|Type||Publicly traded company|
|Industry||Convenience store chain|
|Fate||Acquired by Alimentation Couche-Tard, with most stores rebranded as Circle K|
Number of locations
|Southeast United States|
|Dennis Hatchell (CEO)|
The Pantry, Inc. (Nasdaq: PTRY) was a publicly traded convenience store chain based in Cary, North Carolina that operated Kangaroo Express stores. The Pantry was founded in 1967 by Sam Wornom and Truby Proctor, Jr. in Sanford, North Carolina The company has been publicly traded since June 1999 and owned by investors since 1987, when then investor Montrose Capital purchased controlling shares from Wornom and Proctor. Recent CEOs have included the former Chairman of the Board and interim CEO Edwin J. Holman, who took over after Terrance M. Marks, the former President and CEO, resigned in December 2011. (Marks had replaced the longtime former CEO Peter Sodini who had held office since 1996 until retiring in September 2009.) Dennis Hatchell is the current CEO of the company as of 2012.
The Pantry was one of the United States' largest convenience store chains and the leading independently operated chain in the southeastern U.S. As of September 29, 2014, the company operated 1,518 stores in thirteen states under several banners, including its primary operating banner Kangaroo Express. States include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
On December 18, 2014, Quebec based Alimentation Couche-Tard, the parent company of Circle K, announced its plans to acquire The Pantry for $860 million all cash tender. The acquisition was completed in March, 2015. Couche-Tard operates more than 10,000 stores in multiple countries under the Circle K banner. The newly combined company increased Couche-Tard's presence in the Southeast and Gulf Coast. Most Kangaroo Express stores were converted to Circle K stores.
It was the largest independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States. The Pantry expanded rapidly during the late 1980s into the 2000s through various acquisitions. In 2008, it was announced that all Pantry stores would be rebranded under its primary operating banner, Kangaroo Express. In 2009, the company moved its headquarters from Sanford, North Carolina, to Cary, North Carolina.
Products and services
The Pantry offered its own private label "Kangaroo" brand of gasoline, and operated 250 in-store quick-service restaurants. Additionally, 285 stores sold Marathon gasoline under a co-branding agreement.
The Kangaroo Express chain offered "Bean Street Coffee Company", its own brand of coffee, and its own private label for selected merchandise, and Roo's Water its own label for bottled water. Company promotions included "Freeze the Swamp" in Florida, "The Battle for Bean Street" in North Carolina's Triangle Area stores, Salute Our Troops, and Roo Cup.
In 2009, then-new CEO Terrance M. Marks announced that all its stores would expand their food service offerings to include fresh fruits, improved sandwiches, and more merchandise options. Select stores offer fast food outlets such as Subway and Taco Bell.
In 2010, its "Fresh Initiative" was announced to improve the Bean Street Coffee Service, revamp nearly all Kangaroo Express stores, and add more appealing meals and snacks. The program was planned to encompass all stores by end of 2012.
More than half of Kangaroo Express stores were located within 25 miles of a military installation. The company has raised millions of dollars each year for military support organizations as part of its summer-long Salute Our Troops fundraising campaign.
In 2014, the first military-themed Kangaroo Express store opened in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Kangaroo Express hosted a round table at the USO of North Carolina Fort Bragg Center to collect input from servicemen and women, their spouses and children, and the store design was developed as a direct result of their feedback.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2020)
- 1997 – "Lil’ Champ", of Jacksonville, Florida, from Docks de France
- 1998 – "Quick Stop", of Fayetteville, North Carolina
- 1998 – "Zip Mart", primarily of North Carolina
- 1999 – "Etna", of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, from Taylor Oil
- 1999 – "Handy Way Stores", of Crescent City, Florida, from Miller
- 2000 – "Kangaroo", from Kangaroo Inc.
- 2000 – "On-the-Way Foods", from McKnight Oil
- 2003 – "Golden Gallon", of Chattanooga, Tennessee, from Ahold USA
- 2005 – "Cowboys" of Rome, Georgia from D & D Oil Co.
- 2007 – "Petro Express", of Charlotte, North Carolina
- 2011 – "Presto", of Olathe, Kansas
Awards and acknowledgements
- Fortune 500 - since 2007
- Convenience Store News 2012 Grand Spirit Award 
- Convenience Store News 2011 Spirit Award for companies with 500-plus stores 
- Convenience Store News 2014 Best Original Store Design
- Convenience Store News 2014 Gold Medal Award Best Food Service/ LTO Promo
- Kress, Melissa (8 May 2012). "The Pantry's Fresh Initiative Gets Second Look". Convenience Store News. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
- Morrison, Mitch (24 July 2003). "The Pantry Profits Climb". Convenience Store News. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
- "History of The Pantry, Inc". FundingUniverse.com. 2001. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Bierley, Mark (15 February 2012). "The Pantry Names Dennis G. Hatchell as President and Chief Executive Officer" (Press release). Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
- Liebeck, Laura (7 November 2011). "From Good To Great". Convenience Store News. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
- Ohnesorge, Lauren (18 December 2014). "Cary's The Pantry stores sells for $861M to Circle K parent". Triangle Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
- "Kangaroo Express - Learn More About Who We Are". Kangaroo Express. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
- "Pantry Buys New HQ". CSP Daily News. Winsight Media. 9 January 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
- "Bean Street Coffee Company". Beanstreetcoffee.com. Archived from the original on April 28, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- "Kangaroo Express Launches "Freeze The Swamp" Campaign". CStore Decisions. WTWH Media LLC. 2 September 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
- "Tar Heels Triumph in Kangaroo Express' Battle for Bean Street". CSP Daily News. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
- Haas, Sarah (3 April 2013). "RooCup Returns at Kangaroo Express with Pre-Registration for Super Fans". Business Wire (Press release). Berkshire Hathaway. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
- "Kangaroo Express' Salute Our Troops Raises $1.9M". Convenience Store News. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
- Mastroberte, Tammy (27 August 2014). "How Kangaroo Express' Military Store Came to Be". Convenience Store News. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
- "Kangaroo Express Wins 2012 Grand Spirit Award". Convenience Store News. October 17, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
- "Kum & Go Wins CSNews' Grand Spirit Award for Community Outreach". Convenience Store News. October 2, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
- Linda Lisanti (October 20, 2014). "CSNews Celebrates the Best in Chain-Store Design". Convenience Store News. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
- Don Longo (November 3, 2014). "Maverik Takes Gold in CSNews Foodservice Innovators Awards". Convenience Store News. Retrieved December 5, 2014.