Several new names appear on this year’s Convenience Store News Top 20 Growth Chains ranking, starting at the very top of the list. EG America, the U.S. subsidiary of U.K.-based EG Group, grew its store count by more than 100 percent year over year, earning it
the top spot on this year’s ranking. Although the company has only been a part
of the U.S. convenience store industry since April 2018, even the most casual
industry observer already knows the name. EG America added 1,052 stores
between January 2019 and January 2020 — more than all of the other
top 20 chains combined. Overall, this year’s Top 20 Growth Chains
added 2,124 net new stores combined year over year — an
average growth percentage of 23.1 percent.
Meet the 2020 Top 20 Growth Chains:
2020 Store Count: 2,042
2019 Store Count: 990
Increase: 1,052 (106.3%)
About the company’s growth: EG America, the U.S.
subsidiary of U.K.-based EG Group, grabbed the top M&A
deal in the past 12 months when it closed on the acquisition of Cumberland Farms in October 2019. That transaction gave EG America 567 stores in seven Northeast states and Florida, plus a new headquarters in Westborough, Mass. During the past year, the retailer also wrapped up purchases of Fastrac Markets LLC, adding 54 stores in New York, and
Certified Oil, adding 69 locations in Kentucky,
West Virginia and Ohio.
Des Moines, Iowa
2020 Store Count: 417
2019 Store Count: 136
Increase: 281 (206.6%)
About the company’s growth:
Yesway turned in a transformative
2019, pulling off the largest acquisition
in its four-year history with the purchase
of the Clovis, N.M.-based Allsup's convenience store
chain. With this deal, Yesway added 304 locations and increased its presence in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Yesway is operated by BW Gas & Convenience, an affiliate
of Beverly, Mass.-based Brookwood Financial Partners,
a private-equity investment firm.
2020 Store Count: 6,050
2019 Store Count: 5,893
Increase: 157 (2.7%)
About the company’s growth: Marathon
Petroleum Corp. (MPC) may have been quieter on the M&A front in 2019 than the previous year when it closed on its strategic merger with Andeavor, but it did not sit still. The company's activities included the acquisition of 33 NOCO Express stores and
a 900,000-barrel-capacity light product and asphalt terminal in Tonawanda, N.Y., from NOCO Energy. MPC began reimaging these stores to its Speedway brand this past summer.
2020 Store Count: 2,191
2019 Store Count: 2,115
Increase: 76 (3.6%)
About the company’s growth: For its 2020 fiscal year, Casey's set a goal of building 60 new convenience stores. Through its second quarter, the retailer opened 36 new stores and acquired five stores, as it reported on Dec. 10. Casey's third distribution center, currently being constructed in Joplin, Mo., will open up new markets for the retailer in the Southwest. Over the past 10 years, Casey’s has built or acquired 750 stores, and replaced or remodeled an additional 700 existing stores.
Casey's General Stores Inc.
2020 Store Count: 1,249
2019 Store Count: 1,162
Increase: 87 (7.5%)
About the company’s growth: GPM Investments took ownership of the Riiser convenience store chain on Dec. 3. This acquisition of 64 c-stores and gas stations marked GPM's first entry into Wisconsin, and brought into the fold such brands as RStore, Mad Max, Baltus and Jetz. In the past year, the company also acquired 18 stores from Town Star Stores, and made progress in its Southwest expansion plan with the acquisition of the Cash and Sons chain. This five-store acquisition marked GPM's second deal in Arkansas, following its E-Z Mart acquisition in 2018.
GPM Investments LLC
2020 Store Count: 891
2019 Store Count: 835
Increase: 56 (6.7%)
About the company’s growth: Wawa had a busy 2019. The Pennsylvania-based retailer continued to unfurl its banner across the Sunshine State, making its debut in Miami with three store grand openings on the same day, followed by a major milestone celebration in the fall for its 200th Florida store overall. To close out the year, Wawa introduced a one-of-a-kind small format location in Philadelphia. Looking to the future, the c-store operator has announced expansion plans for northern Virginia, where it expects to open 40 locations over the next 15 years, and Maryland, where it is looking to add 10 to 15 stores over the next five years.
Long Beach, Calif.
2020 Store Count: 300
2019 Store Count: 246
Increase: 54 (22%)
About the company’s growth: In February 2019, United Pacific picked up 39 MAC Chevron convenience stores. In the past year, the company also changed the banner at 42 of its locations from Circle K to My Goods Market. United Pacific is now one of the largest independent operators in the western United States. It offers fuel under the 76, Conoco, Shell and United Oil flags, and convenience items through the We Got It! Food Mart, My Goods Market and Circle K brands. Its retail and wholesale businesses operate in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Colorado.
2020 Store Count: 3,077
2019 Store Count: 3,033
Increase: 44 (1.5%)
About the company’s growth: Joint venture partners BP and ArcLight Capital Partners closed on an acquisition of Thorntons Inc. in early February 2019. The deal, which was announced at the end of 2018, is focused on the growth of BP’s downstream refined products segment. All of the acquired stores continue to operate under the Thorntons name.
La Crosse, Wis.
2020 Store Count: 677
2019 Store Count: 637
Increase: 40 (6.3%)
About the company’s growth: Kwik Trip continues to inch closer to the 700-store milestone, adding 40 new stores in the past year, in addition to tearing down and rebuilding a handful of existing locations in its three-state footprint. When combined with strategic acquisitions, Kwik Trip is reportedly on pace to add 250 more c-stores over the next five years.
Kwik Trip Inc.
