Name Change

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Name Change

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- Bigfoot Foodstores LLC, Alimentation Couche-Tard's U.S. subsidiary, said yesterday that it has changed its name to Mac's Convenience Stores LLC. This subsidiary will operate the networks under the Bigfoot, Dairy Mart, Handy Andy and Mac's banners.

The company operates a network of 1,958 convenience stores in Canada and the midwestern United States, 756 of which sell fuel.

Couche-Tard, Canada's largest convenience store chain, is in the process of closing on its $80-million acquisition of Dairy Mart Convenience Stores Inc. The company expects to close the deal for the 457 stores by Aug. 20.

The Canadian company jumped into the Midwest market last year when it acquired 227 Bigfoot stores from Johnson Oil Co., in addition to smaller purchases in the region. Dairy Mart's stores will strengthen its presence in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana.

The strategy is paying big dividends for Couche-Tard. While Big Oil and other traditional U.S. convenience store operators reported poor earnings for the second quarter, Couche-Tard last month said its push into the United States helped it post sharply higher profits and sales. The company also split its shares 2 for 1 on July 19 to increase the liquidity of its stock, which has enjoyed a steady climb over the past year.

ABOVE: Alain Bouchard, president and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard, leads the company's growth in the U.S. market.