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    Applegreen 'Cautious' in Status Update on Its First U.S. Stores

    Decision on expansion could come in early 2017.

    DUBLIN — Two years after landing in Long Island, N.Y., Ireland's Applegreen banner could reveal plans for U.S. expansion next year.

    According to the Belfast Telegraph, Chief Executive Bob Etchingham said the company would make a decision on growth of its United States business in 2017. 

    Applegreen's primary business is in Ireland and the United Kingdom. As the news outlet reported, the retail brand has secured a lease on nine additional sites in the U.S. that will bring its presence into Massachusetts. In addition, it has signed a franchise agreement with Irving, Texas-based 7‐Eleven Inc. 

    In all, the company now has six locations in Long Island and has taken over operations of four of the locations in Massachusetts. Applegreen has leased the sites from Allentown, Pa.-based CrossAmerica Partners LP, a wholesale distributor of motor fuels and owner and lessee of real estate used in the retail distribution of motor fuels. 

    According to Etchingham, Applegreen's operations in the U.S. were breaking even and not consuming much management time. 

    "We're still in learning mode in the U.S.," he explained. "We're still developing relationships. We do want to continue to develop there, but we're doing it in a very measured and cautious fashion. We will look to make a decision as to whether we push on in the United States, probably sometime in the first half of 2017."

    As CSNews Online previously reported, Petrogas Group Ltd. brought its Applegreen banner to the U.S. with the acquisition of two gas station sites in Long Island — one each in the towns of Hicksville and Plainview — in July 2014.

    Earlier this year, Applegreen was named the NACS Insight 2016 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award for its new M1 Lisburn Motorway Service Area in Northern Ireland. The award was presented during the NACS Insight Convenience Summit — Europe in London on June 9 at this year's International Convenience Retailer Awards gala.

    The banner previously won accolades in 2010 when it received the International Convenience Retailer of the Year award at the Future of Convenience and Petroleum Retailing conference, sponsored by Insight and NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing.

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