New entrant in WNY convenience store sweepstakes not just another ‘Joe’

Western New York

(WIVB) — What do you think, could you get used to Joe’s Kwik Mart? That is what more than a dozen Western New York Speedways are supposed to be converted to after Speedway’s parent company, Marathon Petroleum sells them to a Pennsylvania company called CrossAmerica Partners.

It all started in 2019 when NOCO sold most of its convenience stores to Marathon Petroleum, which quickly re-branded the combination convenience store-gas stations to Speedways.

Then earlier this year, Marathon turned around and sold their Speedways to 7-Eleven which got the Federal Trade Commission’s attention it made 7-Eleven too big.

“In our 25 years’ worth of work with the FTC chairs and commissioners they typically do not like two combine companies that have a market share more than 22 percent,” said Burt Flickinger of Strategic Resource Group.

The FTC accused 7-Eleven of violating federal antitrust laws with its massive purchase of Marathon’s convenience stores. 7-Eleven is now divesting itself of more than 100 Speedways,14 of them in Western New York, including stores on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore, and another former Noco on Main Street in Williamsville.

Burt Flickinger, Managing Director for the Strategic Resource Group, told us the change of hands and brands should be good for Western New York consumers.

“Typically after divestiture, there is often a price war in the rebranding. So, hopefully, that’s a good opportunity for Western New York shoppers, consumers, to save more money,” added Flickinger.

Flickinger also sees the new brand Joe’s brand as a better fit down the road.

But ultimately, the great alternative is when there’s gonna be a food and fuel price war next year with BJ’s, the wholesale club market leader, that’s really been taking it to the supermarket sector when BJ’s goes toe-to-toe with the new Costco in Buffalo,” said Flickinger.

While there are two Costco’s just across the border in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Hamilton, Burt Flickinger told us he has it on good authority the wholesale giant is making plans to locate a store here in the Buffalo area within a year.

Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here. To submit a Call 4 Action, click here.

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