Mergers & Acquisitions

Smoker Friendly Acquires 22 Stores

Retailer will rebrand the Tobacco Road Outlets, all in North Carolina

BOULDER, Colo. — Expanding its footprint in the North Carolina retail tobacco market, The Cigarette Store Corp., doing business as Smoker Friendly, has acquired Tobacco Road Outlet’s 22 stores in the Tar Heel State.

Smoker Friendly will rebrand the stores as Smoker Friendly locations and introduce the Smoker Friendly brand family of tobacco products immediately.

“These stores provide a great opportunity to expand our corporate store footprint with our existing company stores in the mountain states and Florida,” said Terry Gallagher Jr., president of The Cigarette Store Corp. and Smoker Friendly. “We are very excited about bringing these stores and their great team into our portfolio.”

Smoker Friendly will maintain the team of Tobacco Road Outlet employees, the company said.

Based in Carthage, N.C., Tobacco Road Outlet was founded in 1997.

“Rex and Andy Whitaker and their team did a great job building the company and operating tobacco stores in North Carolina, and we are proud the Whitakers looked to Smoker Friendly as the acquirer when they were ready to exit the business,” Gallagher said.

In late 2019, Smoker Friendly acquired Smoker’s Outlet, a 33-store chain operating in Missouri.

Boulder, Colo.-based The Cigarette Store Corp. is the largest licensee of Smoker Friendly International and operates 157 retail tobacco outlets with a mix of tobacco stores, cigar lounges, liquor stores and gas stations under the Smoker Friendly, Tobacco Depot, and Gasamat banners in eight states. The company also puts on the annual Smoker Friendly conference and tobacco festival.

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