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    Fertile Oasis

    Twin Cities Stores acquires Avanti Petroleum.

    By John Lofstock

    The consolidation of the convenience store and petroleum market in the Midwest continues as Twin Cities Stores Inc. has acquired Owatonna, Minn.-based Avanti Petroleum, the 133-unit retail marketing division of Eagan, Minn.-based Avanti Petroleum Co., sources told CSNews Online. Terms of the deal were not available.

    The acquisition is expected to significantly boost Twin Cities' market share in the Midwest, which has been dominated by major players such as Oak Brook Ill.-based Clark Retail Enterprises Inc. and Enon, Ohio-based Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC.

    Twin Cities currently operates 72 Oasis Market convenience stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The deal would increase its total c-store count to 205.

    Avanti Petroleum owns and operates 133 c-stores in four Midwestern states under brands such as Food-n-Fuel, Budget Mart and Total Mart. The company's primary fuel brands are Mobil and Texaco. Last year, Avanti rebranded 77 stores to Mobil making it the largest Mobil dealer in Minnesota.

    In May, Avanti Petroleum President Steve Whitney said he was planning to grow the company by reducing turnover and experimenting with value-added services such as Exxon Mobil Corp.'s Speedpass.

    "We're not exactly sure yet what to expect from Speedpass in terms of a bump in sales," Whitney then told Convenience Store News. "However, I understand that other chains have experienced healthy increases in both gasoline and merchandise sales. As a cautious prediction, I would estimate a 6-percent bump in gasoline volume for our Minnesota locations once customers become familiar with the system."

    By John Lofstock
    • About John Lofstock

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