Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores

Last updated
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
Private
Industry Energy, Retail (Convenience stores), Hospitality, Storage
Founded1964
Founder Tom Love
Headquarters,
United States
Number of locations
470+ (2018)
Area served
United States
Key people
Tom Love, Executive Chairman Greg Love, co-CEO
Frank Love, co-CEO
ServicesDiesel fuel and gasoline
Truck / tire repair and maintenance
Restaurants
Convenience stores
Driver amenities
Hospitality
Storage
Number of employees
22,000 (2018)
Website www.loves.com
A Love's Travel Stop on I-40 in Choctaw, Oklahoma Love's in Choctaw.jpg
A Love's Travel Stop on I-40 in Choctaw, Oklahoma

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores (commonly referred to as Love's) is a North American family-owned chain of more than 470 truck stop and convenience stores in 41 states in the United States. The company is privately owned and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Love's ranked No. 18 on the 2017 Forbes list of America's largest private companies. [1] Love's has two primary kinds of stores: country stores and travel stops. Country stores are fueling stations with a convenience store attached. The larger travel stops are located along highways and offer additional amenities such as food from restaurant chains such as Arby's, Baskin Robbins, Bojangles', Burger King, Chester's, Dairy Queen, Del Taco, Denny's, Dunkin’, Friendly's, Green Burrito, IHOP Express, McDonald's, Popeyes, Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy's, trucking supplies, showers and RV dump stations. Love's has approximately 22,000 employees. [2]

Rest area public area, usually adjacent to limited-access highway, used for rest from travel

A rest area is a public facility, located next to a large thoroughfare such as a highway, expressway, or freeway, at which drivers and passengers can rest, eat, or refuel without exiting onto secondary roads. Other names include: motorway service area (UK), Services (UK), travel plaza, rest stop, service area, service station, rest and service area (RSA), resto, service plaza, lay-by, and service centre. Facilities may include park-like areas, fuel stations, public toilets, water fountains, restaurants, and dump and fill stations for recreational vehicles.

Convenience store small store that stocks a range of everyday items

A convenience store, convenience shop, or corner store is a small retail business that stocks a range of everyday items such as groceries, snack foods, confectionery, soft drinks, tobacco products, over-the-counter drugs, toiletries, newspapers, and magazines. In some jurisdictions, convenience stores are licensed to sell alcohol, typically beer and wine. Such stores may also offer money order and wire transfer services, along with the use of a fax machine or photocopier for a small per-copy cost. They differ from general stores and village shops in that they are not in a rural location and are used as a convenient supplement to larger stores.

Subway (restaurant) American fast food chain

Subway is an American privately held fast food restaurant franchise that primarily sells submarine sandwiches (subs) and salads. Subway is one of the fastest-growing franchises in the world and, as of June 2017, had approximately 42,000 stores located in more than 100 countries. More than half of the stores are located in the United States. It is the largest single-brand restaurant chain, and the largest restaurant operator, in the world.

Contents

History

In 1964, Tom and Judy Love spent $5,000 to lease an abandoned service station in Watonga, Oklahoma, an hour northwest of Oklahoma City. They named their company Musket Corporation. Over the next eight years, Musket opened 40 additional gas stations. All of them operated under the Kerr-McGee gasoline brand.

Thomas E. Love is an American billionaire businessman. He is the owner, founder and executive chairman of Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores.

Watonga, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Watonga is a city in Blaine County, Oklahoma, United States. It is seventy miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The population was 5,111 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Blaine County.

Kerr-McGee

The Kerr-McGee Corporation, founded in 1929, was an American energy company involved in oil exploration, production of crude oil, natural gas, perchlorate and uranium mining and milling in various countries. On June 23, 2006, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation acquired Kerr-McGee in an all-cash transaction totaling $16.5 billion plus $2.6 billion in debt and all operations moved from their base in Oklahoma, United States.

When the fuel crunch of the early 1970s began and gasoline was in short supply in the United States, Tom Love diversified for the sake of the company's success. He launched a new concept in Watonga: the "Mini Stop Country Store." By adding a grocery line to their self-service fuel sales, Musket became one of the nation's first[ citation needed ] to offer one-stop shopping for travelers. The Mini Stop was successful and the company quickly opened more stores in western Oklahoma.

The 1973 oil crisis began in October 1973 when the members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo. The embargo was targeted at nations perceived as supporting Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The initial nations targeted were Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States with the embargo also later extended to Portugal, Rhodesia and South Africa. By the end of the embargo in March 1974, the price of oil had risen from US$3 per barrel to nearly $12 globally; US prices were significantly higher. The embargo caused an oil crisis, or "shock", with many short- and long-term effects on global politics and the global economy. It was later called the "first oil shock", followed by the 1979 oil crisis, termed the "second oil shock."

In 1972, Musket set out to convert all of its locations from gas stations to convenience stores with self-serve gasoline. By 1973, the company began using the family name to identify its locations. Love's Country Stores was the new name.

By 1978, Love's Country Stores had 60 locations in small communities throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. That year, the company began offering the Fresh Daily Deli, sandwiches made fresh daily on-location. Food service became the company's third profit center in each location, along with self-serve gasoline and convenience store items. The Fresh Daily Deli is branded today as Love's Subs.

By the end of 1981, the company reached a milestone with 100 Love's Country Stores locations in operation. The in-store decor was changed from the previous dark country look to a brighter theme. The same year, it opened the first Love's Travel Stop on Interstate 40 in Amarillo, Texas. The travel stop opened a new target audience to Love's business; the addition of self-serve diesel fuel brought professional drivers to Love's. The Travel Stop was unique in that it served both the professional driver and the motoring public, resulting in more growth for Love's.

