Love’s To Invest $1 Billion in Upgrades but Mum on if Plans Include Electric Vehicle Chargers

admin  /   June 2023

Love’s Travel Stops To Renovate 200 Locations Over Next Five Years With New Kitchens, Dog Parks

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, one of the largest truck stop chains in the United States, is set to spend about $1 billion over the next five years to upgrade 200 locations with new kitchens, truck repair centers and dog parks.

Unlike many recent announcements by truck stops, gas stations and convenience stores, however, privately held Love’s has not said whether any of its store upgrades will include the addition of electric vehicle charging stations. A company spokesman declined to comment on the company’s plans for electric vehicles.

Love’s, which operates 610 locations in 42 states, plans to invest an average of between $2 million and $7 million per upgraded location, according to a company statement.

Investor interest in the fuel retailing sector has surged with recent deals including Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of Pilot Travel Centers and BP’s purchase agreement for TravelCenters of America. This week, Love’s closed on its acquisition of EZ Go, which operates 22 convenience stores in Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Other regional convenience store chains are also aggressively opening new stores and expanding into new states, including Buc-ee’s, Royal Farms and Wawa.

Love’s is expanding, too, in addition to its $1 billion renovation project. The Oklahoma City-based company expects to open 25 new locations this year. It recently opened new stores in Jacksonville, Florida, and New Boston, Texas.

Love’s did not provide locations for the 200 stores scheduled for upgrades. The company recently completed the renovation of stores in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and Gary, Indiana, and said it will soon begin upgrading stores in El Paso, Texas, and Columbia, Tennessee.

“Being strategic with how we update existing locations, and keeping them open during the process, strengthens Love’s commitment to getting customers back on the road quickly,” Randy Swain, Love’s director of construction and remodels, said in a news release.

Amid the deal making and expansions, many convenience store chains have unveiled plans to serve motorists who drive electric vehicles. Fuel retailers don’t want to lose ancillary sales of snacks and soft drinks when motorists switch from gas-powered vehicles to electric.

Pilot last year partnered with General Motors to launch the installation of 2,000 EV chargers nationwide. And 7-Eleven last month unveiled its plan to build what it said will be one of the largest networks of fast electric-vehicle chargers.

Some of Love’s U.S. locations already have electric vehicle chargers installed, according to PlugShare. Those locations include 2700 S. Blackstone St. in Tulare, California, and 1100 S. Main St. in Kimball, South Dakota.

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