CHICAGO — This edition of New Convenience-Store Roundup features new-to-industry c-store openings and closings that took place in October 2020.
While c-stores, as officially designated essential businesses, have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, the uncertainly surrounding the global health crisis led to a pause on store expansion earlier this year. But the pace of new-store openings as captured by CSP's ongoing count continues to recover from the economic slowdown.
The unscientifically gathered roundup—gleaned from company announcements, websites, email, social media and newspapers around the country, among other sources—is by no means complete, but it serves as a monthly competitive snapshot of newly opened or closed U.S. c-stores, gas stations, truckstops and travel centers.
- Click here for new c-store roundups from previous months, along with other grand opening and new-store coverage. And click here for coverage of convenience industry mergers-and-acquisitions activity.
Many of the stores listed here are owned by independent operators, while others belong to major chains. Some are part of CSP’s Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by size. Some of the owners and operators are new entrepreneurs, and some are industry veterans.
Unless otherwise mentioned, the new locations offer the food, snacks, beverages, tobacco, merchandise, services and amenities found in most c-stores. Most offer fuel.
Click through for a state-by-state breakdown …
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores opened a new location in Cordes Junction, Ariz., off Interstate 17, on Oct. 15. The more than 12,000-square-foot store features Arby’s and Godfather’s Pizza restaurants and the Fresh Kitchen foodservice concept; eight showers; laundry facilities; and a Mobile to Go Zone for electronics. It has eight diesel bays; 57 truck, 85 car and three RV parking spaces; Love’s Truck Care with on-site Speedco; CAT scale; and a dog park.
Net new stores*: 1
*Represents stores opened minus stores closed in this state for the month of this count only. Other c-stores not captured by this count may have opened or closed in the state.
Elliott Oil opened the Eddyville Travel Plaza BP in Eddyville, Iowa, on Oct 1. It has eight gasoline lanes and five diesel lanes and offers unleaded regular, E15, premium, E85, diesel and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). It also has truck parking. The 7,000-square-foot location features Godfather’s Pizza, Chester’s Chicken and a full kitchen with a made-to-go fresh food offering and the Better Perk bean-to-cup coffee program. It has a beer Cave, liquor, wine, indoor seating, covered outdoor seating patio, WiFi, hands-free bathrooms and more.
Net new stores: 2
Kim and Austen Rife purchased the former Carr's Convenience in Verndale, Minn., and reopened the business on Oct. 23. After closing on the property earlier in the month, they had the tanks cleaned, inspected and pay at the pump operating by Oct. 12. They are branding the location, which closed in January 2019, as Rife’s. The station, which switched from Shell to Marathon, offers 87- and 91-octane gasoline and diesel. Hot Stuff pizza, sandwiches and snacks will open soon. Local dairy Ten Finn's Dairy sells its milk at this location as well. They are also planning to offer tobacco products and hunting and fishing licensing.
Net new stores: 1
Stewart’s Shops closed a c-store in Burnt Hills, N.Y., on Oct. 25. The shop does not have the ability to accommodate the equipment or space needs to expand food-to-go offerings or gasoline and cannot expand. “The inability to expand coupled with rising costs have made the closures necessary,” the company said.
Net new stores: -1
Tri Star Energy opened a Twice Daily c-store and White Bison Coffee shop in La Vergne, Tenn., on Oct. 7. As part of a new design, the Twice Daily portion of the location includes expanded foodservice and enhanced technology. White Bison Coffee features new menu items, including breakfast sandwiches such as Sausage, Egg & Cheddar Ciabatta, Ham, Egg & Swiss Avocado Pretzel and Avocado Bagel. The location also includes a White Bison Coffee drive-thru.
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores opened a new location in Mount Juliet, Tenn., off Interstate 840, on Oct. 22. The more than 17,000-square-foot store features Petro’s Chili and Chips, Godfather’s Pizza and Hardee’s restaurants and the Fresh Kitchen foodservice concept; nine showers; laundry facilities; and a Mobile to Go Zone for electronics. It has nine diesel bays; 94 truck, 71 car and two RV parking spaces; Love’s Truck Care with on-site Speedco; CAT scale; and a dog park.
Net new stores: 2
Eskimo Hut opened a new c-store in Houston on Oct. 2.
Garrison’s Food Mart opened a new c-store in Groom, Texas, on Oct. 19. It offers Cooper’s chicken and Wingman pizza. It offers Conoco fuel and has truck parking.
The University of Houston and its dining services partner Chartwells Higher Education have partnered with Standard Cognition to open the Market Next touchless, cashierless, checkout-free campus c-store on Oct. 28. Operating 24 hours a day, the store sells an assortment of snacks, coffee, beverages, microwavable items, sandwiches and more; students can walk in, take what they like and walk out without having to scan anything or wait in line to pay.
Net new stores: 3
NEW STORES OPENED IN OCTOBER 2020: 21
STORES CLOSED IN OCTOBER 2020: 2
TOTAL NET NEW STORES FOR 2020: 214
To be sure your locations are listed in upcoming roundups, please send new-store announcements and other news to Greg Lindenbergat firstname.lastname@example.org.