Large companies are on the hunt to acquire c-stores. Just in 2017, there have been hundreds of stores acquired pushing new competitors into the c-store market. As companies compete for growth it is important to know the latest company acquisitions, the pros and cons of selling your store, and what the outlook is for the future of convenience.
The Hunt for C-Stores
In the last few years, the convenience industry has been growing rapidly. The overall U.S. store count has increased 2% in 2016 alone. This is motivating large chains to acquire new c-stores in order to reap the profits that c-stores are bringing in.
The Newest Acquisitions
These are just some of the twenty plus companies that have acquired new c-stores in 2017:
Western Refining; El Paso, Texas – 247 stores in 2016, 542 stores in 2017
After more than doubling its store count within the last year, Western Refining added 170 c-stores after its acquisition of Nothern Tier Energy.
GPM Investments; Richmond, Virginia – 672 stores in 2016, 849 stores in 2017
GPM expands their store count by purchasing by the chain. In 2016, they added 137 convenience stores with fuel and 33 discount tobacco shops from Admiral Petroleum Co., 70 locations from Apple Market, and 17 locations from Jiffi Stop.
Sunoco; Dallas, Texas – 2,875 stores in 2016, 2,875 stores in 2017
Sunoco bought Denny Oil for approximately $53 million, 14 Rattlers c-stores, and 18 Valentine Stores giving them a 4% increase from 2016.
CST Brands; San Antonio, Texas – 1,049 stores in 2016, 1,167 stores in 2017
CST Brands spent $425 million on acquiring 165 c-stores in Georgia and Florida. Now they are planned to be acquired by Alimentation Couche -Tard.
Kwik Trip; La Crosse, Wisconsin – 487 stores in 2016, 553 stores in 2017
Kwik Trip invested $40 million as they expanded into Minnesota and plans to venture out into new types of stores such as "Kiwk Trip Express" and "Kwik Star Express" later in 2017.
7-Eleven; Irving, Texas – 8,331 stores in 2016, 8,396 stores in 2017
After a $408 million deal with CST Brands for 79 c-stores, 7-Eleven plans to expand their store count to 10,000 by 2019.
Looking Towards the Future
As an owner, you should be aware of all of the competition growth happening around you. Other stores may be selling, franchising, or continuing to be an independent c-store in your area. With other c-store chains expanding around you, be aware that you may be affected. Continue to improve your c-store and check out how you can keep customers happy or the reasons customers choose other c-stores if the competition gets tough.
Overall, knowing who is growing in the convenience industry and understanding your options will help you be able to plan for the future. Being a part of this rapidly growing industry is exciting, but be aware of the competition and the recent acquisition race.