Kwik Trip to receive up to $21 million in tax credits, create 300 jobs

Kwik Trip’s new bread and bun bakery, part of a $300 million expansion underway, is currently being constructed at its headquarters in the La Crosse Industrial Park. 

Peter Thomson, Lee Newspapers

Kwik Trip Inc. could receive up to $21 million in state income tax credits, according to an announcement by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., contingent upon whether its $300 million expansion creates more than 300 jobs in the La Crosse area during the next five years.

WEDC authorized the La Crosse-based company to receive the credits depending upon the number of jobs created, level of capital investment and amount it spends on equipment, goods and services from Wisconsin companies through 2022.

The tax credits are tied to Kwik Trip’s expansion in the industrial park on La Crosse’s North Side, where it is building a $42 million bread and bun facility with $71 million in state-of-the-art equipment. The new facility, which is expected to be finished in late 2018, will allow expansion of bread and bun production, and for increased sweet goods production in the existing bakery.

The project also includes expansions and improvements to the family-owned company’s dairy manufacturing facility, kitchen operations and transportation fleet, directly creating more than 300 jobs in the La Crosse area.

“The multimillion-dollar capital expenditures in Kwik Trip’s bakery, dairy, kitchen and transportation facilities will generate a significant return on investment for the state of Wisconsin and the city of La Crosse in the form of new and expanded tax base, job opportunities for our co-workers, construction contractors, subcontractors and suppliers,” said John McHugh, director of corporate communications for Kwik Trip.

“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,” he said.

An economic modeling study projects the Kwik Trip expansion will indirectly generate 235 jobs in the region in addition to the 300 directly created. According to WEDC, the direct and indirect jobs could generate up to $1.1 million annually in additional state income tax revenue.

“Kwik Trip’s decision to expand is great news for the La Crosse region as well as the entire state,” said Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development agency. “Kwik Trip currently purchases over $900 million each year in goods and services from Wisconsin companies, and this expansion will further increase opportunities for statewide supply chain.”

The capital investment project is part of a long-term growth strategy for the company, which includes plans to open 40 to 50 new stores annually. The family-owned company plans to open 56 new stores next year, including 36 in Wisconsin.

“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. “Kwik Trip is the latest example of companies seeking to expand in Wisconsin because of our pro-business policies and dedicated workforce.”

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La Crosse city government reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

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