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C-store Chains Make Strong Showing on Top 100 Retailers Ranking

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Six companies with convenience store ties made this year's National Retail Federation (NRF) Top 100 Retailers list. The Kroger Co., 7-Eleven Inc., Army Air Force Exchange, Giant Eagle Inc., Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Hy-Vee Inc. were all named to the ranking, based on 2012 U.S. retail sales.

Cincinnati-based Kroger, which operates Turkey Hill c-stores among others, came in second on the list with $92.1 billion in sales last year, trailing only Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Dallas-based 7-Eleven slipped two spots on this year's list to land at No. 37. The nation's largest c-store chain by store count achieved $10.69 billion in U.S. sales last year, according to the NRF report, which appeared in STORES magazine. 7-Eleven did grow its U.S. sales to the tune of 7.5 percent in 2012.

The Army Air Force Exchange had a strong showing, rising four spots vs. one year ago. Also based in Dallas, it now ranks No. 43 on the Top 100 with slightly more than $9 billion in sales.

Ranking No. 59 is Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, parent company to GetGo convenience stores. The company brought in more than $6.8 billion in U.S. sales last year and grew its sales by 2.9 percent.

Meanwhile, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., parent of Circle K stores in the United States, achieved $4.76 billion in sales last year, according to NRF. That was good enough to claim it the No. 78 spot.

Grabbing the No. 85 slot is West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee, whose sales reached $4.25 billion in 2012. However, its sales growth dipped by 5.8 percent last year, according to NRF.

"In this digital age, it seems remarkable that brick-and-mortar retailers have displayed such staying power," the report noted. "In a year that saw collective sales decline 1 percent, the department stores in the Top 100 still generated average sales of $22.3 billion in 2012. The top 100 supermarkets were nearly as strong, averaging $21.2 billion in 2012 sales."

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