Back to the Future for QuikTrip

Venerable, 600-location retailer to open "Store No. 1"

TULSA, Okla. -- Even though QuikTrip Corp. operates more than 600 convenience stores in stores 11 states, its newest location in Tulsa, Okla., will carry the designation of Store No. 1, according to a report by KRMG Radio, because it is very close to the site of the first QuikTrip store that Chester Cadieux opened on Sept. 25, 1958.

Tulsa-based QuikTrip marked its 54th anniversary on Tuesday, said the report.

"We only had one employee back then and that was Chester," company spokesperson Mike Thornbrugh told the news outlet. "Now we have about 13,000. Lot of changes and hopefully they've all been positive."

That original store is no longer there. The new store sits on the site where the Camelot Hotel once stood. In its heyday in the 1960s and 70s, the Camelot Hotel--resembling a castle complete with a moat, drawbridge and turrets--became famous for having Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford among its guests. The company purchased the site in 2007.

And looking to the future, Store No. 1 will feature Quik Trip's larger, more upscale "Generation 3" design, Thornbrugh told KRMG.

The Generation 3 store includes two front doors, a larger QT Kitchens area, room for more liquor and a specialty hot- and cold-drink and ice cream area staffed by baristas. QuikTrip's target customer for Generation 3 is the shopper who needs a quick meal in the car, or something quick to take home and cook.

Thornbrugh said that the goal is for the Generation 3 layout to eventually become the norm for all QuikTrip stores.

"We have about 50 of them in operation right now and about another 38 to 40 that are under construction," said Thornbrugh.

(See Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage of QuikTrip, including details on the Generation 3 design and a slideshow of the chain's 600th store.)