VPS Tennessee Tally Grows With BreadBox Acquisition

Sun Capital Partners affiliate picks up 17 stores in Knoxville area

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After entering the Tennessee market in Jan. 2011 with the acquisition of 22 former Appalachian Oil (Appco) convenience stores, VPS Convenience Store Group is now expanding its presence in the Volunteer State by acquiring the 17-store BreadBox chain located in the greater Knoxville area.

The former Appco stores are now operated under the Scotchman brand.

As reported in a Raymond James/CSP Daily News flash on Thursday, following this deal, VPS now operates 435 stores in eight states including 34 locations in middle and eastern Tennessee.

BreadBox sells Shell and Conoco Phillips premium fuels. Several locations offer quick-service restaurants (QSRs) on site including Godfather's Pizza, Quiznos, Subway and KFC/Taco Bell.

The average BreadBox store size is approximately 3,500 square feet. All of the stores use the "dive-in" pump island concept, which allows space for more desirable front-door parking; inside use of ceramic tile and neon lend a clean appearance, while floor-to-ceiling glass gives the stores a brighter, safer feel especially appealing to female customers, the Knoxville-based company said on its website.

"We are excited to expand our presence into middle Tennessee by acquiring these stores that have such a rich history in their respective communities," said VPS chairman and CEO Jeff Turpin. "BreadBox is a great fit with our current brands. Customers can expect a seamless transition with no interruption in service as we integrate these locations into our family of stores."

BreadBox stores have a strong commitment to supporting local schools through the BreadBox Partners At Local Schools (PALS) program.

VPS Convenience Store Group, Wilmington, N.C., operates stores under six other brand names including Scotchman, Village Pantry, Lil Cricket, Young's, Next Door Stores and Everyday Shops spread throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. VPS offers premium fuel brands such as Exxon, Mobil, Marathon, Valero, BP, Shell, Conoco, Phillips and its own proprietary brand, Carolina Petro. It is an affiliate of private investment firm Sun Capital Partners Inc., Boca Raton, Fla.