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7-Eleven operator to buy U.S. stores from Sunoco for $3.3 billion

Staff Writer |
Seven & i Holdings said it would buy convenience stores and petrol stations from Texas-based Sunoco for about $3.3 billion.

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The Japanese retailer closes in on its goal to reach 10,000 North American outlets.

The operator of the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores has been aggressively opening stores in Japan as well as the United States, where it has been acquiring stores from local retailers.

Its latest purchase comes as operators of traditional big-box retailers including Seven & i have been suffering weak sales as changing tastes and modest wage growth have prompted shoppers to defect to cheaper specialty chains and online outlets.

"The U.S. convenience store market has growth momentum. We see opportunities there," Seven & i President Ryuichi Isaka said at an earnings briefing after announcing the Sunoco deal.

Seven & i runs general merchandise, department and specialty stores, but the bulk of its operating profit comes from convenience stores - or 86 percent of 364.6 billion yen ($3.29 billion) in the year through February.

In a statement, the firm said U.S. unit 7-Eleven Inc [SILC.UL] has agreed to buy 1,108 Sunoco convenience stores and petrol stations in Texas and other states in August.

Sunoco currently operates about 1,350 retail fuelling sites and convenience stores under brands such as APlus and Stripes, the firm's website showed.

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