Business

Kwik Star building NE Cedar Rapids store

Wisconsin chain expanding presence in Corridor

A Kwik Star gas station and convenience store opened in 2017 at 251 33rd Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids. (The Gazette)
A Kwik Star gas station and convenience store opened in 2017 at 251 33rd Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids. (The Gazette)

A La Crosse, Wis., convenience store chain is building a store at Blairs Ferry Road and Rockwell Drive NE as it expands its presence in the Corridor.

Kwik Trip, corporate parent of Kwik Star, expects to open the store at 1001 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE during the week of Oct. 14, according to John McHugh, public relations director. The store will be just east of Collins Community Credit Union’s new headquarters at 1005 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE in the Northtowne Market development.

McHugh added that a new Kwik Star in Hiawatha adjacent to Peck’s Landing on Blairs Ferry Road NE at Edgewood Road NE is expected to open the week of Sept. 30.

Kwik Star stores typically employ 30 people, including 12 full time and 18 part time. A store’s annual payroll will be between $500,000 and $600,000.

Kwik Trip opened its first Kwik Star store in Cedar Rapids in 2015.

It has opened two others since, plus a venue in Marion.

McHugh said opening additional stores in a market works to Kwik Star’s advantage in two ways.

“We deliver a lot of our fresh products to the stores on a daily basis, so if we can services more than one or two stores in a market, that’s more cost effective for us,” he said. ”In terms of marketing, if we are renting a billboard for more than one or two stores, we get more bang for our buck.

“If we can fill our market, that’s really our goal.”

Kwik Trip, a family-owned company, opens about 15 stores per year in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The company re-branded its Iowa locations as Kwik Star stores to cut down on confusion with Quik-Trip, the Tulsa, Okla., convenience store chain that operates locations in central Iowa.

Kwik Star’s arrival in the Cedar Rapids market put it in competition with publicly owned Casey’s General Stores of Ankeny and privately owned Kum & Go of West Des Moines.

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