CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Charleston, S.C., convenience-store market is heating up with the entry of two chains intent on aggressive, new build expansion.
In May, Savannah, Ga.-based Parker’s said it is investing $50 million in the Charleston market to open nine c-stores by the end of the year, according to a report by the The Post and Courier. And Refuel Operating Co. LLC, Mount Pleasant, S.C., said it plans to build 10 new stores in the area over the next 12 months, also with a $50 million investment, said the newspaper.
Here are more details …
In early May, Parker’s opened a new c-store in Pooler, Ga., its fifth in that market. The store is part of a larger strategy to expand the Parker’s footprint from the company’s headquarters in Savannah, Ga., to Charleston, S.C., the company announced.
Of the new stores in the Charleston market, three will be in Summerville (two opening in July and one opening in late November); two will be in Monck's Corner (one opened in late May and the other will open in late August); and one each will be in Goose Creek (early August), North Charleston (mid-November) and Charleston (mid-December), company spokesperson Allison Hersh told CSP Daily News.
- Parker’s is No. 120 in CSP's2019 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of company-owned retail outlets.
Parker hopes to have 35 to 40 locations in the Charleston region within four years and capture 30% of the c-store market, Hersh said.
The company is also looking at Georgetown, S.C., for further expansion up the coast and eventually wants to enter the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area with new stores, CEO Greg Parker told The Post and Courier.
The new Refuel c-stores in the Charleston, S.C., area will be in Nexton, Cainhoy Plantation, Mount Pleasant, Charleston, Summerville and Sumter, as well as along Interstate 95 in Orangeburg and Dillon counties and along the East Coast corridor, CEO Mark Jordan told the Post and Courier.
In June, Refuel acquired Bishopville Petroleum Co. Inc., Bishopville, S.C.—its third acquisition since it was founded in early 2019. The acquisition increases the total company-operated store count to 33 stores, all in South Carolina.
“In addition to Refuel’s acquisition strategy, we have a robust new build pipeline in the works,” Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Travis Smith told CSP Daily News. “Refuel has started construction on two stores since our purchase of the West Oil assets. One of the new builds is in Sumter and the other is located in the highly sought-after Nexton Development in Summerville. Refuel has eight additional new builds in the pipeline, most of which are in the Charleston market.”
The new stores will add between 150 and 200 new employees to the firm’s approximately 400 now, the newspaper said. Jordan believes the number of workers could expand to 1,200 by next year as the company’s store count could surpass 100 through acquisitions of mostly small chains in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.