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Kwik Trip convenience stores planned for Superior

Kwik Trip is coming to Superior. The La Crosse, Wis.-based convenience store chain has purchase agreements on two locations in Superior and is eyeing two more possible sites, said Kwik Trip's Chief Financial Officer Scott Teigen.

Kwik Trip is coming to Superior. The La Crosse, Wis.-based convenience store chain has purchase agreements on two locations in Superior and is eyeing two more possible sites, said Kwik Trip's Chief Financial Officer Scott Teigen.

"We'll probably add approximately 15 new stores in 2013," he said. "There'll be at least two of them in Superior."

The store that is farthest along in the planning process will be built on the corner of Tower Avenue and North 28th Street, where the long-closed Kentucky Fried Chicken and Godfather's Pizza stand.

"We have the city's blessing on the site plan," Teigen said, and are finalizing a few things, such as storm water approval from the

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. That Kwik Trip would be a little smaller than is typical for the chain, about 3,900 square feet, due to the small lot.

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A second store is planned for a portion of the green space where Central High School used to stand. That store on the corner of Grand Avenue and Belknap Street would be larger, about 5,200 square feet. A third location has not been nailed down yet, and there is a possibility of a fourth Superior site, Teigen said. Future plans include expanding into Duluth.

"We were looking at the Superior/Duluth market kind of as a whole," he said. "We had to start somewhere."

Currently, the closest Kwik Trip stores are in Spooner and Hayward.

The company will be good for the Twin Ports area, Teigen said. Each Kwik Trip employs one store leader, one assistant store leader and about 30 co-workers, half of those full-time employees. Each store would have an annual payroll, with benefits, of up to $800,000. While many convenience stores see turnover rates that top 100 percent annually, Teigen said, Kwik Trip has a turnover rate of only 25 percent.

"It's a phenomenal company," he said, that offers co-worker profit-sharing and is committed to building a company culture where people enjoy coming to work. It was named the top large workplace in Wisconsin by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for 2011 and 2012. Kwik Trip Inc. took the No. 1 spot for large workplaces with 500 employees or more. Earlier this month, the company was ranked 21 in a list of America's Top Workplaces by Workplace Dynamics.

Most convenience stores come into the business focused on the gas side of the market, Teigen said. Kwik Trip, which is owned by the Zietlow family, stresses groceries. The vertically integrated store controls costs and quality by producing and packaging its own items, from doughnuts and coffee to milk. Each store gets fresh items delivered daily. While the smaller store on Tower Avenue will have a little smaller dry goods section, Teigen said, "We won't skimp on coffee or fresh foods." In addition, the Tower Avenue site will not have a car wash.

The first Kwik Trip opened in 1965. Today, there are more than 435 Kwik Trip and Kwik Star stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa . The family-owned convenience store chain employs more than 10,800 people.

Related Topics: SUPERIOR
Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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