CEFCO Executes 'Dual-Pronged Growth Strategy'

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CEFCO Executes 'Dual-Pronged Growth Strategy'

By Angela Hanson, Convenience Store News - 10/25/2011

TEMPLE, Texas -- CEFCO Convenience Stores has made headlines in recent months for its growth on both large- and small-scale levels. This August, its parent company Fikes Wholesale Inc. announced the acquisition of the 69-store, Texas-based Food Fast convenience store chain. Earlier this month, CEFCO announced a much smaller acquisition of the retail assets of two c-stores in Collinsville and Marion, Miss.

The company isn't experimenting with expansion methods to see what works. "CEFCO does have a strategic growth plan to help guide our growth," CEFCO's Chief Retail Officer Brett Giesick told CSNews Online.

CEFCO is one of five companies beneath a single umbrella, along with sister companies CORD Financial, an ATM and financial services provider; Fikes Wholesale, which offers branded dealer support and consulting; Group Petroleum Services, which provides transport delivery of fuel products; and Fleet Express, a proprietary fleet management card.

This range of services offers synergistic opportunities in some growth scenarios, noted Giesick, and it seems to be working. "We have grown by approximately 60 percent this year alone, and we will continue to review attractive targets," he said.

What makes now the right time for the second-generation, family-owned and -operated company to focus on growth? According to Giesick, it's having the right infrastructure. The company looked to the long term as it put together an operations, marketing and support team that, in turn, built an infrastructure that will support the company's planned growth.

The independently owned chain of convenience stores currently operates 194 stores across Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, according to the company's website. However, CEFCO's "dual-pronged strategy" of organic growth and growth by acquisition could lead beyond its current boundaries.

"Although our store base is contiguous from our roots in central Texas to our furthest locations in lower Alabama, we are open to growth targets outside of these DMAs [designated market areas]," said Giesick.