Rumor: EG Group for Sale

storewanderer
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Re: Rumor: EG Group for Sale

Post by storewanderer »

mbz321 wrote: September 12th, 2021, 5:32 pm

Yes they do. It logistically no longer really makes sense to carry them outside of the main Turkey Hill mart marketing area of PA. (Kroger doesn't own the dairy anymore either, it was sold off to private equity in 2019).

EG seems to be using the 'SmartPay' rewards App (something else borrowed from Cumberland Farms) across all of its C-store banners though. (Again, to the disappointment of many as it requires linking a checking account to get a gas discount. The old Kroger program worked regardless of payment method).

If the group is to be split apart, I could actually see 7-11 putting an offer in for Turkey Hill. Just recently 7-11 is sort of popping up in Central PA again via Sunoco and the former APlus mini marts, but even those are probably less than a dozen units at the moment.
SmartPay Rewards was advertised at Quik Stop before they put the new gas pumps in but it does not appear to work anymore with the new pumps.

Quik Stop (the NV ones only, not the CA ones) still gives a .03 fuel discount with Kroger loyalty cards (or point redemption for larger discounts) but you have to pay inside. I am not sure if any form of loyalty card issued by EG Group still works but those were offering a .03 fuel discount too.
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Re: Rumor: EG Group for Sale

Post by BillyGr »

TW-Upstate NY wrote: September 12th, 2021, 9:41 am
Romr123 wrote: September 12th, 2021, 7:28 am A store that I wasn't familiar with was Stewarts' out of Saratoga Springs--some of their stores in and around Albany were pretty good (hand-scooped ice cream with a sundae bar was kinda cool).
Stewart's is the "home team" around here-family owned and operated and known for very high quality products and sterling operations. They are constantly upgrading their stores usually by replacing smaller locations with brand new much larger shops. They are very involved in the community. Also bought a fuel distributor late last year. They are definitely a cut above and would compete well with the larger players. Actually they do because when going head to head, they easily best Cumberland Farms-not even a contest.
It all depends on what you are looking for.
Stewart's has the obvious advantage having their ice cream (both packaged and for cones/sundaes/shakes).
They have added some ready to eat food options into their stores (more in the newer locations and will make some items to order if you want them edited, like no cheese on a sandwich), as has Cumberland Farms (at many locations - they still have some smaller older ones with limited offerings as well).
Cumberland does get an advantage having the $0.99 any size for coffee/tea (hot or cold on both, Stewarts has these but at a higher price point, quite a bit higher for some like the iced coffee), slushie type drinks and fountain sodas (Stewart's has neither of these in most places, a few of the newest stores get a small 8 slot soda machine and their $0.99 is a smaller size).
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Re: Rumor: EG Group for Sale

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

BillyGr wrote: September 13th, 2021, 11:37 am Cumberland does get an advantage having the $0.99 any size for coffee/tea (hot or cold on both, Stewarts has these but at a higher price point, quite a bit higher for some like the iced coffee), slushie type drinks and fountain sodas (Stewart's has neither of these in most places, a few of the newest stores get a small 8 slot soda machine and their $0.99 is a smaller size).
Maybe they've changed but at least where I live, I can name more than a few '80's Cumberland locations in close proximity to Stewart's stores that have been sold off to independents. They have just two stores left in all of Fulton and Montgomery counties while in Johnstown and Gloversville alone Stewart's has five shops and one in most every town as well. I don't know if it was a strategic withdrawl or they just decided they couldn't compete.
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Re: Rumor: EG Group for Sale

Post by storewanderer »

I went to Quik Stop today and I was wrong above- they do indeed have Cumberland Farms Coffee program in place. Any size 99 cents. They put in all new equipment and I got even more excited when I saw what looked like 2 iced tea brewers with 4 metal urns but unfortunately all 4 of the urns were for iced coffee, not for iced tea. Seems a bit excessive to have so much iced coffee but maybe at their price point they will sell it.

So they have foam cups that say Cumberland Farms for the hot coffee. For all of the cold drinks (including the iced coffee) they have cups that have the Kroger c-store logo but no store name and just generic signs up over the frozen drinks and the slushie.