Interstate 40 Interstate across south-central US

Interstate 40 (I-40) is a major east-west Interstate Highway running through the south-central portion of the United States generally north of I-10, I-20 and I-30 but south of I-70. The western end is at I-15 in Barstow, California; its eastern end is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 (US 117) and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina. It is the third-longest Interstate Highway in the United States, behind I-80 and I-90. Much of the western part of I-40, from Oklahoma City to Barstow parallels or overlays the historic US 66, east of Oklahoma City the route generally parallels US 64 and US 70. I-40 runs through many major cities including Albuquerque, New Mexico; Amarillo, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Amarillo, Texas City in Texas, United States

Amarillo is the 14th-most populous city in the state of Texas, United States. It is also the largest city in the Texas Panhandle, and the seat of Potter County. A portion of the city extends into Randall County. The estimated population was 199,826 as of 2017. The Amarillo metropolitan area has an estimated population of 276,020 in four counties as of 2017. The metro population is projected to surpass 310,000 in 2020.

A target audience is the intended audience or readership of a publication, advertisement, or other message. In marketing and advertising, it is a particular group of consumers within the predetermined target market, identified as the targets or recipients for a particular advertisement or message. Businesses that have a wide target market will focus on a specific target audience for certain messages to send, such as The Body Shops Mother's Day advertisements, which were aimed at the children and spouses of women, rather than the whole market which would have included the women themselves.

In 1985, Love's added gifts and novelties. Then in 1993, Taco Bell became a partner, opening a co-branded location in Oklahoma City. The success of this partnership quickly grew.

Taco Bell American fast-food chain

Taco Bell is an American chain of fast food restaurants based out of Irvine, California and a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. The restaurants serve a variety of Mexican inspired foods that include tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, novelty and specialty items, and a variety of "value menu" items. As of 2018, Taco Bell serves more than 2 billion customers each year at 7,072 restaurants, more than 93 percent of which are owned and operated by independent franchisees and licensees.

In 1995, the company opened its first triple-branded food service operation in El Paso, Texas. The location offered Subway, Taco Bell Express and Pizza Hut.

El Paso, Texas City in Texas, United States

El Paso is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. The 2018 population estimate for the city from the U.S. Census was 682,669. Its metropolitan statistical area (MSA) covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and has a population of 840,758.

Pizza Hut American restaurant chain and international franchise

Pizza Hut is an American restaurant chain and international franchise which was founded in 1958 by Dan and Frank Carney. The company is known for its Italian-American cuisine menu, including pizza and pasta, as well as side dishes and desserts. Pizza Hut has 18,431 restaurants worldwide as of December 31, 2018, making it the world's largest pizza chain in terms of locations. It is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., one of the world's largest restaurant companies.

In the late 1990s, food service continued to grow. Soon the company was partnering with an array of co-branded restaurant concepts, including Arby's, Baskin Robbins, Bojangles', Burger King, Chester's, Dairy Queen, Del Taco, Denny's, Dunkin' Donuts, Godfather's Pizza, Green Burrito, Hardee's, IHOP Express, McDonald's, Sonic, Subway, Carl's Jr., Taco Bell, Taco John's and Wendy's.

Love's Travel Stop Trucks at a Love's.jpg
Love's Travel Stop

In 2000, Sales & Marketing Executives International awarded Love's the 2000 Outlook Award, for innovation and outstanding contribution to the future of the convenience store industry.

The first truck tire care location opened in 2008, and since then, the business has grown into a nationwide network of centers, offering tires, equipment, light mechanical work, oil changes and roadside service.

On June 30, 2010, Love's acquired 20 Pilot Travel Centers locations and six Flying J locations out of antitrust concerns in order for the Federal Trade Commission to approve the Pilot/Flying J merger. [3]

In June 2017, Love's opened its first location in Montana, its 41st state of operation. [4] At the time, Love's operated more than 430 stores. [5]

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores entered into an agreement with the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s Oklahoma City Thunder on March 15, 2019. The agreement allows Love's to prominently place its logo on the front left shoulder of all Oklahoma City Thunder jerseys. [6] [7]

Key dates

1964: Tom and Judy Love launch the Musket chain with a gas station in Watonga, Oklahoma.
1972: The first Country Store opens in Guymon, Oklahoma.
1978: Love's Country Stores Inc. is established.
1981: The first Travel Stop opens in Amarillo, Texas.
1986: The company is renamed Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc.
1990: Love's adds major branded fast-food franchises to travel stops.
1999: Love's opens its 50th travel stop.
2000: Gemini Motor Transport becomes the primary carrier for Love's.
2013: Love's opens 300th location.
2015: Love's opens 300th travel stop.
2016: Love's purchases Trillium CNG. Love's opens 400th location.
2017: Love's purchases Speedco

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Circle K an international chain of convenience stores

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Wawa (company) American convenience store chain

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References

  1. "America's Largest Private Companies". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  2. "Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores on the Forbes America's Largest Private Companies List". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  3. Username * (2010-06-30). "Pilot, Flying J Finalize Merger". CSNews. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  4. "Love's Welcomes Customers at First Montana Location". Convenience Store News. June 9, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  5. Roberts-McMurray, KayLynn (June 23, 2017). "New Love's truck stop ready to open". The Ely Times. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  6. Crall, Joseph (March 15, 2019). "The Heart of OKC: Thunder, Love's Expand Partnership to Include Prominent Placement on Thunder Jersey". OKCThunder.com (Press release). NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  7. "The Heart of OKC: Thunder, Love's Expand Partnership to Include Prominent Placement on Thunder Jersey" (Press release). Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores. March 15, 2019. Retrieved March 16, 2019.