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7-Eleven parent buys 62 franchises in state

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- 7-Eleven Inc. announced it is buying 74 convenience stores, including 62 in West Virginia, from Prima Marketing.

The price tag was not revealed.

7-Eleven is based in Dallas, Texas. The company currently has 21 stores in West Virginia it either operates or franchises to companies other than Prima. The stores operate under the 7-Eleven banner.

Prima Marketing is headquartered in Denver, Colo., and has an operations office in Fairmont. Prima presently operates stores that carry the 7-Eleven brand in West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, southeastern Ohio and eastern Kentucky. The company has 730 employees.

7-Eleven said employment offers were made to approximately 700 store personnel and district managers, "pending successful completion of pre-employment screenings and continued satisfactory performance."

When the deal is complete, 7-Eleven will have 83 convenience stores in West Virginia, making it one of the largest operators in the state.

Go-Mart Inc., headquartered in Gassaway, has about 100 stores in Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. Little General Stores, headquartered in Beckley, has 95 stores, including 92 in West Virginia.

Sheetz, headquartered in Altoona, Pa., has 428 stores in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina. One Stop, headquartered in Belle, has more than 40 stores in the region.

Jan Vineyard, president of the West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association, said, "This is something you're seeing a lot of in our industry — a lot of consolidation. It's a hard industry. We're seeing that the consolidations will allow people to do more with less and have some expertise."

Stan Reynolds, executive vice president and chief financial officer of 7-Eleven, said in a prepared statement, "This acquisition fits well with our accelerated growth strategy and gives us an opportunity to expand in the West Virginia market, building on our already strong mid-Atlantic presence. Eventually, it will also provide business opportunities to local entrepreneurs who would like to operate a 7-Eleven franchise."

Jeffrey Kramer, Prima's chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement, "Prima has been a longstanding 7-Eleven licensee and has worked very diligently to build the 7-Eleven brand within our core markets. We're very proud to be able to turn the stewardship of these locations over to the capable hands of 7-Eleven for that company's continued growth."

7-Eleven said it has a goal of opening at least 630 new locations this year.

Contact writer George Hohmann at business@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.


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