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Locally-based Speedway plans $500M for growth, remodels, acquisitions

Speedway projects it will spend $500 million on acquisitions, remodels and expansions as the Enon-based retailer stretches its footprint across the U.S.

Parent company Marathon, based in Findlay, stated in its latest SEC filing that this year it forecasts spending $500 million on converting the stores it just bought as well as growth in existing and new markets, dealer sites and commercial fueling and diesel expansion.

This follows the company more than doubling its retail footprint in the last year. The growth can be seen locally, with Speedway, which is the largest local company by revenue, also working on a $48 million expansion of its corporate headquarters.

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The retailer has pledged to add 300 new administrative and office support jobs as part of the project.

Speedway is already one of the area’s largest employers with about 1,200 located in Enon, Springfield, and Vandalia and more than 40,000 employees across the U.S.

Anthony Kenney, Speedway’s president and CEO, said in December that the chain is expanding west of the Mississippi River for the first time in its pursuit of becoming a national brand.

“I tell people we’re going to be from New Hampshire to California and Florida to Alaska,” Kenney said at the time. “We’ve got stores truly coast to coast.”

Speedway performed well last year, according to Marathon’s fourth-quarter results. When Marathon reported its fourth-quarter results on Feb. 7, it stated its retail operations income was $1.03 billion for full-year 2018, compared with $729 million for full-year 2017.

Since 2014, Speedway’s presence shot up from 1,500 stores to about 3,900 locations spread across the U.S.

Along with new stores, over the last three years some of the company’s major capital projects included remodeling and rebuilding existing locations in core markets and building out a network of commercial fueling lane locations to meet diesel demand.

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The documents also state that some of that $500 million will be spent on expanding food service through store remodels.

While the convenience store industry has long relied on fuel and cigarette sales to fuel its business, gas sales are flat or declining and cigarette sales have been cratering for years.

So the chain is now looking for ways to get customers into its stores to buy snacks and drinks. The company is installing Speedy Cafes in many of its stores to serve made-to-order sandwiches and other products, along with its more traditional pizzas, hot dogs and other meals.

As a now national brand, Speedway will have significantly more clout when it negotiates contracts with the companies that supply food, drinks and other products for its stores.

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