What's In Store: Arko Corp., Pilot Co., Spinx, Thorntons & TravelCenters of America
Dec 13, 2021
A&W Restaurants, CEFCO, Refuel Market and Tri Star Energy also grow their store networks. Senior News Editor
NATIONAL REPORT — The convenience store industry landscape is constantly changing as chains open and close stores each week. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these comings and goings in this special roundup. A&W Restaurants
A&W Restaurants added another location to its growing convenience store footprint with the recent opening of a unit in Hot Springs, Ark. Located in a small strip center that includes a gas station, the restaurant features a drive-thru and 45 seats. Franchisee Mohammad Lone converted an independent restaurant to an A&W. There are nearly 100 A&Ws located in convenience stores and gas stations and travel centers. As of late October, the chain has commitments for 22 new restaurants, with at least nine expected to be at c-store/gas station locations. Arko Corp.
Arko Corp., the parent company of GPM Investments Inc., completed the raze and rebuild of a 5,660-square-foot Scotchman truck stop in Rock Hill, S.C. It is the company's third completed remodel this year. "Our remodel initiative is focused on driving growth while delivering an enhanced customer experience," said Arie Kotler, chairman, president and CEO of Arko. "We are focused on remodeling our stores to have a similar look and feel, all while maintaining the brands local communities know and love. This was the first chance we've had to apply our new interior look and customer experience to a raze and rebuild within the familiar Scotchman name customers trust." The new Scotchman site features a new interior and exterior design; an entrance for professional drivers, and seven diesel pumps. Other key enhancements include:
A focus on the fas branding to include fas DRINKS, fas EATS and fas REWARDS;
Branding of the newly relaunched fas REWARDS loyalty program on the interior; and
A new "What's up Rock Hill Community" wall. On the food side, the Scotchman truck stop also offers a newly incorporated store deli; expanded hot, cold and frozen beverage assortment; three bean-to-cup coffee machines; expanded grab 'n' go area for prepared food; two expanded freezers for frozen food; breakfast offerings that include a warm grab 'n' go at the checkout for breakfast sandwiches and a self-serve individually wrapped donut assortment next to the coffee; a Frazil frozen non-carbonated drink machine; deli digital menu boards; expanded fountain assortment featuring 19 flavors and chewy ice; and expanded Roller Grills and new offerings. CEFCO Convenience Stores
CEFCO celebrated the grand opening of two stores in Texas. The new Robinson store features a large selection of fresh food offerings, including CEFCO Kitchen tacos as well as hand-breaded fried chicken, kolaches, pizza and breakfast sandwiches. Situated on nearly 3.5 acres, the 4,232-square-foot store is open 24 hours and features 33 parking spaces, eight multi-petroleum dispensers (MPDs), which include ethanol free fuel as well as diesel, and three large truck fueling lanes. The new Lampasas store also features a CEFCO Kitchen. Boasting 6,054 square feet on more than 3.5 acres, the 24-hour location has 47 parking spaces, eight MPDs, which include ethanol free fuel as well as diesel, and three large truck fueling lanes. Pilot Travel Center in Faucett, Mo. Pilot Co. Pilot Co. opened a newly built Pilot Travel Center in Faucett, Mo. Located at the site of the former Ferris Truck Stop on I-29, it brings to the area a fully modernized facility that includes a Taco Bell, truck parking, spacious restrooms and showers, and a wide selection of road-ready food, beverages and gear. The new Pilot Travel Center is expected to contribute an estimated $2.78 million in state and local tax revenue and will add approximately 50 jobs to the local community. At more than 12,800 square feet, the Pilot Travel Center features 10 gasoline fueling positions and eight diesel lanes with high-speed pumps for quicker refueling; a Taco Bell with drive-thru; grab-and-go food offerings; bean-to-cup coffee selections and cold brew; 55 truck parking spots; seven showers; a driver's lounge; a CAT scale; and a public laundry. In October, Pilot Co. also began ringing up customers at a new Flying J Travel Center in Tumwater, Wash. Located off I-5, the travel center provides more than 70 truck parking spaces and brings about 50 jobs to the community. It is a joint venture with the Chehalis Tribe. At more than 12,000 square feet, the site features 16 gasoline fueling positions and eight diesel lanes with high-speed pumps; a Taco Bell with a drive-thru; grab-and-go food offerings; bean-to-cup coffee selections and cold brew; seven showers; a CAT scale; and a public laundry. Refuel Market in Charleston, S.C.
