7-Eleven acquires most Speedy Stops


Jan. 3, 2013 at 11 p.m.
Updated Jan. 3, 2013 at 7:04 p.m.

Workers bundle up against the cold weather as they begin construction work to expand Speedy Stop on North Navarro .

Workers bundle up against the cold weather as they begin construction work to expand Speedy Stop on North Navarro .   Frank Tilley for The Victoria Advocate

Slurpee-induced brain freezes are coming back to the Crossroads.

Dallas-based 7-Eleven acquired 143 C.L. Thomas Petroleum Inc. Speedy Stop and Tigermarket retail locations in a deal that closed Monday, according to a company news release issued Thursday.

The sale includes 16 Crossroads locations and eight in Victoria, according to an email from 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris.

C.L. Thomas Petroleum Inc. has its headquarters in Victoria.

7-Eleven will begin updating stores' retail information systems Friday so scanned purchases go into the company's system, Chabris said. Although 7-Eleven plans to begin remodeling and rebranding stores this year, she said she did not know of an official time frame.

"Especially when you have this many, it'll take a while," Chabris said.

The company intends to keep its current employees, but will interview them to ensure that they have the right skill sets and that they want to stay with the new parent company, she said.

Dede Huffmaster lives off U.S. Highway 77 South and frequents the nearby Speedy Stop truck stop for burgers and taquitos. Although she said she was OK with the change, she said she would miss the food options close to home.

"Out there, we don't have a McDonald's or anything like that," she said. "I hope they'll have that sort of thing. I'll miss it."

Russell Smith, a retired veteran and oil-field worker, said he remembered when Victoria was home to the 7-Eleven chain years ago.

He said he never had an issue with the company then and didn't mind seeing it return.

"Really, it all comes down to the employees," he said. "As long as they treat me right when I go in, I don't have a problem with it."

The recent deal increases 7-Eleven's presence in San Antonio where, in December, the company purchased 25 stores as part of a TETCO Inc. acquisition, according to the news release. Because the acquisition also includes gasoline distribution to about 150 dealer-operated sites, the move also contributes to the company's fuel wholesale-delivery business.

"We continue to build our presence in a rapidly growing area of the U.S., along the I-35 corridor from north of Dallas/Fort Worth to the Mexican border," Stan Reynolds, 7-Eleven executive vice president and chief finance officer, said in the release. "We expect to grow to more than 700 7-Eleven stores in Texas from last year's 342 with this and other acquisitions we've made in 2012."

Speedy Stop's website says Clifton Leo "Cliff" Thomas Jr. founded the company in 1983. Today, the company operates more than 160 locations in South, Central and East Texas.

Multiple attempts to contact officials with C.L. Thomas Petroleum Inc. were not successful Thursday.



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