Yesway’s expansion plans came a little sharper into focus with the opening of the second Allsup's Market concept store, marking the first new store opening since it acquired the convenience store chain last November.
Yesway has raised an additional $235 million of equity capital, earmarking $135 million of it for real estate capital projects, and the new Allsup’s Market store marks the launch of this campaign. Yesway plans to grow its portfolio to over 500 U.S. convenience stores over the next several years, up from its current 402.
At nearly 5,500 square feet of interior merchandising space and 20 fueling positions, the Vaughn, NM, store is an upgrade from the previous location that had just 2,400 square feet and six fuel positions.
Tom Brown, Yesway director of real estate, said the company has identified existing older and smaller-format Yesway and Allsup's stores over the last nine months that could benefit from having a larger format. As part of this, it’s rebuilding stores in 27 locations over the next 18 months, resulting in new 5,500-square-foot prototypes in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Construction on the next five will commence shortly in Texas.
The company is also remodeling approximately 100 additional Yesway and Allsup's stores in Texas and New Mexico, making upgrades to storefronts, parking lots, signage and store interiors. These improvements will result in an expanded selection of merchandise.
New stores are slated for Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and South Dakota, with planning for six locations already underway.
While it expects much of its top-line growth to be fueled (no pun intended) by expansion within its existing portfolio in the coming months, the company said it’s actively looking at portfolios representing roughly 200 stores in its current geographic footprint.
Blackie Wills, executive VP of convenience retailing at Yesway parent company The Wills Group, discussed how retailers are adapting to market trends fueling the future of c-store foodservice as part of a recent RIS webinar.