CHICAGO -- A lot of research goes into tracking the 202 largest convenience-store chains in the United States. And digging through those pages and websites, a lot of notable information gets dug up.
Here are four highlights from this year's search that stood out this year ...
1. Game of thrones
CSP editors decided that the January 2018 close of 7-Eleven’s deal for 1,030 Sunoco sites was extreme enough to include in this 2017 list. Without Sunoco, 7-Eleven would have come in second place in 2017 behind Couche-Tard, shy by 299 stores.
2. Reunited and it feels so good
Things have a way of coming full circle. Marathon once owned SuperAmerica, which was part of the Andeavor platform when the former bought the latter in April. When the deal closes in the second half of 2018, Andeavor will disappear from the Top 202 and Marathon will take a stronger hold of its No. 3 rank. Andeavor brought 10 refineries and 1,085 company-operated stores to the new union.
3. British Invasion
England’s EG Group, Blackburn, U.K., mounted its own charge onto U.S. soil by beating back several American contenders for the nearly 800 c-stores owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger. Among the reported losers: Casey’s General Stores, Ankeny, Iowa.
4. Alphabet soup
The private-equity backed GPM Investments, Richmond, Va., took an industry icon off the map, with its purchase of E-Z Mart Inc., Texarkana, Texas. The deal closed in April, marking the exit of former NACS Chair Sonja Hubbard (of E-Z Mart) from the brand.