice Daily banner focuses on fresh food offerings, particularly hot and cold beverages, pastries, and hot and cold deli products. It also works to use locally sourced ingredients.

"We will continue to grow, and the growth is very intentional," Tom Woodard, director of communications for Tri Star, told CSNews. "A true rebrand is taking place while this growth is going on, and the marketplace is responding very nicely."

The rebrand is not just a name change. Rather, it's a call to action that invites customers to visit a Twice Daily store once in the morning for coffee and a breakfast item and then in the afternoon for a sandwich, afterschool snack or anything else fresh and fulfilling.

Tri Star began converting stores to the Twice Daily banner several years ago and is approximately at the halfway point in the process. Rebranding an existing store can take up to 90 days, while adding a new-to-industry location or razing/rebuilding takes six months to a year.

The company is taking an "aggressively conservative" approach to converting stores, balancing speed with intelligent practices, according to Woodard.

For the full Top 100 report, look in the July issue of Convenience Store News.