Kwik Trip announces $300 million project

Kwik Trip has announced a $300 million expansion plan for its La Crosse production facilities.

GREGORY SHAVER, THE (RACINE) JOURNAL-TIMES

Kwik Trip announced Wednesday that its newest projects in La Crosse total $300 million, will create 300 jobs and are designed to support its growing convenience store operations.

The company, with 621 stores in three states, said the jobs will be created over the next five years while the projects include the construction of a $113 million 200,000-square-foot bread and bun production facility and the renovation of its existing bakery for sweet goods production. Other projects include improvements to the dairy manufacturing facility, kitchen operations and transportation fleet.

“This will result in the purchase of additional fleet vehicles and the construction of more efficient production plants that will create higher capacity, productivity and cost savings which will allow Kwik Trip to better accommodate the needs of our guests in the 621 stores and numerous communities we currently serve,” said John McHugh, Kwik Trip’s director of corporate communications and leadership development.

The projects will support the company’s plans to open 40 to 50 new stores annually, including many in Wisconsin. Without the expansions and upgrades, the company has said it will run out of capacity within five years.

An example of the continued growth came in July when Kwik Trip announced the purchase of 34 convenience stores from Middleton-based PDQ, the majority of which are in Dane County. Kwik Trip took ownership of the stores last month and plans to remodel the PDQs into Kwik Trip stores over the coming months.

“With more than 380 stores and 12,000 employees in Wisconsin, Kwik Trip has already shown a strong commitment to our state, and that commitment is being solidified with this expansion,” Gov. Scott Walker said in a statement announcing the massive expansion plan in La Crosse. “Kwik Trip is the latest example of companies seeking to expand in Wisconsin because of our pro-business policies and dedicated workforce.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. announced Wednesday that it has authorized Kwik Trip to receive up to $21 million in state income tax credits over the next five years. The actual amount of tax credits the company will earn is contingent upon the number of jobs created, the level of capital investment and the amount it spends on purchasing equipment, goods and services from Wisconsin companies through 2022, Walker said.

The tax credits are tied to Kwik Trip’s expansion on La Crosse’s North Side, where Kwik Trip’s production, distribution, transportation and corporate support facilities comprise more than 1 million square feet on the company’s 120 acre campus. Expansion work has been ongoing on the campus for several years.

Kwik Trip was founded in 1965 and opened its first store in Eau Claire. Today, the company makes, ships and sells 80 percent of its own branded products and its stores receive daily deliveries of fresh baked goods, dairy products, soups, salads, and other grocery and general merchandise and fuel products.