International News: 7-Eleven Exits Ottawa with Sale to Quickie C-stores

OTTAWA, Canada -- Convenience store giant 7-Eleven is pulling out of Ottawa, having sold all six of its stores here to Quickie Convenience Stores, an Ottawa-based chain that will add the 7-Eleven locations to its roster of 47 stores across Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

In a statement cited by the newspaper, 7-Eleven said it wants to focus its efforts on larger markets. Meanwhile, Greg Ross, vice-president of Quickie, said the acquisition bolsters his company's foothold in its hometown, the report stated.

Barry Nabatian, general manager of research firm Market Research Corp., said taking over the 7-Eleven stores makes sense for Quickie because unlike 7-Eleven, which needed to have a truck come from Toronto or Montreal to bring in stock for just six stores, Quickie can use its large local supply network to run the stores for less.

The deal, however, has left hundreds of 7-Eleven cellular phone customers with no way to buy more minutes. Under 7-Eleven's discount pay-as-you-go plan called SpeakOut, customers buy cards containing a set amount of minutes that are good for a full year.

SpeakOut customers have been told they can continue to buy minutes at 7-Eleven stores outside Ottawa or call 1-866-310-1023 to transfer to discount services Petro Canada Mobility or Good Wireless. Unless customers want to spend $100 on minutes, though, neither option allows customers to carry over time beyond six months, the report said.