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    Ireland's Applegreen Enters U.S. Convenience Market

    Two East Coast sites purchased, with more to come.

    DUBLIN – Petrogas Group Ltd. is expanding its Applegreen convenience store chain to the United States. The company recently purchased two gas station sites in Hicksville and Plainview, Long Island, N.Y., according to an Irish Times report.

    CEO Bob Etchingham is reportedly scouting other possible sites on the East Coast. Applegreen will likely open "two to three" additional U.S. locations this year, according to Joe Barrett, who co-founded the company with Etchingham.

    At the same time, the retailer plans to open five more locations in the United Kingdom. This will bring its U.K. store count to 50.

    Petrogas is prepared to spend as much as €100 million, or approximately $135 million, to expand its domestic and international network over the next three years.

    "We'll ramp it up over time," Etchingham said. "It's not our style to enter markets with a big bang."

    Applegreen 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, as CSNews Online previously reported.

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