BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. — Stewart’s Shops has acquired the eight-unit Blueox Neighborhood Market convenience-store chain from Blueox Corp.
“This acquisition will increase Stewart’s Shops footprint further into the Central New York market. We look forward to the opportunity to further serve the Blueox market that they have served so well for the past three-plus decades, and we look forward to welcoming Blueox employees to the Stewart’s family,” said Gary Dake, president of Ballston Spa, N.Y.-based Stewart’s Shops.
“It is with bittersweet emotions” that Blueox announced the sale, the Oxford, N.Y.-based retailer said.
Blueox built a chain of 11 c-stores that serviced and provided support to communities for more than 35 years. The chain, which grew through acquiring one store at a time, included Nice N Easy franchise sites and Big Blue Convenience Stores, serving rural markets in the heart of upstate New York. The company now has seven stores, as well as one closed location, for a total of eight that Stewart Shops is acquiring.
“As the convenience store landscape has evolved, the mid-size convenience-store operator can no longer remain competitive, and it has become increasingly difficult to find continued success in the industry. In convenience, the models of success are built by either single-store operators who can keep expenses low or by larger chains with strong buying power and increased support through vertical integration,” the company said.
Blueox’s residential and commercial delivery and service operations will continue to operate under the name Blueox Energy Products & Services. It will continue to operate its energy business, delivering fuel oil, kerosene and propane and to service and replace energy equipment including furnaces, boilers and hot water heaters.
“Our stores have been a valuable part of our organization and complemented our retail fuel distribution and HVAC operations,” Blueox President Jared Bartle said. “As the industry shifts away from the mid-sized chains, we wanted to find a company with dedication to its employees and the communities they serve. The decision to sell did not come easily. Our stores, and especially the people in our stores, are deeply embedded into our corporate culture, and it’s for that reason we sought a buyer whose priorities most closely aligned with ours. We believe most of our employees will not only continue employment with Stewart’s Shops, but they will also be provided additional growth opportunities and ownership. This was very important to Blueox. As we realign our long-term goals and continue to reinvest in the delivery and service divisions of our company, I’m excited at the opportunities to come.”
The companies said they expect the sale of the Neighborhood Market c-store chain to close in September 2021.
- Stewart's Shops in No. 24 on the 2021 Top 40 Update to CSP's 2020 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by size.
Founded in 1945, Stewart’s Shops is an employee and family-owned chain of more than 345 c-stores offering milk, ice cream, coffee, food to go, gasoline and other convenience items in upstate New York and southern Vermont.