FINANCE

7-Eleven to acquire 188-store Wilson Farms

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas — 7-Eleven has signed an agreement to purchase Wilson Farms, a Buffalo-based convenience store chain with 188 locations in New York State, with an expected closing in the second quarter. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The addition of Wilson Farms significantly increases 7-Eleven’s presence in the western New York area. Post closing, 7-Eleven will assume responsibility for all Wilson Farms locations and personnel from the WFI Group, which is led by Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., a private-equity firm, and the Nanula Family, which together have managed the stores since 2005.

7-Eleven will invest in remodeling the stores. Local contractors will be hired for the remodeling program to begin later this year. Additionally, the company will introduce its proprietary retail information system to the Wilson Farms stores.

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FINANCE

Wal-Mart shoppers under more pressure

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Wal-Mart Stores CEO Mike Duke said rising gas prices are hurting the chain’s main customers, who are having an even harder time stretching their dollars to the next payday than they did a year ago.

"There’s no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact on our customers," said Duke at an event that was part of The Wall Street Journal’s executive breakfast series, according to the Associated Press. "There’s more pressure."

Duke said Walmart customers are consolidating shopping trips, though they are spending more on each excursion. At the same time, however, shoppers are also cutting back on discretionary items.

Duke also said Wal-Mart is seeing more noticeable drops in buying in the few days before the end of the month when money is tight and then a big spike in spending during the first few days of the month when some of its customers shoppers get paychecks or government assistance, according to the report.

Duke did not talk about specific plans for expansion in New York, but he said it’s a big opportunity for the company. He estimated last year New Yorkers spent $195 million at Walmart stores outside the city, based on credit-card receipts, the Associated Press said.

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REAL ESTATE

Build-A-Bear Workshop to make airport debut

BY CSA STAFF

St. Louis — Build-A-Bear Workshop is teaming up with Orlando International Airport to open a new store in mid-May. It will be the first Build-A-Bear Workshop store located inside an airport.

The Build-A-Bear Workshop store at Orlando International Airport will be located in the Main Terminal. The store will provide the same experience and interaction as mall-based Build-A-Bear Workshop retail locations.

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