Sheetz Inc. planning second Durham store
Demolition is expected to begin later this year on a former Shell gas station and a Blockbuster video location on Hillsborough Road to pave the way for a new Sheetz gas station, convenience-store and in-store restaurant.
This will be Durham’s second Sheetz behind the first location that opened in 2007 at the corner of South Miami Boulevard and T.W. Alexander Drive. Targeted to open in the spring of next year, the new Hillsborough Road store and restaurant is part of an expansion by the Pennsylvania-based company in North Carolina.
The company has 18 stores in the Triangle and two under construction, said Jamie Gerhart, Sheetz’s site selector for eastern North Carolina. He said the company is looking to fill in its existing operational footprint in North Carolina from Statesville to Greenville. He added that the company has already begun construction of a kitchen bakery, distribution and warehousing center in Burlington to serve its North Carolina stores.
“The stores in North Carolina – their food sales are growing greater than the company average,” he said. “…The Triangle is a very good market for us.”
Gerhart said the company wanted the Hillsborough Road location because of its proximity to Duke University Hospital, the university, and nearby highways. He said that since the company’s stores are open 24 hours per day, seven days a week, they need a variety of factors driving traffic to them.
At more than 6,000 square feet, the second Durham location will be larger than the first, Gerhart said. It will have inside and outdoor seating as well as a 24-hour food and drink menu. The company started leasing the land, which is at the corner of Hillsborough Road and LaSalle Street, on May 1, according to property records.
Launched in 1952 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the company also has locations in Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and West Virginia. In addition to selling gas and convenience store items, Sheetz also sells subs, sandwiches and salads through a touch-order screen system.
Gerhart said the company’s food sales are a boost to business as gasoline and cigarette sales have thin margins. He also said that the combined food and beverage and gasoline offering also cater to customers as they’re eating more on-the-go.
“As people are on the go, they’re demanding better food service offerings whether it’s from traditional stores, or better food-service offerings from typical fast-feeders,” he said. “And we think our offering is a complete food offering.”