Get ready for more Sheetz.
The Pennsylvania-based convenience-store chain is planning further expansion in North Carolina, with plans to open about 10 new stores a year in this state.
“We picked North Carolina because it has one of the fastest growing populations in the country and the weather is mild most of the year," vice president Joe Sheetz told the Altoona Monitor. "You also get a lot of long-distance commuters."
The Altoona, Pa.-based company has 394 stores, with more than half in Pennsylvania. The chain has plans to hit the 500 mark in three years, with North Carolina and West Virginia the prime targets for expansion.
The chain opened its first North Carolina store in Walkertown in 2004. The company has more than 30 locations across the state, including stores in Raleigh, Durham, Morrisville, Zebulon and Fuquay-Varina.
Sheetz opened its first store in Altoona in 1952 About 75 percent of the company's $4.9 billion in revenue last year came from gas sales.
But revenue inside the stores has also increased at a nice clip, Sheetz said.
“We are not severely affected by the recession because the stuff we sell is not expensive and part of people's everyday lives," he said. "Rarely are people cutting out their daily paper, coffee and their sandwich at lunch. People trade down in the food market place, and they go to McDonald's or Sheetz. That helped us get through."
The Associated Press contributed.