OKLAHOMA CITY — Love’s Travel Stops plans to open up to 50 new stores and add more than 3,000 truck parking spots and 3,000 jobs in 2021, the company said.
The announcement follows a challenging 2020 in which Love’s opened 38 new locations, added more than 3,000 truck parking spaces and donated several million dollars to fight COVID-19, injustice and poverty and to help sick and injured children. Through its Team First initiative, the company extended a $2-per-hour pay increase and temporary sick pay related to the coronavirus through March 31, 2021. It is also guaranteeing current store managers receive quarterly bonuses for first-quarter 2021.
“[The year] 2020 was difficult, but our teams worked together to open new locations, add parking spaces and serve customers despite the pandemic,” said Shane Wharton, president of Love’s. “In 2021, we’ll grow our travel stop network where our customers have asked us to, add new products and services and open new truck care centers to get professional truck drivers back on the road quickly and safely.”
Click through for a preview of Love’s plans for 2021 …
Contributing to its 50-store goal for 2021, in January, Love’s has opened new locations in Channahon, Ill., Valley City, N.D., and Huntington, Ind.
The Channahon site has nine diesel bays and 91 truck, 59 car and two RV parking spaces. At more than 15,000 square feet, the store features Godfather's Pizza, Arby's and Chester's Chicken restaurants, along with the chain’s Fresh Kitchen foodservice concept. It has eight showers, laundry facilities, a Mobile to Go Zone for electronics, CAT scale, a Speedco truck maintenance facility and a dog park.
The Valley City site has seven diesel bays and 85 truck, 100 car and three parking spaces. The more than 13,000-square-foot store has a McDonald’s restaurant and Fresh Kitchen, as well as eight shower, laundry facilities, Mobile to Go Zone, CAT scale, Speedco and a dog park.
And the Huntington site (pictured) has four diesel bays and 41 truck and 42 car parking spaces. The store, at 8,00 square feet, features a Taco John’s restaurant and Fresh Kitchen. It also has four showers, laundry facilities, a Mobile to Go Zone and a CAT scale.
Founded in 1964 and based in Oklahoma City, Love’s is No. 16 on CSP’s 2020 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by store count. The company, with more than 540 locations in 41 states, is family-owned and operated and employs more than 29,000 people.
In late 2020, Love’s expanded contactless payment options for transactions inside and outside its locations across the country, including tap-and-go credit cards, mobile phone payment options and Mobile Pay from the Love’s Connect app.
And the chain is giving selected customers free drinks year-round through the new Love’s Free Drink Club. Using the Love’s Connect app, customers will get every 10th drink for free.
In 2021, the company expects to further enhance the Love’s Connect mobile app with new features, it said.
Photograph courtesy of Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
In Aug. 2020, Love’s added Love’s Premium Water and new candy flavors to its lineup of private-label products.
The company will continue in 2021 to expand the Love’s-branded product line and introduce new fresh food offerings, it said.
In 2021, the company will increase fueling options through Trillium, a provider of alternative and renewable fuel supply, design, installation and operations.
Love’s also has more than 400 truck service centers, which include Speedco and Love’s Truck Care locations. In 2021, it plans to add more than 30 Love’s Truck Care and Speedco locations to its oil change and preventive maintenance network, with roadside coverage for professional drivers, including approximately 1,500 more maintenance bays and 400 sites.