The Times West Virginian

December 15, 2013

Little General Store Inc. builds presence

By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Little General Store Inc. is here to stay in Marion County.

The company recently took over three Wilfong Sunoco stores in the county — in Farmington along U.S. Route 250 North, in White Hall at 2988 White Hall Boulevard, and in the East Fairmont/Winfield area off I-79 — as well as one location in Clarksburg and two in Morgantown.

On Dec. 1, Little General began changing the layouts and adding new signs, and the transition is now complete for all six of the stores, said Brian Waugh, director of retail. Because these modifications were made in the evenings between about 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., the locations were never closed to the public.

Customers will notice familiar faces, as all of the employees and managers continue to work at those sites, he said.

At these stores, the company has added a daily fresh sandwich program, called “On the Go” sandwiches. Also, customers can use their Shop ’n Save Perks Reward Cards at these locations, as well as other Little General stores, to get discounts on fuel.

The sites feature ATM machines, New River Coffee, roller hot dog grills and many varieties of pepperoni rolls. The stores are competitively priced on groceries, too.

In February, Little General acquired three Oliverio Shop-N-Go Sunoco stores — on East Park Avenue in Fairmont, in Barrackville and in Pruntytown. It also built a new South Fairmont location at 2395 White Hall Boulevard, which opened in late June and includes a Steak Escape Sandwich Grill. Any store that Little General builds from the ground up features some type of restaurant.

Following these additions, the company felt that it just made sense to continue building its store base in North Central West Virginia, where the state is growing. With this increased number of locations, customers are getting to know Little General as well as its merchandising and pricing strategies, Waugh said.

He said Little General feels that it can “offer everything to everybody.” The company is always thinking about what customers need and want and considering requests from the public. Waugh thanked the community for its positive response to the Little General operations in the area.

Since February, Little General has taken over or built 10 stores, which all have Sunoco gasoline/diesel, in the area. A year ago, the company didn’t have any locations in Marion County, but now it has six. Previously, Little General’s closest location was in Weston.

The company, based in Beckley, has stores stationed from Morgantown to Princeton. It currently operates 118 locations, including 104 convenient stores and 14 free-standing restaurants.

Waugh said Little General wants to continue to invest in West Virginia. The company is continually looking at opportunities to build stores or take over existing stores, and tries to keep all of its options open.

“We invest in the areas that we have stores in,” he said.

The company makes donations and presents scholarships in the communities that it serves, Waugh said. Little General is a big supporter of both Fairmont State University and West Virginia University. In fact, the company is owned by two WVU graduates, Cory Beasley and Greg Darby.

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.