Article originally posted on Phoenix Business Journal on March 30, 2021
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. announced on March 22 that the company would be putting a total of 306 locations up for sale. Circle K will be selling 269 sites across 29 states in the U.S. and 37 across six provinces in Canada.
“The decision to divest select stores fits within the company's network optimization strategy and follows a comprehensive and uniform network planning process that began in the fall of 2020,” Brian Hannasch, the president and CEO of Couche-Tard, said in a statement. “Through this process, we have identified sites that no longer fit our strategic objectives, either from a brand perspective or from a regional scale perspective.”
The average building size of the stores for sale is about 2,600 square feet and they are on an average lot size of 29,500 square feet.
Of that 306 stores, a total of 17 are being sold in Arizona, according to Evan Gladstone, the managing partner of NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC, which has been brought on to manage the sale of the convenience stores.
The 17 Arizona stores will be sold in four separate packages. There are four that have gasoline filling station components to them and 13 that are just convenience stores. The ones with gasoline components will all be sold together. The others have been grouped together based off geography.
May 7 deadline
The Circle K branding is not for sale, and neither is the fuel supply, making them a better purchase for experience operators, Gladstone said.
Most of the locations in Arizona are leases with third party landlords. Since real estate isn’t part of the deal, they will be significantly cheaper than places where Couche-Tard owns the land, Gladstone said.
The deadline for expressions of interest in the stores is May 7. Gladstone said the sale process most likely won’t be completed for a number of months.
The last 12 months have been off the charts for convenience stores. Because they are smaller and faster to navigate than supermarkets, many people felt safer shopping there and used them as grocery stores during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Couche-Tard’s Hannasch said that even though it is selling these stores, it is looking to expand its footprint through new store builds and is looking to upgrade the size and scale of its locations.