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    ExxonMobil Closes Deal to Sell Nearly 300 CORS Stores

    Conversion dates are announced for the first time for the Texas, Louisiana and California locations.

    IRVING, Texas -- ExxonMobil Corp. has closed on a sale of nearly 300 CORS convenience stores in Texas, Louisiana and California, the petroleum giant confirmed in an e-mail to Convenience Store News Online this afternoon.

    Purchasing the most stores is Circle K Stores Inc. The convenience store chain, a division of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., is purchasing 33 stores in Louisiana and 72 more in California.

    In Texas, Landmark Industries, operator of Timewise Stores, is buying 81 Houston-area CORS stores; C.L. Thomas Inc., operator of Speedy Stop stores, is purchasing 61 stores in Austin and San Antonio and 7-Eleven Inc. is buying 49 Dallas-area stores. 7-Eleven added it also purchased two unused parcels of land from the petroleum giant, which could later become c-stores.

    "This acquisition fits well with our aggressive growth strategy," said Sean Duffy, 7-Eleven vice president of mergers and acquisitions, in a statement released by the company. "In terms of sales growth, 2011 promises to be 7-Eleven's biggest year since 1986…These high-volume locations complement our existing real estate portfolio in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The combination of 7-Eleven and Exxon brands will make a compelling retail option for convenience-oriented consumers."

    Until conversions are completed, all CORS stores will continue operate under the ExxonMobil banner. However, those conversions are set to take place quickly. All California stores will be converted between Oct. 31 and Nov. 9; Louisiana conversions will conclude by Nov. 17; and all Texas conversions are scheduled to finish by Jan. 20.

    The sale is perhaps part of a larger plan by ExxonMobil to shed 2,200 of its c-stores. The sales efforts date back to 2008 and could take more years to conclude. According to a June 12, 2008 story by USA Today, ExxonMobil wanted to sell its stores because it is "so hard to make money selling gas and diesel fuel to customers."

    Petroleum retailing "continues to be challenging, with reduced [profit] margins and significant competitive growth," ExxonMobil spokesperson Premlata Nair told the newspaper three years ago.

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