LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Kwik Trip Inc. will spend between $30 million and $40 million to convert the 34 company-operated convenience stores in southeastern Wisconsin that it has acquired from PDQ Food Stores Inc. to the Kwik Trip brand, Kwik Trip spokesperson John McHugh told CSP Daily News.
Kwik Trip has grown steadily in the last three decades, but it has stepped up its expansion in recent years, according to a report by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. With the acquisition of employee-owned PDQ, based in Middleton, Wis., Kwik Trip will have added more than 200 stores since 2013.
This acquisition allows Kwik Trip to expand its presence in a market that is important to its overall retail growth strategy, the company said. The companies did not disclose the purchase price.
Kwik Trip plans to operate the acquired PDQ stores under the existing PDQ banner until it completes planned remodels and reimaging by mid-2018.
Here are more details …
The purchase will give Kwik Trip nine more stores in southeastern Wisconsin and 23 in the Madison area, along with single stores in Menasha and North Fond du Lac, Wis. The southeastern Wisconsin units include stores in Oak Creek, Cedarburg, Sussex, Delafield and Waukesha.
PDQ has one store in California, in Tahoma. Kwik Trip has purchased only the PDQ stores in Wisconsin, McHugh said.
With the acquisition of the PDQ locations, a deal announced on July 19, Kwik Trip will have more than 600 stores.
Founded in 1965 in Eau Claire, Wis., Kwik Trip is one of the largest independently held c-store chains in the United States. Now based in La Crosse, Wis., it owns and operates more than 570 stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and in Iowa as Kwik Star.
In 2015 Kwik Trip celebrated its 50th year of operation. “Our family is committed to owning and growing the company for another 50 years,” said Mark Zietlow, real-estate manager and third-generation owner. “The PDQ store locations are an excellent fit in our growth strategy for Wisconsin.”
“Kwik Trip and our family are committed to providing good-paying jobs for all of our current and future co-workers. With the acquisition of PDQ and future remodel of the PDQ locations, we anticipate adding more than 1,000 jobs,” he said.
The companies said the transaction is scheduled to be completed in early October and is subject to PDQ employee approval and other customary closing conditions.
‘Pretty Darn Quick’
Sam Jacobsen opened his first store under the Tri Dairy name in 1948. In 1962, he built his second store, which would be the first to fly the PDQ banner. His late first wife, Mary, came up with the name "Pretty Darn Quick," a phrase abbreviated as PDQ.
The chain eventually grew to more than 200 stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, California, Nevada and Florida. Jacobsen sold the business to his sons in 1991.
In 2009, PDQ became 100% employee owned. Jeff Jacobsen sold PDQ to the employees after 60 years of the chain being in the Jacobsen family. PDQ employees continue to own and operate 36 stores. The stores are located in the Madison, Wis.; Milwaukee; and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., areas, as well as one store in northern California.
All of the PDQ locations except the one in California offer fuel under a private label. The average c-store size is 2,500 to 4,000 square feet.