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VAUGHAN, Ontario -- Gateway Newstands, a 400-store chain of newsstand/convenience stores across North America, acquired the assets of the Convenience Store Group, a buying group based in Toronto that focused on independent retailers. As of Jan. 1, 2007 Gateway's wholly owned 'Gateway on the Go' division will conduct the merchandising and promotional activities that were done by the Convenience Store Group.
"There is a need for independent retailers to have a voice and have someone support them," Tracey Boisvert, the director of business development for Gateway, told CSNews Online. "There is a void there. The independent retailer didn't have a voice."
The 140 members of the Convenience Store Group will benefit from the existing network in place with the Gateway Newstand stores, Gateway said in a written statement. Gateway stores are franchised, kiosk-sized locations offering a mix of merchandise to busy travelers.
With the acquisition, Bill Reid and Steve MacFarlane -- formerly of the Convenience Store Group -- will serve as consultants for the development of the 'Gateway on the Go' convenience buying business. Both will report to Gateway CEO Michael Aychental. Reid formed the buying group three years ago with other partners. The privately-held company worked with suppliers to provide products and promotions to independent retailers in North America.
Gateway's more than 600 stores are located in areas of high traffic throughout the world, including transit, shopping and office centers. Within the U.S., more than 100 stores are concentrated mainly in Chicago and New York, and the company has plans to expand its concept to urban areas such as Dallas, Philadelphia and Atlanta, according to the company's Web site.