BOULDER, Colo. — The Cigarette Store LLC, doing business as Smoker Friendly, has acquired 79 Tobacco Superstores. The Forrest City, Ark.-based chain has stores in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri and Kentucky that will be rebranded as Smoker Friendly.
This marks the fifth acquisition for Smoker Friendly, Boulder, Colo., over the past two years, bringing its store count to 260. The company operates a mix of tobacco stores, cigar lounges, liquor stores and fueling locations under the Smoker Friendly, Tobacco Depot, Smoke ‘N Go, Havana Manor and Gasamat banners, in addition to its ecommerce site paylesscigarsandpipes.com.
- The Cigarette Store Group is No. 41 on CSP’s2022 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by company-owned store count.
Terry Gallagher Jr., Smoker Friendly CEO, said he has known the CEO and owner of Tobacco Superstores Joe Marelle for years, and when he reached out wanting to exit the business, Gallagher jumped at the opportunity.
“We are very excited about the stores and their great team joining Smoker Friendly and expanding our corporate store footprint in these great southern states,” Gallagher said. “This is our largest acquisition to date, and I’m very proud of our team and the many hours expended to close this deal. We are actively pursuing additional acquisitions and continue to be bullish on growth opportunities.”
Now, Tobacco Superstores can become part of something bigger, Marelle said.
“I truly believe in the Gallagher family and their vision,” he said. “I have had the honor of knowing Terry for 11 years, but have developed a deeper appreciation of his entire operation through working with others like his brother Dan. This is a special transaction that will lead to great things.”
Investment firm Main Street Capital Corp. made a $51.7 million investment in Smoker Friendly, taking a minority stake in the company, in January 2021. The investor provided the chain a revolving line of credit to support its working capital needs and assist with its acquisition growth strategy.
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