Steve Augustine has steered Sheetz’s real estate initiatives for nearly three decades and won’t slow down in 2020. The company, which operates 598 stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina, has 24 new sites, six rebuilds, 18 remodels and nine refreshes slated for 2020.
Each of the 24 new stores will span either 5,000 or 6,000 square feet, Augustine says. They will have six to eight multipump dispensers (MPDs) and 40 to 45 parking spaces; some locations will have electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
Each new site, as well as a complete rebuild, costs about $4.5 million to build, Augustine says. Major remodels—complete rebuilds give or take a few walls—cost roughly $3.5 million, and refreshes are about $500,000. These include updates to customer touch points, such as flooring, equipment, walls, ceilings and restrooms, Augustine says.
Sheetz doesn’t have a final number in sight for its total store count. Instead, the company is looking to add about 30 stores per year, or increase at 5%, for the next decade, Augustine says. Each site must sit on about 2 acres of land and be located about 5 to 10 miles outside of a metropolitan city. Most important, though, customer and employee safety lie at the heart of every real estate decision, he says.
“When we’re building a new store, we ask ourselves: Would you feel comfortable having your kid work here during a shift?” he says. “If we can’t truly answer that, we won’t build the store there.”