2020 Store Count: 822
2019 Store Count: 789
Increase: 33 (4.2%)
About the company’s growth: Oklahoma-based QuikTrip (QT) was busy entering new markets in 2019 by way of organic growth. The retailer celebrated the opening of its 800th store in April. The milestone occurred in San Antonio, one of QT’s newest markets, which it first entered in fall 2018. Shortly after, QT took to social media to announce its move into the Denver market, stating that it chose the city because it has a large, booming population and recently dropped some restrictions on beer sales. This year, QuikTrip is expected to break ground on its first store in the state of Alabama — yet another new market for the chain.
2020 Store Count: 800
2019 Store Count: 767
Increase: 33 (4.3%)
About the company's growth: 2019 saw RaceTrac enter Tennessee with a groundbreaking in Murfreesboro, followed by multiple other sites within the state. RaceTrac is focusing on The Volunteer State to expand its footprint and has announced plans to open as many as 50 stores throughout middle Tennessee by 2023. The past year also saw RaceTrac launch a new franchising program, RT Franchising Inc. The initial focus is on identifying quality franchisee candidates in central Florida due to the brand's strong reputation and presence in that region.
2020 Store Count: 134
2019 Store Count: 102
Increase: 32 (31.4%)
About the company's growth: After reaching a milestone of 100 stores with its Par Mar Stores division in 2018, Croton Holding Co. continued the momentum in 2019, adding even more locations than the previous year (32 net new stores vs. 21). The past year’s growth included an acquisition of the 17-store Mountaineer Mart chain in West Virginia. Croton Holding Co.’s Par Mar Stores division now operates locations in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
Croton Holding Co.
2020 Store Count: 9,300
2019 Store Count: 9,271
Increase: 29 (0.3%)
About the company's growth:
7-Eleven recently reached a global
milestone of 70,000 locations worldwide.
In the U.S., the retailer's expansion plans
include western Pennsylvania, where it is
seeking more than 20 franchisees for
Pittsburgh metropolitan area stores.
These locations are currently branded Sunoco APlus, purchased as part of 7-Eleven's largest-ever acquisition
of 1,100 stores in 2018. In March, 7-Eleven acquired 7-Eleven Stores of Oklahoma, which has independently operated
100-plus 7-Eleven stores for nearly 70 years.
2020 Store Count: 509
2019 Store Count: 482
Increase: 27 (5.6%)
About the company's growth: Love's celebrated the milestone of 500 locations with the simultaneous openings of two travel stops in St. Clair, Mich., and Edon, Ohio, on Oct. 10. These locations were among 27 sites that Love’s added year over year. Its roadmap for 2020 is no less ambitious, as it calls for the opening of up to 40 new travel stops.
Stops & Country
2020 Store Count: 227
2019 Store Count: 202
Increase: 25 (12.4%)
About the company's growth: Two Farms Inc. dba Royal Farms grew its c-store count by more than 10 percent in the last year and took its operation past the 200-store milestone. The company recently acquired property in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, which could signify plans to further compete in the state’s already-competitive c-store market.
Two Farms Inc.
2020 Store Count: 126
2019 Store Count: 103
Increase: 23 (22.3%)
About the company’s growth: Making its debut on the Top 20 Growth Chains ranking, True North Energy picked up Schmuckal Oil Co.’s c-store and gas station portfolio in August 2019. The deal included 25 locations, in addition to a small wholesaler fuel and transportation business. In addition to its True North branded c-stores, the company supplies fuel to approximately 200 dealers.
True North Energy LLC
El Dorado, Ark.
2020 Store Count: 333
2019 Store Count: 312
Increase: 21 (6.7%)
About the company’s growth: Murphy USA dedicated 2019 to upping its competitive game. "We are competing for the long term and we are competing to win. With several transformative initiatives underway, we are positioning the business for further step-level improvements in 2019 and beyond," President and CEO Andrew Clyde said during the company's fourth-quarter 2018 earnings call, held Jan. 31, 2019. Between January 2019 and January 2020, Murphy USA added 21 net new stores, many of them kiosks undergoing the raze-and-rebuild process into full c-stores.
Murphy USA Inc.
2020 Store Count: 603
2019 Store Count: 583
Increase: 20 (3.4%)
About the company’s growth: Sheetz celebrated a number of growth milestones in 2019. Kicking off the year, the Pennsylvania-based retailer cut the ribbon on its 100th North Carolina store — a month shy of six years since opening its 50th store in the state. Sheetz closed out 2019 with the December opening of its 600th store overall, located in Shaler Township, Pa.
2020 Store Count: 713
2019 Store Count: 696
Increase: 17 (2.4%)
About the company’s growth: 2019 saw Pilot Flying
J — now known as Pilot Co. — open new locations, rebuild sites and continue to make progress in its Facility Enhancement Plan (FEP), a five-year, $500-million initiative to renovate and upgrade existing locations. This year, Pilot Co. expects to open 10 to 15 new Pilot and Flying J travel centers, and complete FEP enhancements at approximately 150 locations.
Salt Lake City
2020 Store Count: 343
2019 Store Count: 326
Increase: 17 (5.2%)
About the company’s growth: At the time of Maverik’s 300th store opening
in July 2017, company executives estimated that the retailer known for its “Adventure’s First Stop” brand would reach the 400-store milestone in the next four to five years. During 2019, Maverik continued to make headway in its journey, adding 17 net new
stores to its network.
The Convenience Store News Top 20 Growth Chains report is based on store count figures provided by TDLinx, a service of Nielsen. This is the ninth year that CSNews has partnered with TDLinx to identify the c-store retailers that added the most convenience stores in the past year. A convenience store is defined 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.
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EG America added
between January 2019 and January 2020 — more than
all of the other top 20
This year’s Top 20 Growth
Chains added 2,124 net
new stores combined year
over year — an average
growth percentage of