Love's Leap

Moves up 11 spots on Forbes' America's Largest Private Companies list

OKLAHOMA CITY-- Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. took the No. 7 spot on Forbes magazine's list of America's Largest Private Companies, ranking the highest of any convenience store and gasoline retailing/wholesaling company on the list.

Other industry companies included Pilot Flying J, QuikTrip, Cumberland Farms, Sinclair, Wawa, Mansfield Oil, RaceTrac, Sheetz, Red Apple Group, Truman Arnold and Kum & Go.

Love's made the biggest move on the list of 212 companies, jumping 11 spots from last year's ranking of No. 18.

Companies on the list must make at least $2 billion in revenues, have more than 100 employees and may not be more than 50% owned by another public, private or foreign company. Mutually owned companies are excluded from the list.

Love's attributes its ranking on Forbes' list to tremendous growth over the past year. In addition to acquiring 26 travel stops as a result of the Pilot Flying J merger in 2010, Love's will close 2011 with 19 new travel stops across the country, it said.

"We invested resources on new construction and adding enhancements to current locations this year," said Tom Love, chairman and CEO of Love's. "Love's is committed to providing the highest quality facilities and delivering exceptional customer service to the driving public. Our growth and success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees across the country."

In other company news, Love's opened a new travel stop in Belleville, Ind., at Interstate 70, Exit 59, on November 16. It includes Subway and McDonald's restaurants. It also features 100 truck spaces, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) dispensers at the diesel islands, CAT scales, a Love's Truck Tire Care center, five showers, a game room and other amenities.

And it opened a new travel stop in Strafford, Mo., at Interstate 44, Exit 88, on November 10. It includes a Hardee's restaurant. It also features 90 truck spaces, DEF dispensers at the diesel islands, CAT scales, a Love's Truck Tire Care center, five showers, a game room and other amenities.

Founded in 1964 by Tom Love, the company is based in Oklahoma City and remains entirely family owned and operated. With more than 280 locations and 130 tire care centers in 39 states, Love's approximate growth rate is 20 stores per year.

The convenience store and gasoline retailers/wholesalers on the list included (click on the links for details):

Click here for the full list, which also includes distributors and supermarket companies.