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What’s In Store: Stripes, Turkey Hill & Wawa

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.

Here are the latest company spotlights:

Cumberland Farms Inc.

Cumberland Farms, based in Framingham, Mass., held grand-opening ceremonies for new convenience stores in Gardiner and Winthrop, Maine, at the end of March. The chain celebrated by kicking off four-week fundraisers for local projects, according to media reports.

The remodeled Cumberland Farms store on Bridge Street in Gardiner donated 10 cents from every hot coffee purchase to the local gazebo fundraising effort. The same fundraiser was done at the Winthrop store with donations going to the Winthrop Food Pantry.

Stripes Convenience Stores

Stripes, the retail division of Corpus Christi, Texas-based Susser Holdings Corp., purchased the Chicks convenience store in Bryan-College Station, Texas. The new owner reopened it after closing for a day to take inventory, The Eagle newspaper reported.

Rebranding should be completed within two months. Stripes spokesperson Chip Bonner said the company was working for months to finalize this purchase, and does not intend to make any major changes to the Exxon-branded store besides possibly adding a taco restaurant similar to the Laredo Taco Co. program at its other Stripes locations.

Turkey Hill Minit Markets

Turkey Hill Minit Markets reopened the doors to its location on 1199 Prospect Road in Columbia, Pa., with a new 4,500-square-foot format, updated décor and expanded product offering.

The chain, with more than 270 stores in Pennsylvania, the Columbus, Ohio, area and Indiana, celebrated with a grand reopening event in mid-March that included in-store festivities, product giveaways and prizes, including a drawing for a $500 gift card.

The renovation, which involved comprehensive interior and exterior remodeling and new construction to expand the original structure, brings Turkey Hill's most updated features to the neighborhood, including a wider selection of fresh grocery items and enhanced foodservice offerings.

The store features fresh-to-go pizza available in whole, 14-inch pies or by the slice, with a choice of toppings such as cheese, pepperoni and specialty options, and a daily feature pizza. Also available is Turkey Hill's signature Real Time Café menu of more than 100 fresh, grab-and-go meal and snack options, including hot breakfast sandwiches, cheeseburgers, subs, deli sandwiches, hot dogs, smoked sausages and more.

Open 24 hours a day, the Prospect Road store employs 25 associates and serves fuel customers with 12 filling stations plus the added convenience of four positions for diesel.

Walgreen Co.

Drugstore chain Walgreen Co., a competitor to convenience stores, plans to close 76 unprofitable Walgreens stores by August as part of a plan to save $40 million to $50 million per year beginning in its 2015 fiscal year, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.

The Deerfield, Ill.-based drugstore chain did not specify the locations slated to close, but did say they are “spread across the country.” Most of the stores have had other Walgreens locations open in the same area or have seen their real estate value decline since opening.

Walgreen CEO Greg Wasson said the move affects less than 1 percent of its locations nationwide and is part of an effort to “optimize our footprint and ensure our stores remain at the best corners of America.”

Wawa Inc.

Wawa will open a new convenience store at Mercury Boulevard and Aberdeen Road in Hampton, Va., on June 27, the Daily Press reported. The chain currently operates more than 645 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Central Florida.

“Our real estate team has been interested in this area for years,” Wawa spokeswoman Colleen Labik said in an email to the Daily Press. “We believe this location is a great way for us to enhance our presence in the market and make us very convenient for the population surrounding the store as well as being off of a major interstate.”

The 4,300-square-foot store is just one of several new sites Wawa has planned for the Hampton Roads area. Another store is set to open in the fourth quarter of this year in Newport News, at Jefferson Avenue and Hogan Drive near a proposed Tech Center.

Wawa has 68 stores in Virginia, and in addition to a third Newport News store, the company plans to open a store in 2015 at Kempsville and Greentree roads in Chesapeake, and is looking at two or three more sites in Hampton Roads, Labik told the news outlet.

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