This Quik Stop is corporate owned; the one I usually go to is a franchise. I am wondering if not all of the Quik Stops moved to this program.

I wonder if the ultimate plan was to just put all of Cumberland Farms brands onto everything.
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Re: Rumor: EG Group for Sale

Post by BillyGr »

storewanderer wrote: September 14th, 2021, 11:03 pm I went to Quik Stop today and I was wrong above- they do indeed have Cumberland Farms Coffee program in place. Any size 99 cents. They put in all new equipment and I got even more excited when I saw what looked like 2 iced tea brewers with 4 metal urns but unfortunately all 4 of the urns were for iced coffee, not for iced tea. Seems a bit excessive to have so much iced coffee but maybe at their price point they will sell it.

So they have foam cups that say Cumberland Farms for the hot coffee. For all of the cold drinks (including the iced coffee) they have cups that have the Kroger c-store logo but no store name and just generic signs up over the frozen drinks and the slushie.

This Quik Stop is corporate owned; the one I usually go to is a franchise. I am wondering if not all of the Quik Stops moved to this program.

I wonder if the ultimate plan was to just put all of Cumberland Farms brands onto everything.
The larger/newer Cumberland stores do have 4 iced coffees. Usually 2 are their farmhouse blend, 1 is decaf and the 4th is a bold blend. Not sure if they are using those particular coffee blends as well.
Hot is usually the farmhouse, bold, decaf and a rotating special blend.
They don't do flavors, but have the flavor shot machines like a Dunkin for customers to use.

Some of the stores still do iced tea as well (they started with the 4 having one be iced tea before the bold existed) - those stores moved the tea to other spots (sometimes near the soda machines, other times near the machine that does those shake cups).
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Re: Rumor: EG Group for Sale

Post by BillyGr »

TW-Upstate NY wrote: September 14th, 2021, 10:00 am
BillyGr wrote: September 13th, 2021, 11:37 am Cumberland does get an advantage having the $0.99 any size for coffee/tea (hot or cold on both, Stewarts has these but at a higher price point, quite a bit higher for some like the iced coffee), slushie type drinks and fountain sodas (Stewart's has neither of these in most places, a few of the newest stores get a small 8 slot soda machine and their $0.99 is a smaller size).
Maybe they've changed but at least where I live, I can name more than a few '80's Cumberland locations in close proximity to Stewart's stores that have been sold off to independents. They have just two stores left in all of Fulton and Montgomery counties while in Johnstown and Gloversville alone Stewart's has five shops and one in most every town as well. I don't know if it was a strategic withdrawl or they just decided they couldn't compete.
It does seem to be odd. Some areas they have pretty much closed stores (for instance around Hudson or Saugerties, and those were years back) but then kept others (like Columbiaville, about 10 minutes from Hudson) which is a small shop, but also has the benefit of no other convenience store nearby.

In areas around Albany/Rensselaer Counties they have built many new locations (some to replace small stores, others totally new) but do have a couple small ones left (Schodack is one I can think of, again by itself, though not too far from a Pilot).
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Re: Rumor: EG Group for Sale

Post by storewanderer »

Went into the franchise Quik Stop tonight. This one doesn't have chip readers activated on the pumps though the hardware is installed, and it is no longer open 24 hours but open 5 AM to 11 PM. It is right off the interstate; there is a 24 hour Wendys and a 24 hour McDonalds there too, along with a couple other 24 hour gas stations/truck stops, probably a labor issue.

This one, they had some foam cups at coffee that said Cumberland Farms. However they did not have any signs up with Cumberland Farms branding. All of the equipment is the old Kroger equipment, nothing has been replaced. There were 2 flavors of coffee but not the Farmhouse stuff, just some generic stuff with no brand on the labels. There were still a few signs up about the "Diamond Brew" which were worn out and should have been thrown out. There was no brewer for iced coffee etc. Also no pricing information anywhere in the coffee area, so not sure if the stuff is 99 cents or not there. Pathetic looking coffee area compared to the location I saw with the upgraded equipment to Cumberland Farms program. Does not even look like a chain gas station offer.

