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12/02/2020

Yesway opens first store in its accelerated real estate and remodel push

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Marianne Wilson profile picture

Yesway is ramping up expansion.

The fast-growing convenience store opened an Allsup's Market concept store in Vaughn, N.M., the first new store opening since Yesway acquired the Allsup's convenience store chain last November. The store has nearly 5,500 sq. ft. of interior merchandising space and 20 fueling positions, including four new dedicated diesel lanes. It replaces an older 2,400-sq.-ft. Allsup's. 

Last month, Yesway announced that it had raised an additional $235 million of equity capital, $135 million of which was to be invested in targeted real estate capital projects.  The Vaughn Allsup's Market store represents the initial launch of Yesway's accelerated real estate investment campaign.

"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.  

During the next 18 months, Yesway will complete the raze and rebuilds in 27 locations, resulting in new 5,500-sq.-ft. prototype stores in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, all of which will have expanded fuel and diesel platforms.

“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,” said Brown. “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."

Construction on the next five raze and rebuild stores will begin shortly in the Texas towns of Wall, Bangs, Tuscola, Decatur, and Slaton. 

In addition to the raze and rebuild program, Yesway has commenced the major remodeling of approximately 100 additional Yesway and Allsup's stores in Texas and New Mexico. The improvements include exterior upgrades to storefronts, parking lots, and signage, the addition of LED lighting under the canopy and inside the stores, and upgrades to store interiors, fountain and beverage areas, and restrooms.

Yesway is also looking to add to its growing portfolio by building brand new stores in selected communities in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. The company has commenced land acquisition, design, and planning of six stores in markets in which it currently has a presence and in new markets that the company believes would benefit from having a new Allsup's store.

While much of Yesway’s top-line growth will be fueled by expansion within the existing portfolio in the coming months, the company is still actively looking at portfolios representing roughly 200 stores in its current geographic footprint.