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Kwik Trip to buy Madison-based Stop-N-Go chain
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Kwik Trip to buy Madison-based Stop-N-Go chain

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La Crosse-based Kwik Trip announced Wednesday it plans to purchase Madison-based Stop-N-Go Convenience Centers and its 36 stores in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

The move comes three years to the month since Kwik Trip announced it had agreed to purchase the Madison-based PDQ chain of convenience stores, which included 23 stores and 11 more elsewhere in Wisconsin.

Both Kwik Trip and Stop-N-Go are family owned.

The transaction is scheduled to be completed in early December.

The acquisition is expected to add to staffing at the 120-acre Kwik Trip corporate campus on the north side of La Crosse, which produces and packages fresh food that is shipped daily to its stores in the three-state region.

Although there are no estimates about the number of jobs that could be added, John McHugh, Kwik Trip’s director of public relations, said: “Servicing 30+ additional stores from our Support Center requires more staffing in many areas of our company; everything from IT to inventory auditors, to marketing people to trainers.”

Kwik Trip announced that it plans to continue to operate many of the acquired stores under the existing Stop-N-Go banner, while some of the larger stores will be remodeled and rebranded as Kwik Trip.

"When selecting the right buyer, it was important for us that the Stop-N-Go brand be continued. All of us at Stop-N-Go have a great deal of pride and sense of accomplishment because our efforts built a brand worthy of continuing under the new ownership of Kwik Trip," said Andrew Bowman, CEO and Owner of Stop-N-Go.

Stop-N-Go was founded in 1963 by Duane and Olympia Bowman and has become a leading convenience store brand in southern Wisconsin.

It has 261 employees, including 238 who work in its retail operation. 

A Kwik Trip spokesman said: "We hope to retain as many of them as possible and some members of our HR team have already begun that process this week. Stop-N-Go has a reputation of treating their employees very well. That philosophy mirrors Kwik Trip’s approach so it will be a good culture fit."

Kwik Trip, founded in 1965 in Eau Claire, is one of the largest independently held convenience store chains in the United States. Today, Kwik Trip owns and operates more than 700 stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa and employs more than 27,000 employees.

One of the employee benefits at Kwik Trip is the Zietlow family's commitment to share 40% of the company's pre-tax profits with coworkers. Kwik Trip continues to focus on food, value-priced commodities, clean facilities and outstanding customer service.

Kwik Trip announced it has no plans to close any Kwik Trip store as part of the acquisition process.

As of 18 months ago, Kwik Trip had more than 2,318 employees working on the corporate campus in La Crosse.

Kwik Trip has been undergoing a $300 million investment that includes expansion of the corporate campus to increase production capacity, including a $112 million largely automated bakery that opened in 2019.

Work continued Wednesday on part of the campus expansion -- an expanded commissary.

The investment was aided by $21 million in state income tax credits awarded in November 2017 that included creation of 300 jobs in La Crosse during five years. A state audit showed that Kwik Trip had created 171 by the end of September 208.

In 2018, Kwik Trip received the Chain of the Year award from the Convenience Store Decisions trade magazine for being designated as a superior retailer and innovator. Kwik Trip also won the award in 2004.


"When selecting the right buyer, it was important for us that the Stop-N-Go brand be continued. All of us at Stop-N-Go have a great deal of pride and sense of accomplishment because our efforts built a brand worthy of continuing under the new ownership of Kwik Trip."

Andrew Bowman, CEO and owner of Stop-N-Go.

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