NATIONAL REPORT -- This year’s Convenience Store News Top 100 ranking looks a lot like last year’s ranking. But if you were to wait a few months and then revisit the list, you would see some pretty noticeable changes thanks to currently pending acquisitions.
Speedway LLC, the retail division of Marathon Petroleum Corp. (No. 7 on the Top 100), soon will become the second-largest c-store retailer in the United States. Speedway has agreed to acquire the retail network of Hess Corp. (No. 13 on the Top 100). Once the transaction is completed, Speedway will have 2,733 company-owned stores, up from its now 1,487.
Energy Transfer Partners LP (No. 9 on the Top 100) will also be moving up the list shortly. The parent of Sunoco Inc. is in the process of acquiring Susser Holdings Corp. (No. 21 on the Top 100) and recently completed the purchase of 40 Tigermarket stores in Tennessee and Georgia. Susser’s retail operations consist of 630 convenience stores, largely branded Stripes. Adding these stores to Energy Transfer's current unit count, the company will have a total of 2,320 c-stores.
Until these deals close later this year, however, the Top 100 list — the industry’s longest-running accounting of the largest convenience store chains by store count — is holding relatively steady compared to 2013.
The top six companies were unchanged year over year, albeit for Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. moving into the No. 4 position and Chevron Corp. dropping down to No. 5. 7-Eleven Inc. once again leads the pack with a store count of 7,749.
The only company to drop out of the top 10 this year is The Pantry Inc., operator of Kangaroo Express stores. It was bumped by Marathon Petroleum, which went from No. 11 to No. 7.
The CSNews Top 100 report is compiled in partnership with TDLinx, a service of Nielsen. TDLinx defines a convenience store as a small-format store of at least 800 square feet; with 500 to 1,500 SKUs; that operates at least 13 hours a day; and carries a limited selection of grocery items, including at least two of the following: toilet paper, soap, disposable diapers, pet food, breakfast cereal, tuna fish, toothpaste, ketchup and canned goods.
According to TDLinx store count figures, this year’s top 100 chains operate 60,640 stores. Compared to last year’s 59,598, this is an increase of 1,042 units or 1.7 percent. These 100 chains represent 40.1 percent of the industry’s total stores, equal to last year’s result. The top 10 chains alone represent 24.3 percent of the total industry’s stores with 36,827 units.
Look in the July issue of Convenience Store News for the full Top 100 report. This year's installment is bigger and better than ever.
In addition to the annual Top 100 ranking, this year's report includes individual profiles on the 10 largest retailers; analyses into the future of two major acquisitions that will result in the merging of four of the largest chains — Speedway with Hess, and Sunoco with Stripes; and several informative breakouts, such as the 10 companies on the cusp (Nos. 101-110 in store count), the top 20 chains in company-operated stores and the top 20 chains in franchised/licensed stores.