NATIONAL REPORT — This past year, convenience store retailers saw some major changes as a number of well-liked regional stores either exited the industry or entered restructuring, as in the case of Mountain Express Oil Co. At the same time, better established chains like Wawa Inc. continued to expand while new brands such as Roam 'N Stop debuted into the market.
C-store operators in 2023 also worked to enhance the customer experience either through new foodservice offerings or remodels, while the industry as a whole continued to make investments into expanding access to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
These are the top retailer news headlines of 2023 in the convenience store channel:
1. Alimentation Couche-Tard Aims to 'Win' With Five-Year Strategic Plan
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. laid out a roadmap for growth, with four beacons to guide the company's way, over the next five years. The Laval, Quebec-based global convenience retailer revealed the plan at its 2023 Analyst and Investor Conference on Oct. 12.
2. 7-Eleven Welcomes Customers to First Israel Store
7-Eleven Inc. opened its first store in Israel at the Dizengoff Center Mall in Tel Aviv. Operated by franchisee Electra Consumer Products, the new location features 7-Eleven's signature retail environment and serves a variety of the brand's products, along with local delicacies created to appeal to the surrounding neighborhood.
3. Yesway Raises $190M for New Convenience Store Construction
BW Gas & Convenience Holdings LLC dba Yesway raised $190 million in new equity during the second half of 2022 to continue funding a new store construction program. Yesway plans to build 28 new convenience stores in 2023, most of which will be funded using the proceeds of the newly raised equity.
4. Casey's Lays Out Strategic Plan for Next Three Years
After successfully executing its first three-year strategic plan, Casey's General Stores Inc. is ready to tackle the next three years, with expanded food offerings and unit growth slated to play critical roles.
5. TravelCenters of America Officially Debuts New Restaurant Brand
TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA) celebrated the opening of a new proprietary restaurant brand, Fork & Compass, with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 22. The restaurant began operations in January at the Petro Stopping Center in Perrysburg, Ohio.
6. Mountain Express Oil to Restructure Following Chapter 11 Filing
Mountain Express Oil Co. filed for voluntary protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The fuel distributor and convenience retailer will use the Chapter 11 process to achieve a comprehensive restructuring that will strengthen the company's fuel distribution business, dealer network and retail business.
7. QuikTrip & Wawa Hit Network Milestones
QuikTrip Corp. (QT) and Wawa Inc. both celebrated major milestones in April as their store counts reached four digits. QT opened its 1,000th location in Converse, Texas, after 65 years in business, while Wawa opened its 1,000th store in Oaklyn, N.J., on April 27.
8. Roam 'N Stop Banner Launches in Las Vegas
Roam 'n Stop, a new convenience retailer, launched three Las Vegas area convenience stores with grand opening celebrations that included giveaways, raffles and appearances from local civic leaders.
9. New CEO Officially Takes the Lead at TravelCenters of America
TA officially named Debi Boffa as its new CEO effective Sept. 1. She succeeded Jonathan Pertchik, who led TA from 2019 through its May acquisition by bp, and helped position it for the future of alternative fuels, according to the company.
10. Kwik Trip Begins to Restore Internal Systems Following Outage
Kwik Trip Inc. systems are on the road to recovery after an unknown incident disrupted digital operations for several days. The convenience store operator reported that it is making progress restoring systems affected by an outage that prevented customers from logging into the Kwik Trip mobile app or website and downed the company's phones.