I did notice a sign out front by the gas price sign for "new low price 99 cents Fountain Drinks." Again no pricing was posted for those in the store either.
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Re: Rumor: EG Group for Sale

Post by BillyGr »

Perhaps they are just working on the change overs slowly (or maybe having issues getting supplies - there was just a story in today's paper about the mentioned elsewhere Stewart's chain being forced to use plain white coffee cups, and one Cumberland here, but only one, was out of iced coffee/soda large cups one week and then straws a couple weeks later)?

The time thing may be more widespread - I noticed the other day our Cumberland now has 5am-11pm hours posted (it had been 24 hours, and had had temporary signs with shorter hours a couple times during the recent months).
Maybe they just find it easier to make them all shorter hours (I know others locally had tried 24 hours and changed back even before this - was sort of surprised this one would get enough business all night in this area, not being a huge town or a major thru route, even on US 9, as 9H is a bypass in the area for most thru traffic).
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Re: Rumor: EG Group for Sale

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Went to another Quik Stop today - this is the nicest one around the area and has the largest space. At this store they still had "Diamond Brew" signs all over and as far as cups go they had large cups in "Diamond Brew" and then they had plain brown small cups with no name/store logo on them at all. The cream machine even said Diamond Brew. No pricing was posted at this place on the coffee and there was zero indication of Cumberland Farms anywhere. Also of note this location had new fountain pricing posted saying 22 and 32 are .99 everyday and 44 is 1.29; signs also said no refill price so refills are either .99 or 1.29 and further refills above 44oz would be charged based on the .99 and 1.29 pricing. What a terrible program on refills. Also in this place they had signs on the slushie machine that called it "Arctic Chill" but the cups said "Diamond Freeze."

Went to a second location tonight and this one was actually fully converted to the Cumberland Farms program on coffee. This one had promotional signs on fountain drinks showing .99 any size (did not specify only 22 and 32) then had a larger price sticker attached to the machine showing pricing for various refills and the cups (22 1.29 32 1.49 44 1.69). This one had "Diamond Freeze" signs for slushie and "Diamond" signs posted for soda as well.

I am pretty sure these above two locations are both corporate and not franchise. Both were still open 24 hours. These stores are a hot mess.
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Re: Rumor: EG Group for Sale

Post by BillyGr »

storewanderer wrote: September 18th, 2021, 12:50 am No pricing was posted at this place on the coffee and there was zero indication of Cumberland Farms anywhere. Also of note this location had new fountain pricing posted saying 22 and 32 are .99 everyday and 44 is 1.29; signs also said no refill price so refills are either .99 or 1.29 and further refills above 44oz would be charged based on the .99 and 1.29 pricing. What a terrible program on refills. Also in this place they had signs on the slushie machine that called it "Arctic Chill" but the cups said "Diamond Freeze."

Went to a second location tonight and this one was actually fully converted to the Cumberland Farms program on coffee. This one had promotional signs on fountain drinks showing .99 any size (did not specify only 22 and 32) then had a larger price sticker attached to the machine showing pricing for various refills and the cups (22 1.29 32 1.49 44 1.69). This one had "Diamond Freeze" signs for slushie and "Diamond" signs posted for soda as well.

I am pretty sure these above two locations are both corporate and not franchise. Both were still open 24 hours. These stores are a hot mess.
At least here in NY (and I believe all of their northern areas) Cumberland doesn't have cold cups larger than 32 oz. They do often in advertising online mention a $1.29 XL option in their Florida stores, so that may equate to the 44 oz. for $1.29 you saw out there. Coffees are probably about 12/16/20 oz. as well (not quite as large as some places but still cheaper than the same sizes elsewhere). I'd suspect they don't worry about a larger hot cup in the south, only the cold ones (for the obvious reason that it gets warmer there more often than in the Northeast).

I can't say I've ever seen any different prices for refills, but it makes sense given the low price to begin with - most places that offer a bargain on refills charge more to start, so you aren't too likely to get the refill for less anyway even if it is less than a disposable cup? I suspect it's more for customers who prefer not to use disposable cups (though at least the soda ones are recyclable plastic).

I believe (not remembering to have a cup to refill so only paying attention partially) that there is a sign that limits refills here to the sizes they offer (that is 32 oz. or lower). Makes sense they might offer the other options if the store there has larger cups (and may have been selling the larger refillable cups as well?).
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