You might say Sheetz is to the convenience store business what Wal-Mart is to discount shopping. Noted for being exceptionally large (stores average 4,200 sq. ft., nearly twice the size of the average 7-Eleven, but new stores are as large as 5,000 sq. ft.), Sheetz stores sell groceries, fountain drinks, baked goods, and made-to-order sandwiches and salads, self-service car washes, as well as discount gas and cigarettes. The company operates more than 435 combination convenience stores and gas stations. More than half of its stores are in Pennsylvania, but also in five other states. Founded in 1952 by Bob Sheetz, the company is owned and run by the Sheetz family.
Sheetz stores are located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.
While privately-owned Sheetz doesn't report its financial results, the convenience store operator rang up an estimated $5.7 billion in sales in fiscal 2012 (ended September), up from just around $4 billion in fiscal 2010.
Sheetz has gone far beyond traditional convenience store fare at locations in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and Raleigh, North Carolina. The two "convenience restaurants" are twice the size of a typical Sheetz store and have fried chicken, soups, salads, and pizza, in addition to sandwiches, on the menu. The stores seat about 50 people.
Increasing convenience is a priority at Sheetz stores. The company in fall 2012 opened its first store with a dual lane drive-thru, so that customers can order food or merchandise without leaving their cars. (No lottery, money order, or alcohol are sold at the drive-thru.) Other amenities include gas machines that accept paper money at the pump, eliminating the walk inside for drivers on the go. To court the Starbucks crowd, Sheetz has added made-to-order espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas to its coffee menu. The company has installed Sheetz Bros. Coffeez counters with touch-screen ordering systems in all of its stores.
The company announced in 2012 that it would be building a new distribution and food production center, which will be located in Burlington, North Carolina. The 245,000-sq.-ft. center will be used to make an assortment of bakery and ready-to-eat items, such as sandwiches, salads, and other convenience restaurant foods. The cost of the new center is estimated to be around $33 million. The distribution center will support the company's expansion in North Carolina, where is added its 50th store -- in Wake Forest -- in 2013.