British firm strikes deal to buy Lawrence’s largest gas station, convenience store chain

This file photo from August 2017 shows the Kwik Shop at 3440 W. Sixth St. in Lawrence.

Lawrence’s largest convenience store chain will soon have a new owner.

The Kwik Shop chain of gas stations and convenience stores was included in a $2 billion deal between Kroger and the British-based EG Group. The grocery store chain Kroger — which owns Dillons — agreed to sell all of its gas station/convenience store operations to EG Group.

According to a release from the two companies, the stores will continue to operate under the Kwik Shop name. However, the release didn’t address a question many shoppers likely have: Will Kwik Shop continue to offer gasoline discounts to people who have a Dillons shopper card? Due to Kwik Shop being owned by the grocer, the convenience store had a deal that offered a significant per gallon discount on fuel purchases to motorists based on how much they had spent at Dillons.

Kwik Shop operates six stores in Lawrence. In addition to Kwik Shop, Kroger also is selling its Turkey Hill, Loaf ‘N Jug, Tom Thumb and Quik Stop stores. Kroger grocery stores that have a fueling station on site aren’t included in the sale. Kroger plans to use proceeds from the sale to repurchase shares and lower the company’s debt levels.

EG Group expects to take over the stores by the end of April, according to the release. The release said there should be “minimal disruption” to employees of the convenience stores. The sale marks the first U.S. operations for EG Group.

The company was founded in 2001 and has about 2,600 stores across Europe. It has partnerships with BP, Shell, Starbucks, Burger King, KFC, Subway and several other retailers, according to the release. The company will have its North American headquarters in Cincinnati.