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Open & Shut: 6-8-2011

The where, when, why behind recent station, store openings, closings nationwide

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- "Open & Shut" is an occasional roundup of some of the many new-store openings, reopenings, closures and sales taking place around the country by chains small, medium and large that have not otherwise been reported in CSP Daily News.

Especially on the independent operator level, this recurring feature provides a snapshot of the frequently changing retail marketplace that includes such outlets as convenience stores, gas stations, truckstops, travel centers and related locations. It includes multimedia links when available.

Arizona

Circle K opened a new store in Phoenix in mid-April, CircleKArizona said on Twitter (click here to view images).

One Valero-branded c-store (Apache Junction; 1.7 million gallons/$1.5 million inside sales) and one Shell-branded c-store (Cave Creek; 1.5 million gallons/$850,000 inside sales) with leased real estate with car washes and independently operated Carl's Jr. locations are available, said Franchise Capital Advisors.

California

Robinson Rancheria is getting into the gasoline business, opening a tribal-owned gas station in April, reported The Press Democrat. The station is across the street from its casino east of Upper Lake. It will offer fuel for "a few cents" less than other stations, but "not so much [lower] that it will break any other business." Low prices are possible because rancherias are considered sovereign nations and are exempt from many taxes and regulations. Tribes also can sell lower-priced gasoline because their fuel does not have to comply with California's emissions standards. The tribe also is not subject to most state and local permit requirements. It also owns the casino, hotel, smoke shop, recycling center and mobile home park.

A Shell station in Diamond Bar is expected to open midsummer, said The Diamond Bar Patch. It will include a car wash, repair garage and an expanded c-store.

7-Eleven opened a new store in Winnetka on April 29, 7ElevenSoCal said on Twitter.

Colorado

A partnership is building a Shell station and c-store in west Johnstown, said The Greeley Tribune. The store, which will include a car wash and fast-food restaurant with a drive-through as part of the building, is expected to open in mid- to late June. Thompson Ranch Convenience LLC is the operator-owner of the project. The four-person partnership includes two investors who operate Petroleum Management Co., which owns multiple stations and c-stores in the state. The Shell will have five fueling islands, including diesel fuel.

Connecticut

An old Sunoco station in Glastonbury will soon become a Stop & Shop gas station, The Hartford Courant reported. The station will have its existing building and service bays along with its canopy and pump islands removed. A new building will be constructed along with five pump island containing 10 stations. Stop & Shop sells unbranded gasoline at about 50 locations in New England and New York state. The station is expected to open this summer.

Delaware

Tranzon currently is accepting offers on a station in Dover.Click here for property details.

Florida

A Murphy Express station opened on May 9, PaceMurphyExpress said on Twitter. According to Tallahassee.com, it has 24 pumps (including four diesel fuel pumps) and a drive-thru for all the products sold inside, including coffee, doughnuts, sandwiches, soft drinks and chips. "This station is totally solar and the corporate office in Texas controls all the energy sensors," station manager Magda Bump said (click here to view images).

Gulfport Super Gas opened in mid-April at the site of an old BP station, reported The Gulfport Patch. The owner, Ken Edwards, is trying to run a different kind of c-store, with healthy food and a boutique area.

Georgia

A Fairburn c-store with a Blimpie franchise, Krispy Kreme, lottery, beer and a high-visibility location just off Interstate 85 was slated for sale in a sealed-bid auction that ended May 27, said Kim Hagen, president of Hagen Realty Group.

Gulf Oil opened a location in Bowdon on June 6, GulfOil said on Twitter.

Hawaii

7-Eleven Hawaii Inc. opened a new store in Waikiki in mid-May, reported The Honolulu Advertiser. It will be known as its Beachwalk flagship store. "The Beachwalk store is the first step in our plan to add 46 more stores throughout Hawaii," said CEO Greg Hanna (click here for previous coverage). It will employ 12 to 15 staff members and will be managed by Anela Briones, who has been with the company since 1988.

Idaho

Stinker Stores Inc. purchased the Flying J Truck Stop in Blackfoot. It opened for business as Stinker on May 10, Stinker said on its website.

Illinois

Casey's General Stores Inc. held a grand opening for a store in Hurst and Athens on April 8.

