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    Clark Inks Deal with McLane

    Agreement covers 825 company-owned convenience stores.

    OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Clark Retail Enterprises Inc., operator of more than 1,100 convenience stores, signed a multi-year distribution agreement with Temple, Texas-based McLane Co. Inc. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    The agreement calls for McLane to service Clark's 825 company-operated convenience stores. Service is scheduled to begin in June.

    Clark signed a long-term deal with grocery wholesaler Fleming in 2000 to supply its network of On the Go, Oh! Zone and White Hen Pantry convenience stores. But sources told CSNews Online the deal went south over the past year, primarily over the distribution of foodservice items.

    Clark President and CEO Brandon Barnholt told Convenience Store News two weeks ago that Clark "still had an agreement with Fleming ... and we will try to honor our contract."

    The company did not say whether or not it would continue to work with Fleming in some capacity.

    For McLane, the deal with Clark gives the wholesaler access to one of the dominant marketers in the Midwest.

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