FENTON, Mo. — Wally’s, a new destination-style mega-convenience store, opened in Fenton, Mo., on March 11. It is the retailer’s second location—the first opened in Pontiac, Ill., in late 2020.
- Click here to view a slide show of the retailer’s first location. And click here to view a KSDK News video of the ribbon-cutting ceremony in Fenton.
Drawing inspiration from the idyllic family road trips of the 1970s and 1980s—the retailer’s tagline is “Home of the Great American Road Trip”—the space features creative design and unique merchandising activations including a full-size Winnebago inside the store, a camping diorama and a Wally’s branded apparel wall. The 36,000-square-foot retail space also houses “meticulously clean” bathrooms and a Wally’s Cafe, featuring a hand-carved BBQ station, freshly made sandwiches, jerky by the pound, freshly popped popcorn, hand-scooped ice cream and fresh baked goods.
Other details of the property include 72 fueling locations spanning the length of more than two football fields, five high-speed charging stations and a large amount of parking.
Wally’s founders, Michael Rubenstein and Chad Wallis, have strong roots in the St. Louis region, having grown up in Sullivan and Cuba, Mo., respectively. Rubenstein recalls driving into the city on Highway 44. “Driving in from Sullivan, I always knew we were close to St. Louis when we saw the Chrysler Plant,” Rubenstein recalls. “So when we learned about the redevelopment efforts in Fenton, it felt like a natural fit and exciting opportunity to be a part of the revitalization of that property.”
President and CEO Rubenstein, with a real estate and supply logistics background, knew how to build convenience stores, and Wallis, chairman, with a c-store and gas station background, knew how to operate them, so they “began a very deep dive and thorough process of figuring out location, our brand, who we wanted to be,” Rubenstein told CSP Daily News shortly after the opening of the company’s first location. “We really wanted to focus on the family traveler and create a brand that spoke to our Midwestern roots.”
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