Stewart's Shops Contributes $19M to Employee Stock Ownership Plan

This equates to 16 percent of partners' 2022 wages.
Stewart's ESOP plan

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Stewart's Shops overcame a challenging year to make a $19 million contribution to Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) for 2022.

The convenience store chain announced than 3,000 active employees, referred to as "partners," recently received their profit-sharing statements, with the latest contribution equating to 16 percent of their 2022 wages.

ESOP participants also saw their account balances grow by 12.5 percent last year, according to the retailer. Stewart's Shops employees own more than 40 percent of the company through profit sharing.

There are now 175 partners with a balance exceeding $1 million. Seventy percent of the current employee millionaires started out as hourly employees, the company said, noting that this is possible due to Stewart's stability, enabling years of double-digit percent of pay contributions plus double-digit growth of balances each year.

"Even with a challenging economy, supply chain issues and rising costs due to inflation, we are elated to be in a position to share this generous ESOP contribution with our partners. It is only possible because of their hard work, efficiency and their pride as owners that we have had another successful year," said Stewart's Shops President Gary Dake.

Stewart's ESOP program is 100 percent funded by the company for anyone who works at least 1,000 hours a year. After six years in the plan, a partner's balance is usually greater than a year's pay. Stewart's Shops has increased the amount of its ESOP contribution in recent years. In 2020, the retailer made a $17.5 million company contribution, followed by a $19 million contribution the following year.

The company currently has positions available at its shops, plant and corporate office, and invites interested prospective employees to visit the Stewart's Shops careers page for current openings.

Saratoga Springs-based Stewart's Shops operates more than 345 c-stores across 31 counties across upstate New York and southern Vermont.