Convenience Store News

NOV 2016

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70 Convenience Store News | NOVEMBER 2016 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Fuel-Free Conveniece Stores STORE SPOTLIGHT W hile convenience stores throughout the United States continue to expand and strengthen their in-store offer- ings, particularly around foodservice programs, the majority still offer motor fuels to add extra profit and help drive traffic inside the store. Even industries outside of the c-store arena, from big-box retailers to grocery stores, continue to add fuel pumps to their retail sites to offer consumers more amenities. So then, why would c-store companies like Kwik Trip Inc., QuikTrip Corp., Sheetz Inc. and Maverik Inc. start open- ing stores without fuel? It comes down to location and offering a strong enough in-store selection to stand on its own. "To open a store without gasoline has been part of our strategic plan for some time, but it had to be the right timing and the right location," said Mike Thornbrugh, spokesperson for QuikTrip, which operates more than 700 c-stores in 11 states and opened its first store sans fuel in downtown Atlanta this June. "The store in Atlanta was the right time and location, and a good opportunity for us to see if it will be successful and to learn from it." As part of the retail space of Viewpoint Condominiums, the 3,500-square-foot QuikTrip store in downtown Atlanta offers a range of grocery items, as well as fresh foods through the QT Kitchens made-to-order concept. This store is focused even more on the fresh food side of the business than other locations, Thornbrugh noted. "Placing a lot of emphasis on fresh food will give us a chance to bring a lot of different products in; to see if we can perfect it and learn from it," he said. "A lot of people don't remember, but QuikTrip began as a grocery store that opened and operated for many years before we even got into gasoline." Another convenience chain opening stores sans gas is Sheetz, based in Altoona, Pa., and known for its "con- venience restaurant" concept. During a recent speech Going Within Some big names in convenience are opening new stores without fuel, counting on a strong in-store offering and fresh food to attract and retain customers By Tammy Mastroberte QuikTrip's new downtown Atlanta store is in a high-traffic area, with a lot of pedestrians walking, running and cycling by.

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