The Altoona, Pa. convenience store chain becomes the first two-time Chain of the Year winner in the award’s 28-year history, first winning top company honors in 1994.
With an unsurpassed commitment to foodservice and technology, a world-class distribution model and a total commitment to its vast employee base, Sheetz Inc. embodies the very best the convenience store industry has to offer.
Over the past year, the 550-store chain was recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, a Top 12 Best Places to Work for Women and Top 35 Best Workplaces for Millennials – along with announcing plans to hire 3,400 new employees. By fiscal year 2019, Sheetz is projected to grow to 600 stores with projected capital investment (including new and rebuilt unit growth) of approximately 6% annually. For some chains, that would be a full year. At Sheetz, it was just another day at the office.
Also in the past year, the company initiated dozens of fundraisers aimed at helping kids, such as its partnerships with Special Olympics and the Make-A-Wish foundation. It overhauled its loyalty card program, professed its ongoing commitment to offering employees sustainable careers built on an inspiring culture and expanded community engagement.
For its accomplishments and dedication to convenience retailing, Convenience Store Decisions is proud to name Sheetz Inc. the 2017 Convenience Store Chain of the Year, considered the gold standard in convenience retailing. Sheetz is the 28th Chain of the Year and the first two-time winner. The company was honored as Chain of the Year in 1994.
The company will be honored on Oct. 18th at The Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier in Chicago during the NACS Show. Retailers can register for the dinner free at 2017 Chain of the Year dinner. Retailers can click Chain of the Year dinner to reserve seats now or click to download the 2017 Chain of the Year invitation. Supplier companies interested in attending must contact Tom McIntyre, Group Publisher of The Convenience Store Decisions Group, at [email protected], for sponsorship opportunities.
“We are so proud to be recognized by Convenience Store Decisions as the 2017 Convenience Store Chain of the Year,” said Sheetz President and CEO Joe Sheetz. “This recognition truly belongs to our employees and to the customers who have supported us for the past 65 years. Sheetz would not be the company it is today without great employees and loyal customers.”
Founded in 1952 in Altoona, Pa., Sheetz is one of the country’s fastest-growing family-owned and operated convenience store chains, with nearly $7 billion in revenue and more than 17,500 employees. The company operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina. Sheetz provides an award-winning menu of MTO sandwiches and salads, a thriving loyalty program, an award-winning coffee program and a host of local and national charities.
“Sheetz remains a beacon of innovation that every convenience store chain can admire. It is a family-owned business that remains true to its employees and the communities it serves, and it’s doing so at a time when big corporations are trying to gain a larger foothold in the convenience store industry,” said John Lofstock, Editor-in-Chief of Convenience Store Decisions. “Family businesses made this industry what it is today and as long as outstanding companies like Sheetz continue to thrive, the convenience store industry will continue to reach new heights.”
Long Retail History
Bob Sheetz founded Sheetz 65 years ago when he purchased one of his father’s five dairy stores located in Altoona, Pennsylvania. In 1961, Bob hired his brother Steve to work part-time at the store.
It was not until 1963 that the second store was opened under the name “Sheetz Kwik Shopper.” It took another five years to open the third store. In 1969, Steve joined Bob in the business as general manager. The brothers planned to expand at the rate of one store per year with a target of seven stores by 1972. In 1972, the brothers literally doubled the size of the company, expanding from seven to 14 stores. One year later, Sheetz added gasoline pumps and introduced self-serve gasoline to Central Pennsylvania.
By 1983, Bob and Steve had opened 100 stores. The following year, Bob retired and handed over the leadership of the company to his trusted business partner and brother Steve.
In 1995, Stan Sheetz, Bob’s son, became president and Steve assumed the position of Chairman of the Board. Stan lead the company through new periods of growth and innovation. Introducing Sheetz fans to touchscreen ordering, Sheetz Bros. Coffeez, Made-To-Go and Shweetz Bakery products, while redefining the concept of getting quality food at a convenience store.
Continuing the successful transition of family leadership, Joe Sheetz became president and CEO in October 2013. Stan moved on to the role of Chairman of the Board. Looking to ensure the unique family connection with the business well into the future, Steve assumed the position of Chairman of the Sheetz Family Council.
When your name is over the door, your commitment to excellence remains strong. At Sheetz, this is the core of the company. The fact that a family is at the helm together creates an environment where senior management genuinely cares about its employees and customers. Many Sheetz family members currently work in the day-to-day business.
Please join us in honoring Sheetz. For seating information to the Sheetz Chain of the Year award ceremony, retailers can contact John Lofstock, Editor of Convenience Store Decisions, at [email protected]. Supplier companies interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact contact Tom McIntyre, Group Publisher of The Convenience Store Decisions Group, at [email protected].
ABOUT THE CHAIN OF THE YEAR AWARD
CSD’s Chain of the Year award annually honors a convenience store or petroleum chain that has established itself as a superior retailer and innovator in its markets of operation. CSD’s first Chain of the Year award was given to Wawa Inc. in 1990. Sheetz Inc. follows 2016 Chain of the Year winner QuickChek. Other winners of this prestigious award include Kwik Trip, 7-Eleven Inc., Krause Gentle Corp., Alimentation Couche-Tard, QuikTrip, RaceTrac, Rutter’s, Thorntons Inc. and Maverik.
Past Chain of The Year Winners
* 1990 – Wawa Inc.
* 1991 – SuperAmerica
* 1992 – QuikTrip Corp.
* 1993 – Casey’s General Stores Inc.
* 1994 – Sheetz Inc.
* 1995 – Diamond Shamrock Corp.
* 1996 – Mapco Express
* 1997 – Speedway Inc.
* 1998 – Krause Gentle Corp.
* 1999 – Dairy Mart Inc.
* 2000 – Amerada Hess Corp.
* 2001 – Huck’s Food & Fuel
* 2002 – Petro-Canada
* 2003 – Exxon Mobil Corp.
* 2004 – Kwik Trip Inc.
* 2005 – 7-Eleven Inc.
* 2006 – Valero Inc.
* 2007 – Alimentation Couche-Tard
* 2008 – Chevron Inc.
* 2009 – Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes
* 2010 – Rutter’s Farm Stores
* 2011 – Thorntons Inc.
* 2012 – Tedeschi Food Shops
* 2013 – Maverik Inc.
* 2014 – RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.
* 2015 – Family Express Corp.
* 2016 – QuickChek Corp.