Convenience Store News

MAR 2017

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32 Convenience Store News | MARCH 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM of Nielsen. The period analyzed was January 2016 to January 2017. TDLinx defines a convenience store as a store that includes a broad merchandising mix, extended hours of operation and a minimum of 500 SKUs. Fueling stations with small kiosk stores do not meet the official definition and thus are not reflected in TDLinx's store count figures. Behind Western Refining, in the No. 2 spot, is GPM Investments with 177 net new stores added for a 26.3-percent increase. Sunoco LP's addition of 123 stores (a 4.3-percent increase) was good enough to snag third, while CST Brands Inc.'s 118-unit jump (an 11.2-percent increase) places it fourth. Rounding out the top five is Kwik Trip Inc., which added 66 stores to see a 13.6-percent lift. Now, consider that Couche-Tard, 2016's Top Growth Chain, added 1,510 stores just on its own you have a publicly traded company and the focus is on quarterly results, it is hard to keep raising sales to meet the earnings call," Monroe said. "But if you can do an acquisition, there is an immediate boost to the stock price and then the company will spend the next year or two growing their new acquisition." INCHING UP THE RANKS While Western Refining's jump to Top Growth Chain was sealed when it more than doubled its size thanks to Northern Tier, the other convenience store chains on this year's Top 20 Growth Chains ranking practi- cally inched their way onto the list, when comparing this year's numbers to the growth tracked by CSNews in prior years. The annual ranking, now in its sixth year, is based on store count figures provided by TDLinx, a service Waycross, Ga.-based The Jones Co. and its affiliates. The $425-million transaction added 165 convenience stores in Georgia and Florida to the CST portfolio. The com- pany has been on an expansion path ever since it was spun off from Valero Energy Corp., but the growth has come at a price. CST came under shareholder scrutiny in early 2016 and is now set to be acquired by Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. ••••••••••••••• No. 5 Kwik Trip Inc. La Crosse, Wis. 2017 Store Count : 553 2016 Store Count : 487 Increase: 66 (13.6%) About the company's growth: Aggressive expansion into Minnesota with a $40-million investment accounted for a significant por- tion of Kwik Trip's growth in 2016. Director of Real Estate Hans Zietlow pointed to the "dynamic arteries" that connect across the state as something that made growth in the St. Cloud region a logical step for the company. Over the next few years, Kwik Trip plans to expand its "express" venture, which includes Kwik Trip Express and Kwik Star Express stores, with a goal of having 100 locations in operation. This initiative is currently in Wisconsin and Iowa, but could potentially move into Minnesota. ••••••••••••••• No. 6 7-Eleven Inc. Irving, Texas 2017 Store Count: 8,396 2016 Store Count: 8,331 Increase: 65 (0.8%) About the company's growth: 7-Eleven and its wholly owned subsidiary, SEI Fuel Services Inc., purchased 79 convenience stores in the California and Wyoming markets from CST Brands Inc. for $408 million in July. Seventy- six of the stores are in California, with the remaining three in Wyoming. 7-Eleven sold off the three Wyoming sites, citing a lack of other holdings in the state. But continued growth is on the horizon: Parent company Seven & i Holdings Co. revealed plans to increase its North America footprint to 10,000 c-stores by fiscal year 2019. ••••••••••••••• No. 7 Croton Holding Co. Pittsburgh 2017 Store Count: 95 2016 Store Count: 33 Increase: 62 (187.9%) About the company's growth: In April 2016, Croton Holding acquired Par Mar Oil Co. The deal included 56 convenience stores, several car washes and 16 quick-service restaurants. Croton's retail operations now span southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, northern Kentucky and West Virginia. The company has said it plans to rebrand its existing retail facilities in western Pennsylvania under the Par Mar Stores ban - ner now that the acquisition is completed. ••••••••••••••• No. 8 C.A.R. Enterprises Inc. Upland, Calif. 2017 Store Count: 97 2016 Store Count: 41 Increase: 56 (136.6%) About the company's growth: Anabi Oil Corp.'s C.A.R. Enterprises acquired all of the retail outlets of Rebel Oil Co., which included locations throughout Nevada, including Las Vegas, Henderson, Beatty, Boulder City, Pahrump, Searchlight and Tonopah. These convenience stores and gas stations joined the company's existing network of retail locations in Alaska, Northern California and Southern California. Following the deal, Anabi selected Tesoro Corp.'s Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. LLC division to sell fuel at the newly acquired sites. cover story

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