LA CROSSE, Wis. -- A day after a legal notice suggested Kwik Trip Inc. would lay off hundreds of employees with its purchase of the PDQ Food Stores chain, the convenience-store retailer found itself reassuring the existing staff of those stores that the company would hire “any qualified PDQ co-worker” to continue on with the new ownership.
Several news sources, including the Wisconsin State Journal, reported the layoffs Aug. 8. Kwik Trip quickly clarified that the Wisconsin Business Closing and Mass Layoff notice it filed Aug. 7 “does not impact the possibility of PDQ co-workers joining the Kwik Trip team.”
The notice suggested 313 employees would be let go. Kwik Trip says the notice is only a legal formality because PDQ will no longer own or operate the stores.
“It is Kwik Trip’s desire to hire any qualified PDQ co-worker, both full time and part time,” said John McHugh, director of public relations for Kwik Trip. “Because each store will require more co-workers than are currently employed, it will be necessary to hire new co-workers as well. So as to continue PDQ’s strong tradition of great customer service, we hope that many co-workers will choose to remain at their current location.”
Kwik Trip added that current PDQ co-workers will get credit for their length of service with PDQ to determine vacation benefits and 401(k)-plan eligibility. Traditional wait periods for benefit coverage will also be waived for those co-workers, the company said.
Kwik Trip announced on July 19 it will acquire 34 PDQ Food Stores. The deal is expected to close in October, and beginning the week of Oct. 9, 2017, the PDQ stores will be closed for 24 hours to conduct an inventory count and move in the appropriate Kwik Trip equipment, supplies and merchandise, the company said.
“Our family is committed to owning and growing the company for another 50 years,” Mark Zietlow, real-estate manager and third-generation owner of Kwik Trip, said in July. “Kwik Trip and our family are committed to providing good-paying jobs for all of our current and future co-workers. With the acquisition of PDQ and future remodel of the PDQ locations, we anticipate adding more than 1,000 jobs.”
Founded in 1965 in Eau Claire, Wis., Kwik Trip Inc. is one of the largest independently held convenience-store chains in the United States. Today, Kwik Trip owns and operates more than 570 stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. The La Crosse, Wis.-based chain ranked No. 15 in CSP’s 2017 Top 202 list of the largest c-store chains in the United States.
PDQ is an employee-owned company based in Middleton, Wis. Its assets include 34 company-operated convenience stores located in Southeastern Wisconsin. It ranked No. 174 in CSP’s 2017 Top 202 list.