By Anna Mitchell
Posted with permission from Anderson Independent Mail.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
ANDERSON — This story has been changed from its original version.
The first of three QuikTrip stores under construction in Anderson has finished work and is set to open Thursday morning.
Mike Thornbrugh, the Tulsa, Okla.-based corporation’s spokesman, was in Anderson on Wednesday getting ready for the Clemson Boulevard store’s grand opening, which will take place between 6 and 7 a.m. Local elected officials are expected for the opening — the company’s second in South Carolina.
QuikTrip has operated for about 25 years in Atlanta.
Throughout the day Wednesday, curious motorists drove around barriers to see whether the QuikTrip on Clemson Boulevard was open. Signs posted late Tuesday already advertised fresh pastries for 19 cents apiece.
The store will be open 24 hours a day all year long.
“We aren’t open yet,” Thornbrugh said to a Clemson woman who said she was familiar with the chain from its Atlanta locations. “Thanks for giving us the opportunity.”
QuikTrip has about 600 stores in 10 states. The privately held company founded in 1958 owns all its stores rather than franchising them out.
The first South Carolina QuikTrip opened just off Interstate 85 in Boiling Springs last month. Offering gas for $2.81 a gallon in the first weeks after it opened, that store immediately drove down gas prices at the exit in Spartanburg County.
Thornbrugh said the Clemson Boulevard location, in front of the Anderson Station shopping center, would also offer “very competitive” prices for gas, though he said he would not tip off competitors by disclosing the price just yet.
“We like good old-fashioned competition,” he said. “The consumer loves it.”
Thornbrugh said pastries would be shipped in overnight from the company’s regional bakery about an hour away in Jefferson, Ga. QuikTrip makes all the sandwiches, biscuits and pastries it sells at a fully staffed counter inside the store.
Construction is still under way on QuikTrip stores on North Greenville Street and on Liberty Highway at Exit 21 of I-85. The latter store, Thornbrugh said, would be the corporation’s first “generation 3” travel center, meaning it will be larger, will accommodate truckers, and will have the brick façade and modern interior similar to the Clemson Boulevard location.
“We try to be consistent with everything we do,” Thornbrugh said.
As many as four other QuikTrip stores are also in various stages of development in Anderson County.
“Obviously, we think we can build more in Anderson,” Thornbrugh said.