QuickTrip Reconsiders Car Wash Biz

Oklahoma-based convenience store chain QuickTrip is growing its convenience stores’ footprints, though the company is also ending its brief venture into the car wash business, The Wichita Eagle reported.

QuickTrip is planning to replace its current 3,600-square-foot store footprint with a store about 1,000 feet larger and bigger parking lots, company spokesman Mike Thornbrugh told the newspaper.

Work already has begun on at least one new store, while other expansions will come "over time," Thornbrugh told the newspaper.

"Our new stores average between 4,600 and 5,000 square feet now," Thornbrugh said, "with the 5,000-square-foot stores in the Dallas and Phoenix areas, more the metro areas, because they have more gas pumps."

The company said it wants bigger stores to handle its growing line of QT Kitchens fast food and to improve traffic flow. Some of the projects will include “scrape and rebuild” models.

The chain’s brief venture into car washes, though, is coming to an end.

“The car washes have been pretty successful," Thornbrugh told The Wichita Eagle, "but in evaluating them we’ve determined the business just doesn’t have the return on investment that a convenience store would. So, we’re going back to concentrating on what we do best –convenience stores. We’ll continue to operate the car washes for now, but I’m not sure about the future."

QT would consider selling the car washes. "We’re going to continue to change, retool and expand," Thornbrugh said.

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