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Monday, April 5, 2021

Divestiture list reveals Couche-Tard strategy

Source: Oil Express
By Donna Harris

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. recently announced it is divesting about 300 stores in the U.S. and Canada, and a proprietary list of the stores obtained by OPIS reveals the convenience store giant’s strategy for streamlining its North American network.

The store divestiture list clearly indicates Couche-Tard is getting rid of leased stores. The company is also focusing on fuel. More than 1 in 5 – 23%

– of the 297 stores have no fuel offering, and 171 stores, or about 58% of the total, are leased. As OPIS reported, Couche-Tard recently agreed to sell 49 sites in Oklahoma to Casey's General Stores Inc. That sale involves 46 leased and three owned properties.

Couche-Tard also has said it is converting more of its stores to Circle K Fuel (see related story, page 7). Some 59% of the fuel sites up for sale are major oil brands, and an additional 8% of the fuel sites to be divested are store brands inherited over the years through acquisitions – Kangaroo, Holiday, Flash Food and Mac’s.

Major brands with the most units on the sale list are: Shell (36), Valero (26), BP (20), Marathon (14), Mobil (14) and Exxon (12).

Gas islands at a sizable minority of the fuel locations that are on

the block – 30% – bear the Circle K brand. However, the divestiture list shows these sites fall far short of the Couche-Tard’s prototype for new-to- industry (NTI) stores. All the properties are less than an acre, few stores are 3,000 square feet or more, and only a handful among the total for sale are the 5,000-plus square feet of Couche-Tard’s NTI stores.

Depending on the region, the properties average .45-.89 acres and the stores typically range from 2,200 to 2,700 square feet.

The stores are grouped into 10 packages, showing fuel gallonage for March 2018-March 2019, March 2019-March 2020 and March 2020-March 2021. Looking at the best year for each package, average monthly gallonage ranges from 44,279 gal for the Southwest to 98,240 gal for Texas.

Many of the stores have below-average fuel sales: The National Association of Convenience Stores estimates the average fuel location sells 2,600 gal/day, or about 95,000 gal/month.

Looking at merchandise sales for the best of three years for each package, monthly merchandise sales averaged from a low of $61,703 to

a high of $156,765. Four of the 10 store groupings exceeded $100,000 in average monthly merchandise sales. Based on recent NACS statistics, stores in the top quartile sell more than $175,000 in store merchandise per month.

The 10 store packages are: Canada (37); Texas (41); Georgia and Tennessee (29); Florida (28); Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi (38); North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia (38); Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin (28); Maine, Michigan,

New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia (24); Arizona/Colorado/New Mexico (22); and California, Nevada and Washington (12).

To see a list of convenience stores and gas stations for sale, click here.