Kwik Shop’s new British owner operates thousands of convenience stores in Europe, including ones in the United Kingdom that include in-store fast food restaurants and free-standing Starbucks coffee shops.
U.K.-based EG Group and Kroger Co., parent of Dillons food stores, announced a more than $2 billion deal that will make privately held EG the owner of 24 Wichita-area Kwik Shops as well as Kroger convenience stores operating under different names in 17 other states.
EG Group was started 17 years ago in the U.K. by brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who now own and operate about 2,600 gas and convenience stores under the Euro Garages name in the U.K., France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy.
As part of its acquisition of Kroger’s 762 convenience stores, EG Group will establish a U.S. headquarters in Cincinnati, according to an EG news release.
“We have had much success across Europe and we firmly believe the Kroger assets present a fantastic foundation to overlay our retail experience and know-how in the US,” Moshin Issa said in the release. “We are committed to investing in the Kroger network, partnering with leading retail brands and working with the exceptional management team and associates transferring across to deliver a comprehensive retail offer.”
EG operates convenience store locations in the U.K. that have in-store Burger King and KFC restaurants, an EG official said in an email to The Eagle. It also has convenience stores that have Subway restaurants inside.
Some EG locations include a free-standing Starbucks coffee shop; others have a Starbucks shop inside the store.
It’s not clear if or when EG might bring a similar store concept to the U.S.
The sale is expected to be completed in Kroger’s first quarter, which ends May 20.
Dillons spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie said the sale does not include Dillons fuel stations located in the parking lots of its grocery stores.
She said customers who use Dillons fuel rewards to purchase gas at Kwik Shop will be able to do so at least until the sale is completed. Dillons is working to see if it can continue the fuel rewards with EG Group, Lowrie said.
She said there are 75 Kwik Shops in Kansas. She said she didn’t have figures for how many employees Kwik Shop has locally or across the state. Kroger convenience store employees total 11,000 across 18 states, she said.
All Kwik Shop employees will become employees of EG Group, and no layoffs are expected, Lowrie said.
It’s not clear, however, what will happen with employees who work in the pharmacies housed in three Kwik Shops. They are meeting Monday with Dillons human resources staff, Lowrie said. Pharmacy customers at those three Kwik Shops will be able to get their prescriptions up until the sale is completed. Dillons will be working with those customers to transfer their prescriptions to Dillons stores, she said.