QuikTrip hopes to build as many as two more Generation 3 stores in Wichita, and an official of the company says that’s the model QuikTrip will go with when building new stores.
Mike Thornbrugh, spokesman for the Tulsa-based company, said Friday that the company will build a store nearly identical to its Hillside and Orme store, which opened earlier this year, at the southeast corner of Kellogg and Broadway.
The larger store will also be the model when the company adds new stores, or replaces or relocates any of its other Wichita stores, he said.
“That’s where we’re headed,” Thornbrugh added.
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Thornbrugh said the company isn’t ready to commit to a groundbreaking date for the Kellogg and Broadway store.
“We have not finished all of the permitting yet so I am hesitant to give a date until that happens,” he said. When pressed, Thornbrugh could not confirm whether the groundbreaking would occur this year. But he said once permitting was approved, construction would happen quickly.
“I think the answer is we don’t like to wait around,” he said.
He added that at some point, it will add a third Generation 3 store, at the southeast corner of Broadway and Murdock, where it has an existing store, but there isn’t a timeframe for the project. In October The Eagle reported that QuikTrip purchased a house or two behind its existing store and was leveling that area.
The Kellogg and Broadway store will be located on property that includes a vacant building to the south and another building that has housed ARC, formerly Kansas Blue Print, which was in the process of relocating this week to 518 W. Douglas in the Delano district. A message was left with a receptionist Friday afternoon for ARC’s general manager but was not returned. Thornbrugh said the company has not decided what to do with the two buildings at the Kellogg and Broadway site.
QuikTrip has 39 stores in the Wichita area, and 637 stores in 11 states. Thornbrugh estimated that between 60 and 70 are Gen 3 stores, and another 38 under construction will be Gen 3.
At 5,700 square feet, Gen 3 stores are larger than the typical QuikTrip, which range from about 3,000 square feet to 4,600 square feet.
Thornbrugh said QuikTrip’s plans to eventually move completely to Generation 3 stores reflects the company’s expansion of its selection of fresh foods, which started with its QT Kitchens, a line of fresh sandwiches, pasta dishes, salads, desserts and pastries that it introduced locally in late 2007.
The Generation 3 stores in Kansas also will accommodate what Thornbrugh hopes will be – some day – an expanded selection of beer, wine and spirits. Kansas’ liquor laws limit what kinds of alcohol QuikTrip can sell. But, he said, “we really do believe ultimately that Kansas will change its adult beverage laws to accommodate (QuikTrip’s plans).”