Circle K to buy, rebrand 53 Louisiana Cracker Barrel convenience stores

International convenience store Circle K has purchased 53 Cracker Barrel sites in Louisiana. (iStockphoto)

Circle K, through its Canadian parent company, has struck a deal to buy 53 Cracker Barrel brand convenience stores in Louisiana—most of which are in the Baton Rouge market—the company announced this morning.

The deal, financial terms of which are not being disclosed, was reached by Alimentation Couche-Tard, a Canadian convenience store operator, of which Circle K Stores Inc. is a wholly‑owned indirect subsidiary. The stores are being purchased from American General Investment and North American Financial Group and the acquisition is expected to close in in the third quarter of fiscal year 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.

“These convenience stores currently operate under the store brand Cracker Barrel and include 12 quick service restaurants. All but one of the sites offer branded motor fuels under the Shell, Chevron or Cracker Barrel brand names,” reads a press release announcing the deal. “Of the 53 sites, Couche-Tard would own the land and building for 47 locations and would assume or enter into leases for the remaining six locations.”

Following this acquisition, all of the stores will be rebranded and operated under the Circle K brand by Couche‑Tard’s U.S. Division of the Gulf Coast Region.

Cracker Barrel was founded in Baton Rouge in 1968. Over five decades the company grew to have 53 stores in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette markets. In recent years, Cracker Barrel has seen its revenues decline.

“The transaction with Circle K Stores Inc represents a significant milestone in the company’s 48-year history,” says Chris Sadler, Cracker Barrel owner, in a prepared statement. “We made the difficult decision to exit the retail gasoline business but are looking forward to exploring new business opportunities for the family.”

Couche-Tard is the largest operator of convenience stores in the United States, and it also has stores in Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Ireland, Russia and Poland. As of April 24, Couche-Tard’s network comprised 7,888 convenience stores throughout North America.

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