Convenience-store giant 7-Eleven Inc. has put 30 former Wilson Farms locations in upstate New York on the auction block through a third-party broker, as it prunes the 188-store network that it acquired last year from a private equity firm and the Nanula family.
The Dallas-based company, known for its Big Gulp and Slurpee drinks and its ubiquitous brand, hired Chicago-based NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC to sell the stores in upstate and Western New York through a sealed-bid process. The sale will be formally launched on Aug. 15, and bids are due Oct. 18.
The locations stretch from Fredonia to Lake Champlain in eastern New York, but only seven are in the eight-county Western New York region, according to NRC. Two are located in Buffalo – in the 136 North dorm for Erie Community College at 136 North Division St. and at 1540 Broadway – while one is at 1500 Main St. in Niagara Falls. Two others are in Batavia, while there’s one each in Albion and Fredonia. Others are in Rochester, Watertown, Elmira and smaller communities in between.
A complete list and details can be found online at the Strictly Business blog at BuffaloNews.com.
“In any acquisition of an entire chain, there will inevitably be some stores that don’t fit with a buyer’s long-term strategic plans. Such is the case with these 30 properties,” Robbie Radant, 7-Eleven vice president of mergers and acquisitions, said in a press release from NRC, without elaborating on the reasons. “While not right for our current operations, we believe they will provide great opportunities for the right buyers, as they did for Wilson Farms over the years.”
The stores are being sold without 7-Eleven branding. Twenty-four of the stores offer Mobil, Sunoco or unbranded gas, while the other six have only convenience store services. The stores range in size from 1,100 square feet to 3,525 square feet in size, on lots as large as 1.85 acres.
All but one are leased locations, with terms mostly expiring in 2015 but renewal options through 2020 or even 2030, according to the NRC website, and all but one are currently operating. Buyers can purchase as few as one store or up to the entire portfolio.
“We think that this sale provides some great opportunities for others already operating in these geographic areas as well as for those looking to enter these markets,” Dennis Ruben, executive managing director of NRC, said in the press release.
7-Eleven paid an undisclosed price last year to buy Wilson Farms from the Nanulas and investment firm Bruckman Rosser Sherill & Co. LLC, boosting its Western New York presence more than 10-fold. It’s been remodeling and converting most of the stores to its own brand while eventually turning them into franchises.
The company operates, franchises or licenses about 9,400 stores in North America and more than 47,300 in 16 countries worldwide, generating total sales last year of more than $76.6 billion. It launched a massive expansion into New York City last year, and has been adding or converting stores in other major metro areas as it seeks to build scale in such markets. Plans call for it to add at least 630 U.S. and Canadian stores this year, including re-entering markets like Charlotte and Jacksonville.