February 19, 2022
Big on Fresh, Low on Price
Kwik Trip is a chain of 791 convenience stores founded
in 1965, with locations throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota
under the name Kwik Trip, and in Iowa and Illinois under
the name Kwik Star.
In 1995, the Hansen and Zietlow families founded Kwik Trip in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Over the next several years they added new locations surrounding Eau Claire.
The first La Crosse, Wisconsin location opened in 1971. By 1973, they were ready to build a distribution center and move the headquarters to La Crosse.
Business boomed, and by the late 1970s and early 1980s, Kwik Trip had expanded the corporate offices three times and the distribution center twice. In 1986, Kwik Trip hit the 100 stores mark.
In 1993, they opened the first of their Kwik Star locations in Iowa, and in 1997, Kwik Trip opened its first retail car wash.
January 1, 1999, saw the opening of Kwik Trip’s own transportation subsidiary, Convenience Transportation, LLC, as they merged the petroleum, grocery, fresh delivery, and fleet maintenance departments.
In 2000, the Zietlow family became the sole owner of Kwik Trip, Inc.
In the early 2000s, Kwik Trip expanded its grab-and-go food offerings with the inclusion of Glazers Donuts, the Hot Spot hot food program, salads, produce, and sandwiches.
By 2016, the chain had over 500 stores, all privately owned.
In 2017, they purchased the chain PDQ, and the Stop–N–Go chain in 2020.
The first Kwik Star location opened in Rochelle, Illinois.
In November 2021, plans were announced for another Kwik Star location, the first one in Brandon, South Dakota.
Kwik Trip has its own bakery which provides sliced and wrapped bread, doughnuts, and muffins to its stores. They also have their own line of snacks under the brand name, Urge.
Kwik Trip maintains branding partnerships with the Minnesota Twins, Vikings, and Wild, along with the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Milwaukee Bucks.
Kwik Trip stores offer basic fruits, bread, canned food, frozen food, sliced cheeses, and ice cream, as well as bottled drinks and hot dogs. The chain has sold bananas, baking potatoes, and yellow onions for 39 cents per pound as a loss leader. They also all have heated and ready-to-eat food, and will cook food to order off a small menu.
In 2019, the chain began working in partnership with EatStreet to offer home delivery of hot food in select markets.
Full-service truck stops, with dual-pump fuel islands, are located off major highway exits. Many of the truck stops have overnight parking, showers, and full-service Denny’s restaurants, and some also have automatic car washes.
Today, there are 791 Kwik Trip locations.
Communications and Marketing
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