Iowa

JC's on Vine in West Des Moines is now Krueger's, the The Des Moines Register said in late April. Don Krueger and his son Scott are running the gas station/c-store on behalf of First Bank, which owns the business. Rick Messerschmidt, president of First Bank, said the change in management was made at the beginning of January. The store is for sale, and Messerschmidt said the bank is hopeful that a buyer would keep the business running as a neighborhood c-store. It is known for its pizza, but pizza sales have been discontinued for now. Krueger BP & Carwash in Windsor Heights closed January 31. Krueger said a planned street widening will slice off his property, making it necessary to tear down the existing station and rebuild it. Krueger said he has owned the station more than three decades, but he is not willing to rebuild it.

Casey's General Stores Inc. held a grand reopening for a store in Waverly on May 9, it said on Facebook (click here to view images). It also held a grand opening for a store in Knoxville on April 8, it said on Twitter.

Kansas

Dillons officials are opening a Kwik Shop in Newton, said The Wichita Eagle. Construction has begun on a 4,000-square-foot c-store in the parking lot of the grocery chain's largest Newton store. When it opens late this summer, it will provide 16 gasoline and diesel fuel pumps. The store targets the fuel points partnership between the grocer and the c-store. Shoppers accumulate points for per-gallon gasoline discounts at Kwik Shop by buying groceries at Dillons.

Maryland

Entrepreneur Jatinder Kaur of MMJ Oil LLC has taken over ownership of a gas station and c-store in Frederick, said The Frederick News Post on May 10.

Massachusetts

7-Eleven Inc. announced in mid-April the conversion and opening of a new store located at 2946 in Osterville, reported The Cape Cod Times. A former White Hen Pantry, the new store is owned by franchisee Jim O'Brion. This is the fourth new store on Cape Cod that 7-Eleven has recently opened.

After The Somerville News staff reported on a story about a disabled man in a wheelchair who got stuck in the snow due to a unshoveled walkway and handicapped-access ramp, the Sunoco station closed, the paper said in late April. Employees did not come out of the store to assist in the man's rescue. Sunoco station manger Javaid Butt along with corporate representatives jumped into action to rectify the problem. They assured the public that this would never happen again. Station manager Javaid Butt paid the man a visit to offer an apology on behalf of Sunoco and himself. The reason for the station's closing is unknown.

Lynn c-store owner Mahababul Haque said the new Richdale c-store he is opening on June 15 will be "good, clean" and affordable to neighbors. Haque, who owns Jenny's Convenience and another store, told The Daily Item that he will beat supermarket prices for shopping essentials like milk.

Michigan

Long Lake will soon have a new c-store, reported The Ionia Sentinel-Standard. Roy Millwood and his wife Tricia opened Millwood's Market in late April. Since closing on the sale of the building in January, the couple have renovated the structure, installed new carpet and painted the walls, bought a new counter and wired a new electrical system. It will sell groceries, snacks, home necessities, live bait and ammunition. Beer and wine will also be available once a permit is secured.

Owner Misty Filsinger said a new Mobil station reopened May 18 in Ann Arbor after being closed for more than two years. She worked as a manager under the previous owner before beginning the process to buy the store about a year ago, reported AnnArbor.com. The assessed value of the property is $336,900, giving it an estimated market value of just over $670,000. Filsinger, an Ypsilanti resident, would not disclose the purchase price or estimate her total investment; however, she said her renovations have included putting in a new roof, buying new pumps and repainting the building.

Missouri

Casey's General Stores Inc. held a grand reopening in early May for a store in Platte City, it said on Facebook (click here to view images).

Casey's held a grand re-opening for a store in Potosi, the company said on Facebook (click here to view images).

Montana

The Y Quik Stop in Hot Springs is still open, but without fuel. Manford Tempero, owner with wife Marvel, told The Missoulian that "as gas prices escalated and margins grew slimmer, it's been harder and harder to make our obligation with the fuel company that supplies us." They mistakenly ordered fuel the same day an electronic funds transfer came due. "Unless you're square with the distributor, they will not bring you fuel," Tempero said. "If the due date had been one day later, they would have brought it .... If the distributor had found a way to bring me fuel, I would have owed them less money today than I do." He also cited credit-card fees.

