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Springfield QuikTrips to sell, buyer not confirmed

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Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip Corp. has expressed its eventual plans to pack up shop for its four Springfield locations.

"It's a market we've thoroughly enjoyed and have done very well in," said Mike Thornbrugh, manager of public and government affairs. "Unfortunately, with where we're headed now, it no longer fits our long-term plans."

The privately held company has established markets in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Phoenix areas, markets that allow for upwards of 100 locations, compared to smaller cites, Thornbrugh said.

He said the company has received offers from operators in the Springfield area, throughout Missouri and out-of-state, but Thornbrugh wouldn't provide details.

The company hasn't accepted an offer for the Springfield stores, Thornbrugh said.

Calls to Springfield-area convenience store owners saw no show of hands.

Curtis Jared, chief operations officer of Jared Enterprises, said a three-year noncompete contract was signed with Kum & Go after the company bought Cody's Convenience Stores from Jared in early 2009.

Rob Wilson, owner of Rapid Robert's Inc., said his company has not expressed plans to purchase the QuikTrip locations.

Kum & Go remained vague about the company's interest in the QuikTrip locations.

"For competitive reasons, we don’t discuss specific business strategies that contribute to our  success as a private owner operator of convenience stores," Director of Communications Catherine Huggins said. "As it relates to rumors about QuickTrip’s Springfield locations, it would not be appropriate for us to address any emerging innuendos about our competitors."

Thornbrugh said there is no timetable for the sale of the Springfield locations but that the company's exit from the market is imminent.

"We're going to continue to operate them as a QuikTrip," he said. "To us, if that's six months or two years, that's what we'll do."

Thornbrugh said the 50 Springfield full- and part-time employees have been apprised of the situation and have been encouraged to seek other jobs within the company.

"We want them to stay with QuikTrip, and we made it abundantly clear that there are a lot of options if they choose to do so," he said, noting close availability for jobs at QuikTrip locations in Tulsa, Kansas City and St. Louis.[[In-content Ad]]

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