Kwik Trip plans $151 million expansion of its Wisconsin operations

La Crosse-based convenience store company Kwik Trip plans to invest more than $151 million to expand its operations in Wisconsin, creating more than 500 jobs by 2027, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

The company plans to expand its dairy, commissary, and bakery facilities in La Crosse, purchase and renovate an office building in Onalaska, and build a new satellite distribution center.

The expansion will enable the company to earn an additional $15 million in performance-based Enterprise Zone tax incentives from WEDC.

This is the third time the state has invested in Kwik Trip’s growth in Wisconsin, raising the company’s eligibility for tax credits to a total of $41 million. Since the state and Kwik Trip entered into their Enterprise Zone agreement in 2017, the company has invested more than $325 million into its Wisconsin support center operations and created nearly 1,800 new full-time jobs. As a result of the growth at its La Crosse support center and the construction and acquisition of 168 new retail locations, Kwik Trip’s total Wisconsin employee count has increased from 4,342 in 2017 to 12,442 in 2023, a total increase of 8,100 workers, according to WEDC.

“Kwik Trip is one of Wisconsin’s most instantly recognizable success stories,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and chief executive officer of WEDC. “While most of us are familiar with Kwik Trip for its retail operations, the company continues to grow its manufacturing and supply chain base in our state, which is creating hundreds of jobs and new investments even faster than anyone could have anticipated.”

Kwik Trip was first awarded up to $21 million in Enterprise Zone tax credits from WEDC in 2017. The company’s rapid growth led to an amendment raising that eligibility by $5 million, primarily to expand its production facilities in La Crosse. At that time, the company anticipated hiring at least 662 new workers and investing at least $378 million in the project. So far, the company has spent more than $325 million in capital investment and created 1,793 new jobs eligible to earn tax credits at their non-retail locations. Because Kwik Trip is exceeding the goals of its Enterprise Zone, the WEDC board voted last month to amend Kwik Trip’s contract to make it eligible for the additional $15 million in tax credits.

The actual amount of credits to be awarded will depend on the number of jobs created and amount of capital invested.

“Growth is good, not only for Kwik Trip, but most importantly for our coworkers and the communities we serve,” said Scott Zietlow, chief executive officer and president of Kwik Trip. “We are able to provide strong, vibrant jobs throughout Wisconsin. We appreciate the support from the WEDC to make this happen.”

Kwik Trip executive Carl Rick spoke about the company’s future growth plans at BizTimes Media’s 2021 Family & Closely Held Business Summit.

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Andrew Weiland
Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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