Yesway is going big with its second Allsup’s Market concept store. Located in Vaughn, N.M., the store takes the place of an older location and brings with it 5,500 sq. ft. of interior merchandising and 20 fueling positions, more than doubling the capacity of the former store, which was 2,400 sq. ft. and had six fueling positions.
Beyond simply offering capacity, the new store also will bring shoppers an expanded selection of grocery and perishable items, according to Yesway chairman and CEO Tom Trkla. He said that the store’s selection now includes fresh meat and produce, milk, frozen foods, baby items and more, joining the c-store chain’s standard offerings.
"These new product selections are a much-desired addition to our already terrific assortment of Allsup's favorite snacks, sodas, private label products, and hot foods, including, of course, our world-famous Allsup's burrito,” Trkla said. “ We are pleased to be able to give our loyal customers more of what they love about Allsup's. In honor of the grand opening and in furtherance of our continued mission to support the communities we serve, we are pleased to have made a $2,500 donation to the Vaughn Municipal School System.”
In addition to its donation to the local schools, Allsup’s is holding a grand opening celebration that includes grocery giveaways, free Pepsi drinks and Frito-Lay chips. Among the prizes that shoppers can win are a 55-in. Sony TV, a Samsung sound bar, a grill, a iPad, a Sony PS4 Pro, a Go Pro Hero$ camera and a year’s supply of Allsup’s milk.
As it eyes the future, Yesway is ready to invest in real estate projects, and the Vaughn store marks the first launch of this strategy. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company recently raised $235 million in equity capital, $135 million of which is set to be invested in targeted real estate capital projects. The effort is a result of executives examining areas where larger stores with more pumps would be beneficial.
“Over the past nine months, Mark Allsup, Greg Gardner, and I looked at every Yesway and Allsup's store in our portfolio and identified older and smaller format stores in existing markets that we believed could benefit from larger format stores with an expanded fuel and diesel presence," said Tom Brown, Yesway's director of real estate. He said that in the net 18 months, Yesway will be razing and rebuilding 27 locations in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, with construction starting soon at Texas locations in Wall, Bangs, Tuscola, Decatur and Slaton.
“Our raze and rebuild program provides us with a unique opportunity to build these new prototype stores on the sites of existing Allsup's stores because we typically own land adjacent to the stores,” Brown said. “This allows us to keep the existing store open while we commence construction of the new store, with little or no impact on inside sales and fuel volumes.”
Yesway also is remodeling roughly 100 Yesway and Allsup’s banner stores in Texas and New Mexico, with improvements that include exterior store front upgrades, parking lot improvements and new signage, as well as LED lighting and upgraded store interiors, equipment and facilities. The remodeled stores also will see an expanded selection of merchandise and, in Texas and New Mexico, the ability to sell Allsup’s burrito and hot food platform, plus private label bread, milk and eggs.
All of these efforts are being accompanied by land acquisition, design and planning in markets in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Yesway said it is expecting for much of its top-line growth to be fueled by expansion in its existing portfolio, though it also is actively looking at 200-store portfolios in its existing markets.