News Briefs


Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard to acquire Arkansas-based c-store chain


Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is expanding its U.S. footprint.

The company said it has entered into an agreement to acquire Big Red Stores, which operates 45 fuel and convenience stores across the state of Arkansas.  The sites are all company-owned and company-operated, with real estate owned for all but one of the locations.

Big Red was founded in 1997 by Doug and David Hendrix. Couche-Tard noted that the Big Red network is comprised of large format stores that have ample space for enhanced food service and product offerings.

“We are very pleased to add Big Red Stores' high-quality locations to our footprint in the state of Arkansas,” said Alex Miller, COO, Couche-Tard. “Doug and David built an exceptional network of stores and people, and we believe our values are congruent with the culture they've spent a quarter-century building. As we expand our presence in the area, we look forward to bringing the Circle K experience to new customers and making their lives a little easier every day."

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2023, subject to standard regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

Couche-Tard is a global leader in convenience and fuel retail, operating in 24 countries and territories, with more than 14,300 stores, of which approximately 10,900 offer fuel. With its Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States.


Little Caesars has big plans for New York City, Tri-State area

little caesers

Little Caesars is looking to take a bite out of the Big Apple.

The family-owned and third-largest pizza chain in the United States announced an aggressive new strategy to open hundreds of restaurants during the next several years throughout New York City and the Tri-State area. To kick things off, the companyhas signed an agreement with experienced multi-brand franchisees Suhel Ahmed and Saurabh Desai that will bring 10 Little Caesars restaurants to the Bronx and upper Manhattan by 2026. The first opening is scheduled for late 2023.

“New York City is an iconic pizza market, and we’re eager to bring more of our high-quality, great-value products and fast, convenient ordering options to the city,” said Jeremy Vitaro, Little Caesars chief development officer. “We’re excited to work with Suhel and Saurabh, who have extensive experience developing restaurants in New York City, to help grow our presence in the market.”

Ahmed and Desai have more than 40 years of combined restaurant experience. They also own and operate dozens of franchise locations by other global quick-service restaurant chains throughout New York City.

“We know how to own and operate a multi-unit franchise business, and we know what brands work in New York City,” said Ahmed. “We chose to franchise with Little Caesars because it has decades of experience as a global pizza chain and because of its recognized value, quality and convenience that revolutionized the pizza industry.”

Little Caesars is seeking accomplished multi-unit franchisees with extensive QSR experience to help grow the brand across the Tri-State Area. There are several multi-unit opportunities available with a three-store minimum agreement throughout Long Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, Connecticut and the five boroughs.

Headquartered in Detroit, Little Caesars has locations in each of the 50 U.S. states and 27 countries and territories.The brand is home of the exclusive Pizza Portal pickup, a heated, self-service mobile order pickup station.