New 'Roo Build

The Pantry opens its first ground-up store in four years

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For the first time in four years, M&A leader The Pantry will open a ground-up store built with its Bean Street coffee and other foodservice offers.

In recent years, The Pantry, Cary, N.C., has been focused on upgrading its portfolio of "Kangaroo" branded stores to a more contemporary, foodservice-oriented look and feel, having been converting dozens of stores last year with 70 more remodels planned for 2013, a spokesperson told CSP Daily News.

The company is scheduled to build five more ground-up stores, which will more than likely resemble the Charlotte location. That site features a 4,900-square-foot store with a Subway sandwich franchise and a drive-through takeout window.

New-builds have been emerging in recent months as a go-to industry strategy, with 2012 being a record year for at least two regional chains with regards to new-store construction. As CSP magazine found in researching its upcoming April cover story on new builds, West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go set an internal record of 43 new-builds last year, while Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip Inc. set their own at 45.

"The stores we built in 2012 took many months of preplanning, sometimes years to the day before they were built and opened," said David Miller, chief marketing officer for Kum & Go, noting how the chain has moved in recent years into northwest Arkansas and Colorado Springs, Colo. "For us, 2012 was the culmination of a market by market approach, [considering] the best location, the best price and then negotiating and building stores in favorable locations."

Officials for The Pantry's Kangaroo Express c-stores said its offer meets the daily food and fuel shopping needs of guests. The company operates about 1,600 stores in 13 states under select banners, including its primary operating banner Kangaroo Express. The Pantry is one of the nation's largest convenience store chains in the country.

Kangaroo Express stores offer hot and cold beverages, snacks, fresh foods, gasoline and a wide assortment of merchandise and services for guests' on-the-go lifestyles. The network of stores houses more than 220 foodservice restaurants, including Subway and Dairy Queen. Kangaroo Express employees provide customers with fast, friendly and clean shopping experiences, embracing communities with campaigns such as "Salute Our Troops," raising millions of dollars for the USO, Wounded Warrior Project and other military support organizations.

Angel Abcede, CSP/Winsight By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP
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