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Grocer Coborn’s Sells Its Fuel and Convenience Stores

Regional retailer divests Holiday franchised stores to focus growth efforts on grocery business
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Top Regionals
Coborn’s is selling its Holiday franchised stores to allow for more capital deployment for its strategic growth initiatives.

Regional grocer Coborn’s, Inc. is selling its 14 Holiday franchised fuel and convenience stores and one developmental site to Holiday Stationstores LLC. 

St. Cloud, Minnesota based Coborn’s is a 102-year-old employee-owned grocery retailer with nearly 10,000 employees and 77 grocery stores across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois under the banners Coborn’s, Cash Wise Foods, Hornbacher’s, Tadych’s Marketplace Foods and Sullivan’s Foods. Coborn’s entered the convenience store business in 1986 with its Little Dukes branded convenience stores and converted 14 locations to Holiday franchised stores in 2006. Coborn’s operates several fuel, liquor and pharmacy locations as well. To support its 200 various retail business units, Coborn’s operates its own central bakery, dry-cleaning facility and grocery distribution center.

[Read more: “Coborn’s President and COO to Retire; Successor Named”]

Independent investment bank Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc. provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Coborn’s, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential structured sale process and negotiation of the sale. 

Chris Coborn, CEO and fourth-generation family member of Coborn’s, said of the divesture: “This is part of Coborn’s overall strategy to focus our growth efforts on the grocery store market. Matrix’s efforts have led to the successful sale of our Holiday franchise stores to our long-term franchisor partner, Holiday. The transaction provides continuity to our store employees and customers, as the stores will remain Holiday branded and continue to accept the Coborn’s MORE Rewards program.”

Strategic growth initiatives include acquiring Sullivan’s Foods grocery stores in Illinois earlier in the year. The move marked Coborn’s first expansion into that state. 

Meanwhile, Coborn’s began remodeling its Cash Wise Foods location in Jamestown, N.D., in September. The grocery store’s new format includes the addition of a fuel center and an in-store Caribou Coffee shop, enhancements to fresh and liquor departments, and exterior updates to better serve customers. The store will remain open during construction, which is expected to continue through 2023. A public grand-reopening celebration will take place for 2024.

Coborn’s Inc. is No. 84 The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Coborn’s was also recognized by Progressive Grocer Magazine as one of the Top 10 Regional Grocers in the United States in 2023. 

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