QuikTrip rises to No. 26 on Forbes' list of largest private firms
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Friday, November 30, 2012
11/30/12 at 4:41 AM
Forbes ranks Tulsa-based QuikTrip Corp. No. 26 on its 2012 list of America's Largest Private Companies.
Other Oklahoma-based companies that made the magazine's 220-member list include Oklahoma City-based Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores at No. 9 and Hobby Lobby Stores at No. 147.
"It shows we're pretty solvent. Beyond the numbers ... the biggest thing that jumps out, to us, is each year we're able to hire more and more employees," said Mike Thornbrugh, manager of public and government affairs for QuikTrip. "One of the reasons we do expansion into other markets and add other products is to hire more people, and it allows us to grow the company."
QuikTrip rose in the ranking from No. 33 last year and No. 37 in 2010.
The convenience store chain had revenues of $10.8 billion as of November, and 12,929 employees. That compares to $8.8 billion last year and just shy of 12,000 employees, Thornbrugh said.
QuikTrip's customers help contribute to the company's success, Thornbrugh said.
"We've been really lucky. The customers have been fantastic for us. They are loyal; they tell us what they like and what they don't like," he said. "We listen, and we react."
QuikTrip has 639 stores in 11 states, including 68 in metro Tulsa. The chain also has 37 stores under construction.
"We cut things that don't work," Thornbrugh said. "If we have stores that don't perform, we shut them down. We walk away. ... We don't sit there and invest money in things that don't perform. Not many people do that; they try to hang on to them."
QuikTrip also owns and operates three distribution centers - in Kansas City, Atlanta and Phoenix - as well as five QT Kitchens facilities - in Tulsa, Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta and Phoenix.
The company's big push into offering freshly prepared food should spur more growth, Thornbrugh said.
For its list, Forbes includes only private firms with revenue greater than $2 billion. Also on the list are companies that have either too few shareholders to be required to file financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or have shares whose ownership is restricted to some group, such as employees or family members, Forbes says.
The list excludes foreign companies, companies that don't pay income tax, mutually owned companies, cooperatives, companies with fewer than 100 employees and companies that are more than 50 percent owned by another public, private or foreign company.
The data sources include voluntary disclosures by companies, SEC filings, and estimates from Forbes researchers and outside sources, according to Forbes.
Top 10 largest private U.S. companies
2. Koch Industries
6. Pilot Flying J
7. Publix Super Markets
8. Ernst & Young
9. Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
10. C&S Wholesale Grocers
Original Print Headline: QuikTrip rises to No. 26 on Forbes' list of private firms
Laurie Winslow 918-581-8466
The new QuikTrip on the former site of the old Camelot Hotel at 51st St. and Peoria Ave. is near the site of the original QuikTrip store. JAMES GIBBARD/ Tulsa World file