(WIVB) – If you are trying to keep up with the local convenience store sweepstakes, there could be a bright light at the end of tunnel.
Once all the deals close later this year, a price war could be in store.
When Marathon announced it was selling its Speedway convenience stores to 7-Eleven, it set the stage for the biggest convenience store merger in history – so big, the Federal Trade Commission said, “No way”- which had an important effect on the Western New York convenience store scene.
For years, NOCO was a dominant local brand in Western New York, and when the Tonawanda-based retailer started opening Noco Express shops, that caught the eye of one of the convenience store giants.
Marathon Petroleum bought and converted the shops to Speedways, which were soon gobbled up by 7-Eleven, the biggest of them all.
Mitch Morrison, a marketing analyst for Winsight Media told us, the Federal Trade Commission stepped in and put the brakes on the 7-Eleven-Marathon deal, as just too big.
“The biggest convenience store merger, actually, in the history of this country,” said Morrison. “It is a $21 billion deal.”
So 7-Eleven is planning to sell off hundreds of the Speedways, including more than a dozen in the Buffalo area, which would be re-branded as Joe’s Kwik Mart.
“A good number of them were actually Noco Expresses,” said Morrison, “So you are going to see a similar footprint, you are going to see a different branding. It is going to go under, I believe, ‘Joe’s Kwik Mart’ will be the dominant brand but it should be very exciting.”
Western New Yorkers have a unique insight into 7-Eleven’s convenience store dominance. Nine years ago, nearly 200 Wilson Farms across upstate New York were bought and converted to 7-Elevens.
After these deals are closed, Morrison expects some Speedways to be converted to Joe’s Kwik Marts, and some will remain Speedways, but 7-Eleven will own them.
And you can expect a price war.
“Typically after divestiture there is often a price war in the re-branding,” said Burt Flickinger of Strategic Resource Group. “So hopefully that is a good opportunity for Western New York shoppers and consumers to save more money.”
Noco Express – Western New Yorkers knew that name well.
Speedway, a familiar brand known across the country.
So how does Crossamerica Partners turn its brand, Joe’s Kwik Mart, into a household name?
Mitch Morrison told us to look for a marketing blitz once those sales are approved.