Cody’s Acquires Express Lane Stores

Cody’s Convenience Stores acquired six bankrupt Express Lane stores, making it the second-largest owner of convenience stores in southwest Missouri.

With the purchase, Cody’s surpassed fellow Springfield-based chain Rapid Roberts’ 23 area stores. The chain’s portfolio now comprises 25 stores, second to West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go’s 33 stores in southwest Missouri.

Cody’s, which was founded five years ago with a single store in Rogersville, has grown through acquisitions and new construction. Express Lane parent company Waddill’s Markets Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last July, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court filings. Filings also show that Cody’s acquired the six stores for $1 million.

Cody’s actually began operating the stores in late September under a temporary agreement, according to Curtis Jared, executive vice president for Jared Enterprises, parent company of Cody’s. "It was basically our money being put in there with our risk," said Jared, who added the stores would be rebranded Cody’s by the end of February. "We weren’t paying anything to the owners. We were just keeping them operational."

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