Molina's San Antonio Country Store, located at 700 N. Alamo St. next to Shell, displays a sign reading "WE THANUSINESS."
Molina's San Antonio Country Store, located at 700 N. Alamo St., displays a sign reading "WE THANUSINESS." Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

The signs began popping up at gas stations, ice houses, and convenience stores in the last few weeks – bold, red letters on the front of corner stores that read, WE THANUSINESS.

We spotted signs this week at a Shell station at Brooklyn Avenue and Alamo Street, a Chevron at Interstate 35 and New Braunfels Avenue, and another at the M&M Food Mart on Iowa Street and began to wonder: What does it mean?

We got to the bottom of it.

A WE THANUSINESS sign at a Chevron gas station on the near East Side. Credit: Hanna Oberhofer / San Antonio Report

As much of San Antonio began to notice, rumor had it a local artist was involved in a public art project. Reached by the Rivard Report for comment Thursday, Justin Parr said it wasn’t him, but several other people had also contacted him about it.

A search online for the word turned up tweets, hashtags, and Instagram posts in which WE THANUSINESS suggested something involving marijuana use. But no one we talked to was familiar with that particular meaning.

A clerk who answered the phone at Molina’s San Antonio Country Store said a man showed up one day and changed the sign. She wasn’t sure why.

Then a store manager told the Rivard Report it was someone from the ACSR, the Association of Convenience Store Retailers, who made the sign shorter because it extended beyond the side of store by 2 feet.

“They just crunched it together and didn’t fix what it says,” she said.

Local photographer Erik Gustafson posted to Instagram his nighttime shot of the WE THANUSINESS sign he took at Roy Food Mart in Northwest San Antonio on May 6. He had his own theory about it – “that the stores all use the same distributor and they ordered the wrong size signs but … squeezed them in anyways.”

And he was pretty close to the truth.

A WE THANUSINESS sign adorns Roy Food Mart on Culebra Road. Credit: Courtesy / Erik Jon Gustafson

Adnan Ahmad, secretary of ACSR, explained, saying the WE THANUSINESS signs should read, “We Thank You For Your Business,” as we suspected.

But why the shorthand version? Why squeeze out K-Y-O-U-F-O-R-Y-O-U-R-B? Is this the beginning of the end, or just the middle?

Some of the letters were removed, Ahmad said, when the signage at all of their 240 member stores throughout the San Antonio area were recently shortened from 20 feet to 10.

“We are currently printing new stickers,” Ahmad said. “We just told them to print them last week, and they are printing now. But it takes longer to put them up because he has to go to each and every store.

“That’s why it doesn’t make any sense right now. There’s nothing in the meaning in there. We know it doesn’t make any sense. Within month or so, we will get done with that.”

We thank you for your understanding, and as always, WE THANUSINESS.

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Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.