EG Group Reveals Strategy for Acquired Kroger C-stores
CINCINNATI — With its acquisition of The Kroger Co.'s convenience store business, EG Group is expanding operations in the United States for the first time.
In the first step, the U.K.-based company is establishing a North American headquarters in Cincinnati — home of Kroger — and will continue to run the newly acquired 762 c-stores under their existing banners.
The transaction included 66 franchise operations in 18 states. The banners are Turkey Hill, Loaf 'N Jug, Kwik Shop, Tom Thumb, and Quik Stop. In all, the c-store business employs 11,000 associates.
The move into the U.S. convenience channel sets up an opportunity for EG Group to secure additional assets in North America, according to the company.
"This announcement represents another momentous chapter in the enterprise journey for EG Group. We now look forward to working with our exceptional U.S .management team and begin to invest in the network in the coming months," said Mohsin Issa, founder and co-CEO, EG Group.
"Given the spatial spread across the [U.S.], nurturing the right strategic brand partnerships for the respective market regions is going to be an important strategy focus in North America," he said.
Founded in 2001 by brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the company — also known as Euro Garages — has relationships with national and global retail and convenience brands, including Starbucks, KFC, Texaco, Spar, Carrefour, Burger King and Esso.
According to the company, it is looking to bring its retail brand partner commercial approach to the U.S. This strategy will include assessing the acquired site network in terms of its retail potential, initially partnering with and investing in a few locations with recognized global and local retail brands to understand the market dynamics and consumer perceptions.
Following a recognized trial period, these learnings will provide the necessary market understanding and business model confidence to accelerate growth and rollout of a best-in-class retail offer across the remaining network, EG Group said in a statement.
"We already have established relationships with many leading U.S. retail brands and consumers want to access convenient locations to fulfil multiple fuel, convenience store and food-to-go missions and stop at those locations that provide excellent welfare to motorists," Mohsin Issa said.
Specifically he said customers are looking for safe retail environments, well-lit sites with ample parking, free Wi-Fi, inside seating areas, and clean bathrooms.
"We aim to invest and transform our locations into branded retail destinations and be recognized as an effective U.S. fuel, convenience store and food-to-go retailer," he said. "I would like to take the opportunity to thank my local team and colleagues from the EG Group, Kroger, suppliers and our professional advisers who have supported us throughout the whole transfer process."
EG Group employs more than 26,000 staff working in 4,600-plus sites across various European markets including the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy.
Zuber Issa and Mohsin Issa, founders and co-CEOs of Euro Garages, were jointly named the 2016 NACS Insight European Convenience Industry Leader of the Year.