Red-Kap Acquisition Spawns Stewart's Express Brand

Stewart's Shops acquires 8 stores in fuel distribution deal
Stewart's Express

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. Stewart’s Shops is spinning its acquisition of eight Red-Kap convenience stores into a new store brand, Stewart’s Express.

The eight acquired c-stores include four car washes and their fuel distribution to more than 75 dealers, which is the heart of the deal for Stewart’s Shops. 

Stewart’s Shops will maintain the branding of the Mobil, CITGO and Sunoco stations and will convert two of the Red-Kap locations into traditional Stewart’s Shops. The remaining six locations will become Stewart’s Express shops. These smaller shops will have limited product offerings and will not serve hand-scooped ice cream.

“Due to our longstanding business history and the level of trust between us, we were able to complete this deal in a relatively short amount of time. Stewart's Shops has always respected and admired the integrity of the family-owned Red-Kap organization. This is primarily a fuel distribution transaction, and we look forward to extending our support to the distributor and dealer network,” said Gary Drake, president of Stewart’s Shops.

The eight convenience stores are located in Albany, Baldwinsville, Berne, Hudson, Rensselaer, Saratoga Springs, Castleton and Loudonville,N.Y., and are already undergoing conversions into Stewart’s Shops and Stewart’s Express locations. The stores will be completed in 2021.

“Selling a family business is a complex and emotional undertaking.  Throughout this process, I have come to realize how fortunate we were to be acquired by Stewart’s. The integrity and compassion that they have shown throughout the transaction is a testament to the Dake family and the organization they have built,” said Jon Kaplan, principal of Red-Kap.

Petroleum Equity Group, an advisory company to the downstream fuels and convenience-store industry, provided analytics, valuation and other advisory services to Red-Kap in advance of the sale. Since 2008, the Chappaqua, N.Y.-based firm has worked with major and regional oil companies such as Shell/Motiva, ExxonMobil, Sunoco, CITGO, Hess and Gulf, large chain operators such as Cumberland Farms, Speedway, Circle K and 7-Eleven, and a host of jobbers across the United States.

Founded in 1945, Stewart’s Shops is an employee and family-owned convenience store chain based in Saratoga Springs, NY. Stewart’s is known for offering milk, ice cream, coffee, Easy Food, gasoline and other convenience items. Today there are more than 345 Stewart’s Shops located in 31 counties across upstate New York and southern Vermont. Stewart’s Shops iss No. 25 on CSP’s 2020 Top 202 ranking of c-stores by store count.

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