The exterior of a Turkey Hill Minit Market

Kroger Exploring Sale of Convenience Store Portfolio

The logo for Kroger convenience stores

CINCINNATI — A multi-banner convenience store portfolio could be hitting the market as The Kroger Co. begins a strategic review of its c-store holdings.

According to the Cincinnati-based retailer, a potential sale is the result of a review of assets that are potentially of more value outside of the company than as part of Kroger.

"Our convenience stores are strong, successful and growing with the potential to grow even more," said Mike Schlotman, Kroger's executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We want to look at all options to ensure this part of the business is meeting its full potential. Considering the current premium multiples for convenience stores, we feel it is our obligation as a management team to undertake this review."

Kroger announced the strategic review at its annual Investor Conference on Oct. 11.

Kroger's convenience store business includes 784 sites located across 18 states. It includes 68 franchise operations. The stores employ 11,000 associates and operate under the following banner names: Turkey Hill Minit Markets, Loaf 'N Jug, Kwik Shop, Tom Thumb and Quick Stop.

Neither supermarket fuel centers nor Turkey Hill Dairy is included in this review.

In 2016, Kroger's convenience store business generated revenue of $4 billion and sold 1.2 billion gallons of fuel. The business unit has delivered 62 consecutive quarters of identical store sales growth, according to the company.

"Our convenience store management and associates are an important part of our success. They put our customer first every day. We value what they do and thank them for what they will continue to do as we conduct this evaluation," Schlotman said.

The company has hired Goldman Sachs & Co. to identify, review and evaluate the options.