C-store Chains Well-Represented on Largest Private Cos. List

NEW YORK — The convenience store industry showed its impact on the retail world by having 14 chains ranked on the Forbes 2015 list of America's largest private companies.

The annual ranking includes a total of 216 companies this year. Their combined revenues are $1.637 trillion, which is essentially flat compared to the 2014 list. However, this year's list includes five fewer companies.

Pilot Flying J led the c-store industry contingent, placing in the top 10 at No. 8 with $31 billion in revenue and 26,000 employees.

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores was the second highest-ranked c-store industry chain at No. 14 with $22.2 billion in revenue and 12,000 employees, followed by Cumberland Gulf Group at No. 18 with $15.8 billion in revenue and 76,000 employees.

Other c-store chains making the 2015 list include:

  • QuikTrip, No. 28
  • Wawa, No. 34
  • Giant Eagle, No. 36
  • RaceTrac Petroleum, No. 38
  • Hy-Vee, No. 40
  • Sinclair Oil, No. 50
  • Sheetz, No. 59
  • Holiday Cos., No. 106
  • Houchens Industries, No. 140
  • Red Apple Group, No. 156
  • Kum & Go, No. 163

QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh cited the company's growing number of stores, transition to its Generation 3 model and move toward fresh foodservice as reasons for its continued presence on the Forbes list in spite of a drop in gas prices. In 2014, QuikTrip ranked one slot higher at No. 27.

"If you do an apples-to-apples comparison, our Forbes ranking largely depends on the cost of what motor fuel is, and that's gone way down from last year," Thornbrugh told Tulsa World. "Staying at virtually the same place tells us that our overall sales are continuing to grow."

Two convenience industry distributors also earned a spot on the list: Eby-Brown Co. ranked No. 72, while H.T. Hackney Co. ranked No. 103.

The full Forbes list is available here.

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