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    Couche-Tard Teams with Dunkin' Donuts

    Approximately a dozen shops to be built within existing gas and c-stores.

    RANDOLPH, Mass. -- Alimentation Couche-Tard, which owns Circle K, Mac's and Dairy Mart convenience stores, has entered into a development agreement to open 66 new Dunkin' Donuts stores in the next six years as a franchisee.

    Approximately a dozen shops will be built within existing premium gas and convenience store locations operated by Couche-Tard; the remainder will be freestanding shops. The agreement also calls for the development of at least three stores with both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins under the same roof. These stores are expected to open at Couche-Tard-owned locations within the next year.

    The first Couche-Tard-owned Dunkin' Donuts shop, in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, is scheduled to open by the end of September and other locations will open in the coming months.

    "At Couche-Tard we are always looking to strategically differentiate and improve our product offer," said Michel Bernard, vice president of Midwest Operations for Couche-Tard. "The new partnership with Dunkin Donuts is key to our foodservice development. Within the next 12 months Couche-Tard will invest $8 million in the Cleveland area to improve our current stores and to build new ones."

    This agreement follows an earlier deal between Dunkin' Donuts and Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. in Aug. 2003. Under the terms of that agreement, Dunkin' Donuts granted master franchise rights to the Quebec-based company for the Dunkin' Donuts brand in Quebec. Under that agreement, Couche-Tard is slated to develop more than 100 new Dunkin' Donuts stores over a five-year period, almost doubling the brand's presence in the region.

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