Nebraska

Timesaver convenience stores in North Platte were rebranded as U-Fillem stores in early May. Todd Schwindt, Timesaver owner, told The North Platte Telegraph that switching from Shell to U-Fillem allows the stores to offer motorists a discount--anyone who pays with cash will receive five cents a gallon off. "It was time for a change, and with gas prices being as high as they are, this gives us the option to be more competitive in the market," he said. Inside the stores, business and services will continue as usual.

Casey's opened a new store in Fullerton on April 8, caseygenstore said on Twitter.

New Jersey

Elmer's Country Store in Upper Saddle River re-opened in mid-May, said The Town Journal. The gas station has opened first, while the store is scheduled to open within "one and four months," said Kevin Rooney, a managing member of HMS Global Holdings, which owns the property. All exterior work on the site was completed in late 2010 after the buildings were demolished in late 2009. HMS is leasing the site to Lukoil, which is subletting it to another entity that will operate the store and station. Improvements include a new building, fuel tanks, canopy, paving, curbs and landscaping, as well as an upgraded septic system. He described the new building as "very traditional looking," and said it is designed to look like an old barn, with new natural stone siding, a HardiPlank exterior and refurbished old brick as a paver. He called the canopy "very unique" with HardiPlank, a grain textured concrete board over a steel structure and steel bumpers at the ends that were painted to make them appear like wood. He said the new store will include elements from the old store, such as part of an old beam that will be placed inside the building, as well as artifacts from the old store. Elmer's is listed on the Bergen County Historic Sites Survey and the Upper Saddle River Inventory of Historic Sites, with its historic name the Plank-Taylor Barns.

New York

Stewarts Shops opened a new store in Salem on April 27. The new shop is located at the site of the former Salem Super Mart. The shop offers gasoline, diesel fuel, expanded seating and additional parking spaces. The company has also remodeled its West Scotia store in May, the retailer said on its website (click here to view images). The new shop will offer six pumps with Pay at the Pump service, new lighting, new flooring, counters, restroom and more.

Pennsylvania

Sheetz Inc. opened a new store, located in Plum Borough, on May 19, measuring 4,997 square feet, the company said on Facebook.

The Milestone Restaurant and 222 Truck Stop in Ephrata closed on May 32, said Land Line.

South Carolina

A gas station in Columbia was renamed and redecorated after President Obama, said WCSC-TV in mid-May. "I see more people come in excited with the name," said owner Sam Alhanik, who got the idea from a friend who created an Obama station in Michigan. Alhanik has only owned this station for a few months. Although born in Yemen, he says he supports America's president. He said that he has seen a boom in business since changing the name. Others said "it's morally and ethically wrong to have the president beside beer, wine and cigarettes."

Texas

RaceTrac held a grand opening for a store in Rockwall on May 19, RaceTracDFW said on Twitter.

LovesTravelStop said on Twitter that it opened a new location in Hearne, including a McDonald's, in late April (click here to view image).

Stripes said on Facebook that it held store grand openings in Lubbock and Odessa on May 26.

West Virginia

Prima Marketing, a licensed operator of 7-Eleven stores in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky, held a a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new store in South Charleston in mid-May, reported The Charleston Daily Mail. Jeff Kramer, Prima's CEO, said the store will be the company's 73rd 7-Eleven in West Virginia. The store has 3,000 square feet of space and features 7-Eleven's latest style and design. The store will carry a full line of 7-Select private-label products. The store also will sell fast food, including pizza. With the store are four Shell-brand gasoline pumps with diesel. Customers with Kroger cards can redeem points at the pump to get a discount.

Three recently renovated gas stations opened in Bluefield in April and May, said The Bluefield Daily Telegraph. They include two Mountaineer Express c-stores offering Gulf Oil and a new Sunoco station.

Wisconsin

The Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau said on May 8 that it has welcomed a new Kwik Trip Inc. c-store The business offers gasoline, bakery goods, milk, snacks, hot sandwiches, fresh coffee and other items. The new store is partnering with the Chamber to provide tourism information.

The Manitowoc Mini Mart Shell and Dairy Queen in Manitowoc has been renovated and expanded, The Lakeshore News said in early May.

Please send your store openings and related announcements to Greg Lindenberg at glindenberg@cspnet.com,www.twitter.com/glcspdn or www.facebook.com/glcspdn.

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