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    C.K. Smith Closes 23 Irving Stations in Mass., N.H.

    Financial difficulty forces the regional fuel supplier to temporarily shutter the locations.

    WORCESTER, Mass. -- Regional fuel supplier C.K. Smith closed its 23 Irving-branded gas stations and convenience stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire because of financial problems, the Worcester Telegram reported, citing a spokesperson for Irving Oil.

    The stations -- located mostly in central and eastern Massachusetts -- were closed at the end of last week, Liza M. Dube, spokesperson for Irving Oil's New England headquarters in Portsmouth, N.H., told the newspaper. "C.K. Smith has had some financial difficulty and temporarily closed its stations," Dube said. "It's been happening in a staggered way."

    A spokesman for C.K. Smith could not be reached for comment, the report stated. Headquartered in Worcester since 1893, C.K. Smith sells and delivers fuel oil and propane, and owned several gas stations in Massachusetts before taking on the Irving brand.

    Irving Oil, a privately owned fuel company based in Saint John, New Brunswick, provides gasoline to more than 100 Irving stations in southern New England. There are about 800 Irving-branded stations across Canada and New England, with the company opening roughly 100 new stations in southern New England over the past two years.

    Irving Oil has established a partnership with six Shaw's supermarkets in Webster, Shrewsbury, Auburn, Leominster and Worcester, through which shoppers can earn price reductions at Irving stations based on their supermarket purchases at Shaw's.

    "We are definitely encouraging Irving customers to find another Irving station so they can take advantage of our discount program. They can shop at Shaw's and still get their reward points," Dube said. "We are looking forward to growing in that area. This is no reflection on Irving's enthusiasm about growing in Massachusetts."

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