WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) - Convenience stores seem to be getting more convenient, as they are popping up in new locations and expanding older locations to meet market demand. One of them is Kwik Trip, which has an aggressive construction schedule set for 2013.
Hans Zeitlow says there are about 20 new store projects planned, and some of them are in central Wisconsin.
He says the new 6000 square foot Wausau west side location on Stewart Avenue is one of the first to get going this spring. “The project on Stewart Avenue, we are going to start construction as early as March and open in July. The dates are somewhat tentative.” adding, “That will be an exciting store for us because we really don’t have a presence on the west side of Wausau, and we’ve been watching that piece of property for many, many years.” A double bay car wash is part of this project.
Zeitlow says the recently announced replacement of Wausau’s Grand Avenue store at the corner of Grand and Kent should be done before Christmas. He also confirms the company completed the purchase of land in Rhinelander and for a third Stevens Point location at Highways 10 and I-39 but cannot identify the construction timeline yet.
Kwik Trip has it’s own food and dairy suppliers, but they also have their own engineering department that designs the new stores and the additions to existing locations. Zeitlow says they’re really good at putting together the plans and contractors to assemble a quality building very quickly.
Compressed natural gas is definitely on the way to several Kwik Trip stores soon. The exact locations haven’t been announced, but they are planning for 25 to 30 of them initially. “Getting the infrastructure in place is what we’re going to do, and once the infrastructure is in place, it will enable people to convert their trucking fleets or even their passenger vehicles to compressed natural gas. It’s a fuel of the future.” Right now, compressed natural gas has limited availability, with CNG stations in Rib Mountain and Stratford.
Zeitlow says convenience stores have changed over the years, and the changes have been good for the consumers.