7-Eleven Inc. is in negotiations to acquire most of the Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin chain, a move that would give the c-store behemoth with 6,800 stores across the U.S. a foothold in Wisconsin, where it currently has no stores, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported.
7-Eleven has reportedly applied for licenses for Open Pantry locations in the Milwaukee area and confirmed that negotiations are moving ahead.
7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel the deal is expected to close next month, noting 7-Eleven plans to buy “the majority” of the Open Pantry stores, but not all of them.
Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin Inc., was founded in 1966, and currently operates about 25 stores, most of which are located in Wisconsin.
Chabris told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel 7-Eleven initially would run the former Open Pantries as corporate stores, but probably would seek to franchise them in the future. “We have been on an accelerated growth pattern for at least the past three years,” Chabris said. “Rent and purchase prices are more favorable than they were before 2007. We have a strong balance sheet. We’re an investment-grade tenant.”
In 1996, 7-Eleven opened about 15 stores in southeastern Wisconsin, but left exited the market about 10 years ago.