When Kwik Trip bought 34 PDQ stores in 2017 in the Madison and Milwaukee areas, one of the company's long-standing problems was solved overnight.
The La Crosse-based chain of convenience stores surrounded Madison, with stores in virtually every town and village in Dane County, but struggled to find adequate housing to fully enter the capital.
The acquisition of PDQ has allowed Kwik Trip, which now has 45 offices in Dane County, to employ 1,300 people along busy highways such as East Washington Avenue and Fish Hatchery, Mineral Point and McKee. The company also opened three stores in Middleton, all of which have undergone extensive renovations and were able to build a store to replace a smaller PDQ on Broadway and Monona Drive in Monona.
Kwik Trip now has a proposal for a 7,300-square-foot store, a car wash and 10 gas pumps at the corner of Cottage Grove and Sprecher Roads on the east side.
"We would like to have a few more stores in the Madison market," said Carl Rick, Kwik Trip's Leadership Development Specialist. "There are still holes in the city of Madison when we look at major traffic arteries, so we could definitely use more stores."
It is too early to say how Kwik Trip's entry into the Madison market will affect competitors such as Kelley's Market, based in Rockford, Illinois, with around 50 sites in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, and Stop-N-Go, based in Madison, which has 14 of its 35 stores in Dane County.
But the presence of Kwik Trip does not prevent Casey's General Stores from Iowa from expanding here.
Casey's, with more than 2,000 locations in 16 Midwestern states, opened a 400,000-square-foot distribution center in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 2016, allowing it to expand into more than southwestern Wisconsin. The company is building a store near High Crossing Boulevard and Interstate 39-90-94 on the East Side of Madison, has planned a store in Blue Mounds, has recently built a store in Belleville and has refurbished his store in Verona. In total Casey's, known for its pizzas, has 36 establishments in Wisconsin and is building 12 more, including a store in Reedsburg.
"We think it's a perfect state for us," said Mike Richardson, Casey's vice president of marketing. "Obviously, there is competition, but getting real estate is a big part of it."
Casey's is also slightly more agile than Kwik Trip in terms of expansion. Kwik Trip could likely expand into Upper Michigan, Illinois and eastern East Dakota, but to expand to other states, the company is likely to adapt its delivery system, said John McHugh , public relations director of Kwik Trip. That's why the company focuses on regional growth and the rebuilding of small shops in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.
"In our current business model, we are working to fill a 300-mile radius from La Crosse before having to explore other distribution solutions," McHugh said. "We have several years to complete our current model before having to consider these options."
Casey's, with more than 2,000 sites in 16 Midwestern states, has 36 sites in Wisconsin and 12 more, including some in the Madison area.