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QuikTrip plans for Wichita include larger menus, larger stores

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, March 7, 2012, at 11:34 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at 6:27 a.m.

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More changes are coming for Wichita’s QuikTrip stores, as the Tulsa-based convenience store retailer expands its assault on the local fast-food and liquor markets.

The company’s first Generation 3 Wichita store, at 625 S. Hillside, is a success, company spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said – as are the dozen others that have opened in Oklahoma, the Carolinas, Texas and Kansas City. So expect duplicates of the Hillside store as QT expands and retools in Wichita.

“Going forward, where we can on new locations, we are going to do our Generation 3 store,” he said. “The model works, so where there’s a scrape and build or we’re going to relocate a store, in all probability we’ll do a Generation 3.”

There are no sites currently scheduled for the bigger 5,700-square-foot store, Thornbrugh said. But the company owns land at 37th and Ridge Road near K-96 that probably will be the site of a bigger store.

In addition, QuikTrip has built several new “scrape and build” stores in Wichita, building the new store on site while keeping the old facility open during construction. So upgrades are probable around Wichita, Thornbrugh said.

The Generation 3 store includes two front doors, a larger QT Kitchens area, room for more liquor, and a specialty hot- and cold-drink and ice cream area staffed by baristas.

QuikTrip’s target market for Generation 3 is the shopper who needs a quick meal in the car, or something quick to take home and cook. Its primary Wichita competitor, Kroger-owned Kwik Shop, offers a collection of food, along with a variety of Kroger-priced grocery items.

Today, QT stores offer a variety of hamburgers, hot dogs, meat sandwiches and salads, along with a group of “Grab and Go” foods that can be taken home and cooked, like pizzas, lasagna and pastas.

“As the years go by and we get better and better at the food business, the menu is going to expand drastically,” Thornbrugh said. “It’s something we’re taking a look at now.”

Scott Redler, chief operating officer of Freddy’s Frozen Custard, calls QuikTrip a powerhouse in the “sprinting food” market.

“I mean, look at them in the morning,” Redler said. “People are either doing their drive-through or they’re at QuikTrip. You’re in and out quickly with a good product at a good value. I have nothing but respect for them. It’s a great operation.”

QuikTrip will continue to push aggressively for a change in Kansas’ liquor laws that would allow it to sell more alcohol.

“It might not be this year, but it will eventually happen,” Thornbrugh said. “Eventually, you’re going to let the market decide where people buy their liquor.”

Reach Bill Wilson at 316-268-6290 or bwilson@wichitaeagle.com.

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