WEST SACRAMENTO and UPLAND, Calif. -- Grocery company Raley’s plans to sell its 13 Aisle 1 gas stations in Northern California and Nevada to fuel and convenience-store retailer Anabi Oil.
The stations are in Sacramento, Fair Oaks, Rocklin, Lincoln, Woodland, Folsom, Modesto, Galt, Stockton, Alameda and South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Sparks and Reno, Nevada.
Anabi Oil said it expects to assume operations of the Aisle 1 stations, which are adjacent to Raley’s stores, as of early 2019. They will retain the name. The Aisle 1 locations offer full-service fuel, car wash and convenience items.
“As we continue to move our vision around health and wellness forward, we are focused on our core business of offering healthy food at affordable prices,” said Keith Knopf, Raley’s president and CEO. “This move will allow Raley’s to advance our long-range strategic plan and sets up a series of moves that will position Raley’s for significant growth and expansion.”
Raley’s evaluated several offers and through the vetting process, it said, determined that Anabi Oil, a family-owned- and family-led business, would be “great stewards and partners.”
Although ownership transfers to Anabi Oil, the companies will extend the partnership beyond the transaction, which will be centered on Raley’s existing pump rewards program. Under the agreement, Raley’s will continue to provide customers with fuel rewards when shopping in select Raley’s grocery stores and customers will continue to redeem those rewards at the Aisle 1 sites.
“Aisle 1 is a great addition to the Rebel brand, complementing our existing portfolio in both California and Nevada,” said Sam Anabi, CEO and owner of Anabi Oil. “We are excited about our long-term relationship with Raley’s. With our expertise in running fuel stations and convenience stores, paired with a dominant grocer in the market, we will offer customers a fueling, convenience store and grocery rewards experience that others cannot.”
According to Raley’s CFO Ken Mueller, who led the negotiations, the companies expect the transaction to close in late December. “With extensive experience in the convenience business and a strong family business in California, Anabi Oil was the perfect partner,” he said.
The partnership includes opportunities for growth, including expanding customer discounts at other Anabi-owned locations and consideration of future fuel stations throughout Raley’s footprint.
Raley’s and Anabi Oil are also working to provide options for continued employment to the 80 team members currently working at the stations.
Raley’s, based in West Sacramento, Calif., owns and operates 129 grocery stores in northern California and Nevada.
Upland, Calif.-based Anabi Oil owns and operates more than 295 locations and delivers fuel to an additional 160 stations under multiple brands including its own Rebel brand. It is No. 34 in CSP’s 2018 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of company-owned retail outlets.