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Kwik Shop convenience store chain now has new owner; details provided on how popular fuel points program will work

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When the parent company of Dillons announced in February that it was selling its Kwik Shop chain of convenience stores, people started to wonder whether the popular fuel points program between Dillons and Kwik Shop would continue. The companies on Friday answered with a yes, for the most part.

The Kroger Co., which owns Dillons, announced Friday that it has completed its sale of convenience stores — including the Kwik Shop chain — to the British-based EG Group. It ended up being a $1.7 billion deal after taxes. EG Group will continue to operate the stores under the name Kwik Shop. The Kroger Co. will use $1.2 billion of the sale proceeds to buy back Kroger shares, which may mean good things for the price of Kroger stock.

But those are trivial details compared with the big question on everyone’s mind: Will the three cases of Doritos I buy every time I step foot into a Dillons store continue to earn me fuel points that I can redeem at Kwik Shop? The answer: Yes, that fool-proof fiscal plan will continue to work. Sheila Lowry, a spokeswoman with Dillons, told me that buying items at Dillons will earn you fuel points for Kwik Shop gasoline purchases just like it does today.

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

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

However, there is one change to make note of. When you go into a Kwik Shop and purchase your five small bags of Doritos — to tide you over, of course — you no longer will earn fuel points from that purchase. Under the old system, purchases inside the Kwik Shop store earned you fuel points. Now that Dillons and Kwik Shop are no longer affiliated companies, that practice has ended.

Another change is that the convenience store loyalty programs that were offered for people who frequently purchased coffee, soft drinks and other such items at Kwik Shop will be discontinued beginning April 25. However, the new company may start its own program to replace the discontinued program.

All six Kwik Shop stores in Lawrence — it is the largest convenience store chain in Lawrence — are now owned by EG Group. The fueling station outside the Dillons store at Sixth and Lawrence Avenue, however, continues to be owned by Dillons.

Nationally the deal included multiple other convenience store brands that The Kroger Co. owned in other parts of the country. I’m going to list them, but I warn you it will make you mad that our area of the country didn’t get a better name than Kwik Shop. The other brands included in the deal are Turkey Hill, Loaf ’N Jug, Tom Thumb and Quik Stop. (Yes, I’m mad too that I don’t have a feasible reason to routinely utter the sentence: “I’m going to the Loaf ’N Jug.”)

No word yet on whether EG Group will change the actual gasoline offerings at Kwik Shop. Elsewhere the company has partnerships with both BP and Shell. It also has partnerships with several other retailers, including Starbucks, Burger King, KFC and Subway. I’ll let you know if I hear more on that front.

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