QuickChek Acquisition Caps String of C-Store Purchases

blue shopping cart on street during daytime

The QuickChek acquisition by Murphy USA in a $645 million deal, capping off a string of convenience store acquisitions during  the first half of December.

QuickChek, which began its operations as a dairy delivery service in 1988, was family-owned prior to the acquisition and grew to 157 stores in the New York metro area. The convenience store operator has a leading food and beverage program, gasoline services, and a strong regional following, supporting a per-store per-year merchandise sales rate of about $3.5 million, according to the companies.

Murphy USA president and CEO Andrew Clyde noted the acquisition is in line with the company’s updated capital allocation strategy first unveiled in October, and the purchase is expected to improve food and beverage offerings at its existing and future sites.

“The transaction is also expected to create direct synergies that leverage our enterprise scale and our distinctive capabilities in fuel, tobacco, and loyalty. We are excited to join forces with an exceptional and highly engaged team at QuickChek who share Murphy USA’s passion for delivering excellence every day to all our stakeholders,” he added.

The shift at Murphy is indicative of the convenience store space during the pandemic, with operators relying on increasing food sales to offset declining gasoline sales. The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) noted 58% of surveyed convenience store operators reported an increase in in-store sales during the first nine months of 2020, and in an April survey, found that while foodservice sales seemed to decrease early on in the pandemic, demand for grocery sales in the convenience channel rose.

Fans of the brand need not fear major changes, as QuickChek CEO and Chairman Dean Durling noted.

“I am thrilled by Murphy USA’s commitment to honor our legacy and preserve our brand while learning from our business model. I am proud of what we have accomplished in making QuickChek what it is today and I am excited about the opportunities for continued growth and success in the next chapter in QuickChek’s journey,” he said.

The QuickChek acquisition capped a string of retail fuel and convenience store acquisitions recorded by the Food Institute in December. On Dec. 14, Global Partners LP agreed to purchase the retail fuel and convenience store assets of Consumers Petroleum of Connecticut Inc. The deal included 27 company-operated gas stations with Wheels branded convenience stores in Connecticut.

“Building on our history of successful strategic acquisitions, the pending purchase of Wheels is an excellent fit for Global, and expands our retail business in Connecticut,” said Global Partners president and CEO Eric Slifka.

Meanwhile, on Dec. 7, Classic Star Group LP announced the acquisition of the convenience retail assets of H&M Wholesale Inc., including three branded retail stores. The deal also included branded fuel distribution and commercial business assets, along with dealer supply contracts, and transportation assets.

Additionally, Jay Petroleum acquired a majority of Ottawa Oil’s assets, including 22 c-stores that will expand Jay’s footprint to 57 convenience stores throughout Northern Indiana and Northwest Ohio. The deal also includes fuel transportation, dealer sites, and consignment sites, reported Hartford City News-Times (Dec. 9).