Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
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|Industry||Energy, Retail (Convenience stores), Hospitality, Storage|
|Headquarters||The Village, Oklahoma, United States|
Number of locations
|Tom Love, Executive Chairman Greg Love, co-CEO
Frank Love, co-CEO
Doug Stussi, CFO
|Services||Diesel fuel and gasoline
Truck / tire repair and maintenance
Number of employees
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores (commonly referred to as Love's) is a family-owned chain of more than 400 truck stop and convenience stores in 40 states. The company is privately owned and headquartered in The Village, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City. Love’s is currently ranked No. 14 on the Forbes list of America’s largest private companies. 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 like Subway, Arby’s, Baskin Robbins, Bojangles', Burger King, Chester's, Dairy Queen, Del Taco, Denny's, Dunkin' Donuts, Friendly's, Godfather's Pizza, Green Burrito, Hardee's, IHOP Express, McDonald's, Sonic, Carl’s Jr., Taco Bell, Taco John's, Wendy's, trucking supplies, showers and RV dump stations. Love’s has approximately 17,000 employees.
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.
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 to offer one-stop shopping for travelers. The Mini Stop was successful and the company quickly opened more stores in western Oklahoma.
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.
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.
In the late 1990s, food service continued to grow. Soon the company was partnering with an array of co-branded restaurant concepts, including Subway, 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, Carl’s Jr., Taco Bell, Taco John's and Wendy's.
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 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.
Today, Love's operates more than 400 stores in 40 states. The current growth rate is about 20 – 25 store openings each year.
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 its 300th location.
2015: Love's opens its 300th travel stop.
2016: Love's purchases Trillium CNG. 2016: Love's opens its 400th location.
- Username * (2010-06-30). "Pilot, Flying J Finalize Merger". CSNews. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
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