Anyone remember the movie Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure? Well, it seems strange things are afoot at the Circle K once again... at least, if you count an upcoming change in ownership.
On Monday, ConocoPhillips
It's obvious that "convenience" is one of the most alluring concepts to the consumer, so why would ConocoPhillips do this? Partly because the qualities of convenience -- not to mention economy -- are displayed by a host of competitors across America.
For the most part, the days of the lone convenience store shining like a beacon on the deserted road are gone. In addition, penny pinching can take precedence over ease. From the consumer point of view, there are often cheaper pit stops, just as close by, to buy typical convenience store fare such as cigarettes, food, coffee, and soda.
Indeed, such ubiquitous retailers as Wal-Mart
Take tobacco, for example; like it or not, it's traditionally a hefty component for convenience-store sales. But it's often available by the carton at greatly discounted wholesale prices at Costco outlets. The same goes for a case of soda, or some Wal-Mart 12-pack sale of the week. And even for road-trippers, bulk snacks are often less expensive than single servings.
Alimentation Couche-Tard will add 1,600 stores through the deal, catapulting it to the fourth position from being the seventh-largest convenience store operator in North America. The move will leave it duking it out with retailers, including convenience store heavyweights such as 7-Eleven
The deal is expected to bring $830 million to ConocoPhillips' coffers. Another big reason for ConocoPhillips' decision is debt reduction. In recent months, ConocoPhillips has been rapidly reducing debt, and this deal is yet another move in that direction.
With a focus on core business, a move out of the ultra-competitive retail market, and an eye toward slimming down its debt, ConocoPhillips could be positioning itself to be a most excellent adventure for energy-conscious investors.
If you can't stop thinking about this sector, check out our Oil & Gas discussion board and find some like-minded Fools.
Alyce Lomax, who knows a little too much about loading cheap cigarettes, soft drinks, and snack foods into her car, welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.