KANSAS CITY, Kan. - QuikTrip Corp. has a plan that would transform its new stores into strong competitors to Starbucks and other coffee houses, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The company has plans for at least three such "Generation 3" stores in the Kansas City area by the end of next year.
At around 20 percent bigger than other locations, the new stores will have seating outdoors and a full beverage counter. "Typically, everything is self-service at QuikTrip," said Mike Thornbrugh, spokesman for the convenience store chain. "Now weï¿½ï¿½re getting into the specialty business with hot and cold drinks where we make them for customers. Is it competition with the Starbucks of the world? Sure. Theyï¿½ï¿½re very good at what they do."
Having a bigger footprint will give the stores more room to boost its foodservice department, including adding a full-time worker for beverage and ice cream service. "You need more people to work at the stores because thereï¿½ï¿½s so much more to do," said Thornbrugh. "Weï¿½ï¿½re not abandoning what we do now, but weï¿½ï¿½re moving into fresh food and specialty drinks."
With gasoline and cigarette sales declining at most convenience stores, QuikTripï¿½ï¿½s plan to focus more on food as a revenue driver is being seen in other convenience stores as well.
"They do face some challenges in how tomorrow might look with yesterdayï¿½ï¿½s business model," said Jeff Lenard, NACS spokesman. "Itï¿½ï¿½s in some respects changing the model from a gas station that happens to sell food to a food destination or restaurant that happens to sell gas."