TULSA, Okla. -- The time is shrinking between QuikTrip's celebrations of 100-store milestones.
Thursday the company opened its 600th convenience store in Claremore, Okla., about 39 months after opening store No. 500 in Tulsa, according to a report in Tulsa World. The 400th store was opened six years earlier, and No. 300 a decade before that.
"If you think about scale, even the scale shrinks between these hundred-store openings," QuikTrip Corp. president and CEO Chet Cadieux told the newspaper. "But this is still very exciting."
QuikTrip's 600th store is on Will Rogers Boulevard near Interstate 44. It's one of the company's 5,700-square-foot next-generation facilities, with 16 gasoline pumps, a manned coffee, ice cream and baked-goods section, and areas for soft drinks, smoothies and teas.
Store manager Rick McKewon, a 30-year QuikTrip employee, said the new store has already attracted a lot of attention.
"People have been asking about it and talking about it for a while," he told the newspaper. "Especially with this style of store, everyone has been waiting for one to come here to Claremore."
The next-generation style has been popular since it was introduced in June 2010, according to the report, and the company is hoping to build all new stores, space permitting, under that larger model.
While the Claremore store is No. 600 for the chain, the company has officially opened more than 920 stores. Others have closed, been relocated or sold.
Spokesperson Mike Thornbrugh told the newspaper that QuikTrip won't hesitate to close a store that is underperforming and try another location, sometimes just across the street.
The company now has stores in nine markets throughout the southern U.S. and Midwest, most recently opening a new set of stores in the Carolinas.
The Tulsa, Okla.-based chain owns all 600 stores under its banner, making it easier to enforce consistency, standards and training procedures.
Chet Cadieux, who took over the company from his father in 2002, said the company has been aggressive in its growth.
"You have to be to keep up in this industry," he said.
Store No. 700 shouldn't be far behind for QuikTrip. The company currently has 47 stores under construction, according to the report.
QuikTrip’s store-count milestones:
Store 1: 1958
Store 100: Early 1970s (through acquisition)
Store 200: 1978
Store 300: 1992
Store 400: 2002
Store 500: 2008
Store 600: 2012