C-Store Springs

7-Eleven, Loaf 'N Jug, Circle K, Kum & Go targeting Colorado Springs area

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- More convenience stores are on the way in Colorado Springs, Colo., as major c-store chains see continued opportunities for expansion in high-growth areas of the region, and as time-strapped consumers continue to clamor for the quick, in-and-out service that the stores offer, according to a report by The Colorado Springs Gazette.

Dallas-based 7-Eleven, which has approximately 50 area stores, told the newspaper that it is planning three to four more stores this year and another five to six in 2013.

Loaf 'N Jug, the Pueblo, Colo.-based arm of the Kroger grocery chain, has about 20 stores. It said that it is planning another store on Colorado Springs' far north side.

Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s Circle K, with U.S. headquarters in Phoenix and with about 20 locations in the Colorado Springs area, said that it is planning a store on the city's northeast side.

Kum & Go, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, has aggressively entered Colorado Springs with plans to build 20 to 25 stores over five years, it said. Its first location opened in May, and it has stores under construction in several locations (see Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage).

San Antonio-based Valero, which operates stores under the Valero and Diamond Shamrock names, has about 30 area locations. A spokesperson told the paper that the company plans no additional stores in the area, but occasionally looks to remodel and expand existing locations.

States such as Colorado and cities such as Colorado Springs--with rising populations of young people and outdoor enthusiasts--are prime targets for convenience store chains, Lenard said.

Several new c-stores are going up in fast-growing parts of the Pikes Peak region that have been relatively underserved up to now, Mark Useman, a retail specialist with Sierra Commercial Real Estate in Colorado Springs who has represented Kum & Go in its local land acquisitions, told the paper.

"We've had decent growth in our city, and there are areas of the city that haven't seen the expansion or growth of these convenience stores in the last four or five years because of the slowdown of our economy," he added.

Kum & Go evaluated several markets before deciding to enter Colorado Springs, Useman said. The chain prefers secondary cities where it believes it can have an impact, he said.

7-Eleven has sought to expand in markets where it already has large numbers of successful locations, while also acquiring existing stores in markets that are near areas where 7-Eleven operates, spokesperson Margaret Chabris told the paper.