Company News

Arko CEO Explains Strategy Behind Plan to Convert Convenience Stores to Dealer Sites

Will include more than 10 locations, but total number is still being determined, Kotler says
Arie Kotler
Photograph courtesy of GPM

Arie Kotler, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Arko Corp. subsidiary GPM Investments LLC, told CSP Daily News on Monday that the company’s transformation plan to convert a “meaningful” number of convenience stores to dealer sites within the company’s wholesale segment will  probably be more than 10” but it’s something that is “still being determined.”

On the company’s first-quarter earnings call earlier this month, the company disclosed plans to enhance profitability by converting selected retail locations into dealer sites.

Kotler said that over the past 18 months, the company has bought five different businesses and companies.

“Given the magnitude of that, we have decided to stop for a second—not to stop acquiring—but to sit down and focus on the businesses that had the most amount of opportunity for organic growth and where are the areas where we feel we don’t have enough scale,” Kotler told CSP Daily News“Because of that we're able to cut operating expenses.

Kotler said the company is also focused on the stores where “we see huge opportunity to increase organic growth, including adding foodservice, concentrating on the center of the stores, and making sure that we actually increase profitability by selling the right product to our customers.”

On the foodservice front, Kotler said that with everybody fighting inflation right now, “we have to figure out a way to grab those customers and provide them with a valuable promotion during this tough time that they're facing right now.”

As part of the company’s enhanced food program rollout, Kotler mentioned its latest with Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and its $4.99 whole pizza program in select stores.

“We are in markets where most of our customers are median income to low income and they feel the pressure right now more than anyone else,” Kotler said.

Aside from increasing the foodservice options, Kotler said new unit growth is also happening. 

With all of the acquisition that we did, we bought a lot of pieces of land, and now it's an opportunity for us to take advantage and build, especially in markets that we see an increase in population," he said. This is an advantage that we're taking right now.

In March the company broke ground on a new-to-industry Fast Market location at 1655 East Queens Creek Road in Gilbert, Arizona. The 5,600-square-foot store is set to open later this year,

  • GPM Investments is No. 6 on CSP’s 2024 Top 40 Update to the 2023 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count. Watch for the full 2024 Top 202 ranking in the June issue of CSP magazine and in CSP Daily News.

GPM Investments is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arko Corp. It has 1,543 stores under more than 25 regional store brands, including Fas Mart, Li’l Cricket and Scotchman.

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