Refuel Market welcomed customers at a new convenience store in the Point Hope community of Charleston, S.C., in mid-November. The fresh-food menu at the newly constructed store features:
Refuel's proprietary Hot N' Crispy Chicken recipe, freshly prepared on-site along with other offerings, including Boiled Peanuts, the company's handmade take on a classic delicacy of the South Carolina Lowcountry; and
A variety of beverages, from the retailer's Bean-to-Cup coffee to a selection of bottled wines and a beer cave offering a range of cold domestic and imported brands. Refuel Market in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The store also features an outdoor seating area and self-checkout stations, and boasts multiple fueling stations dispensing Exxon brand gasoline and a car wash.
Refuel Market also expanded further in the Myrtle Beach, S.C., region with a new store on Highway 544. Like the new Charleston store, the location's fresh-food menu features the operator's proprietary Hot N' Crispy Chicken recipe and Refuel's Bean-to-Cup coffee, a selection of bottled wines and a beer cave. The store features multiple fueling stations dispensing Shell brand gasoline and an outdoor seating area. The Spinx Co.
Spinx celebrated the grand re-opening of a c-store in Orangeburg, S.C., on Dec. 2. Located at 3615 St. Matthews Road, the store now features a full-service kitchen and diesel truck lanes. Spinx in Orangeburg, S.C. In addition, the location offers a Tesla Supercharger station with eight Supercharger stalls. "We are so happy to celebrate the re-opening of this popular Spinx location. With Tesla expanding its global network among popular routes and destinations, we look forward to providing drivers with the Tesla Superchargers at this new store," said founder Stewart Spinks. Thorntons
Thorntons opened a new Chicagoland store and its first location in the McHenry, Ill., community in early November. The store is the company's third new Chicagoland location to open in 2021. The new "pump and go" location offers a variety of features, including self-checkout; LED lighting; freshly made burritos and sandwiches prepared throughout the day in the store's onsite kitchen; a variety of beverages, including fresh bean-to-cup coffee and ice-cold fountain beverages with nugget ice; and a rear diesel island, limited overnight truck parking; and the new Pro Driver rewards program for professional drivers. TravelCenters of America Inc.
TravelCenters of America broke ground on a new TA Express in Statesboro, Ga. The site will be located at Interstate 16 and Highway 301 inside Southern Gateway Commerce Park. TA Express Statesboro will feature TA's recently unveiled new travel center design concepts including improved signage, new store flow, modern restrooms and showers, and lighting fixtures, flooring and paint that create a welcoming atmosphere. The site will include:
Truck and car parking;
Showers, laundry facilities and other amenities for both professional drivers and motorists. The site is expected to open in late 2022. Tri Star Energy
Tri Star Energy celebrated the grand opening of a Twice Daily convenience store and White Bison Coffee in Huntsville, Ala., on Nov. 30. This is Twice Daily and White Bison Coffee's first location in Huntsville and fourth location in the North Alabama market. In addition to traditional convenience items, Twice Daily's premium offerings range from grab-and-go snacks, including organic brands, to a selection of staple groceries. A fresh deli case provides handmade and healthy options featuring fruits, sandwiches, salads and snacks. Additional fare includes doughnuts and pastries, freshly prepared breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and an extensive beer cave featuring local and craft beers. The White Bison Coffee concept offers expertly roasted, handcrafted specialty coffee drinks, freshly baked pastries, and handmade breakfast and lunch items, including sandwiches, salads and Bistro snack boxes. Additionally, the new location includes a White Bison Coffee drive-thru window.