7-Eleven Debated in Waco

Alon USA, one of the largest 7-Eleven licensees in the U.S., has hit a snag in its bid to rebrand the Skinny’s stores it acquired last year.

Margaret Chabris, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based 7-Eleven, told the Waco (Texas) Tribune Herald it is not inclined to support expansion into the Waco market. It would prefer to focus on markets where it already has a presence, such as the Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin areas, Chicago, Washington and Southern California markets.

Waco has not had a 7-Eleven store since 1988, when the Southland Corp. sold Waco’s 25 7-Elevens to its chief competitor, Circle K. The Circle K stores later became Skinny’s locations. However, Alon USA spent $70 million to buy Skinny’s Inc. and its 102 convenience stores, including those in Waco, and has a long relationship with developing the 7-Eleven brand as a licensee.

Following the Skinny’s deal, Jeff Morris, president and CEO of Alon, said the Skinny’s locations would become 7-Eleven stores. But 7-Eleven put up a stop sign at the Waco city limits, the report said. That leaves Alon USA in a lurch. It could continue to operate the stores as Skinny’s locations or look for a buyer.

Alon spokesman Blake Lewis told the Tribune Herald the company is "evaluating its business options" and is "coordinating and cooperating with the company’s long-standing teammate, 7-Eleven."

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