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    VPS Moves Into Tennessee, Virginia With 22-Store Deal

    The c-store group is rebranding the locations as Scotchman Convenience Stores.

    By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News

    WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Seizing the opportunity to move into two more states, VPS Convenience Store Group has closed on the acquisition of 22 c-stores. The former APPCO Convenience Stores are in the Tri-Cities metro area of Tennessee and southwestern Virginia.

    The newly acquired stores were among the 47 locations that hit the market when APPCO filed for bankruptcy back in 2009. They were subsequently bought and operated by Sunshine Energy; however, the stores main landlord, Management Properties Inc. (MPI), repossessed 28 stores in mid-2010. Shortly thereafter Sunshine filed its own bankruptcy petition, as CSNews Online previously reported.

    Locally based VPS stepped into the mix approximately four months ago and negotiated with MPI to acquire 22 of the locations, VPS chief executive officer Jeff Turpin told CSNews Online. "These 22 were the best fit for us," he said. Turpin declined to release the deal price.

    The acquisitions give VPS a foothold in Tennessee and Virginia and serve as a bridge between the five markets in the Southeast and Midwest where it already has a presence. "These are great markets, great areas to be in," Turpin said. "We wanted to merge our two markets together and this is a great way to do that."

    All locations will be consistent with the company’s North Carolina and South Carolina locations and carry the Scotchman Convenience Store name, Turpin said. VPS is currently remodeling the stores, replacing the equipment and replacing the dispensers. Turpin added that the first store is expected to open next week, with the rest coming online in the next few weeks. "We just closed on the deal last week and we are now in the process of hiring," he said. "We are putting about 150 people to work."

    By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News
    • About Melissa Kress Melissa Kress joined EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News and Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner in November 2010. Her primary beats include alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Kress has been a professional journalist since 1995. A graduate of West Virginia University, she began her career in community journalism before moving to business-to-business publishing in 2000, covering commercial real estate.

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