Susser Holdings Corp. plans to accelerate its new retail store building program in 2012, with an estimated 25-30 Stripes convenience stores expected to be built next year.
“Our plan to pick up the pace of new store building next year reflects the strong traction our Stripes brand has achieved in the markets where we compete and the strength of the Texas economy,” said Sam Susser, president and CEO. “By accelerating our organic expansion and continuing to invest in our land bank, we are building a strong base for long-term growth, and we believe we will be creating important value for our company today and for the future.
“The Texas economy continues to outperform the rest of the nation, and we feel very fortunate to be firmly established and positioned in a state and region that is clearly in expansion mode. During the past year we built an inventory of attractive real estate for new sites, and today we are in a position from a land bank standpoint to significantly increase our rate of new store growth,” Susser said.
Susser expects its annual rate of new builds to grow from 19-20 stores in 2011 to 25-30 new Stripes convenience stores in 2012. Each store will include the proprietary Laredo Taco Co. restaurant, which has been a major driver of same-store sales growth since the concept was initiated in 2001.
“The new stores we are building today are typically 4,900-6,800 square feet – twice as large as our legacy model – and they have typically delivered two to three times the cash flow of older stores built prior to 2000. Their strong financial performance is a key driver behind our new store construction program that actually began accelerating in late 2010. We expect our typical big-box store to mature in about three years, and our target is a 20% unlevered annual return on investment,” Susser said.
Since its initial public offering in late 2006, Susser Holdings has grown from 325 retail stores in South Texas and southern Oklahoma to a total of 539 today, including 59 new builds and 185 acquired stores.
In addition to its retail store expansion, Susser also expects to add 25-35 new contracted dealer sites to its wholesale business during 2012 to be supplied by its Susser Petroleum subsidiary.