MILWAUKEE - 7-Eleven Inc. is acquiring the Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin-based chain of Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin convenience stores, reports the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
The purchase would again give 7-Eleven a foothold in Wisconsin. The Dallas-based convenience retail chain has 6,800 stores across the U.S. but none in Wisconsin, a market that it left 10 years ago.
"We are working with Open Pantry on an acquisition," 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told the newspaper, adding, "It€™s not going to close until next month." She added that 7-Eleven would buy the majority of Open Pantry stores but not all. Initially, 7-Eleven plans to operate the former Open Pantry stores as corporate stores but would likely seek to franchise them in the future.
"We have been on an accelerated growth pattern for at least the past three years," Chabris told the newspaper, adding that rent and purchase prices "are more favorable than they were before 2007. We have a strong balance sheet. We€™re an investment-grade tenant."
Last year NACS traveled to Milwaukee to feature a new Open Pantry store in the NACS "Ideas 2 Go" DVD. Open Pantry President and CEO Robert Buhler served on the NACS Board of Directors from 2001 to 2006.