The Pantry

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The Pantry Inc.
Publicly traded company
Industry Convenience store chain
Fate Acquired by Alimentation Couche-Tard, with stores rebranded as Circle K
Founded 1967
Defunct 2015
Headquarters Cary, North Carolina, United States
Number of locations
Area served
Southeast United States
Key people
Dennis Hatchell (CEO)[1]

The Pantry, Inc. (NASDAQPTRY) was a publicly traded convenience store chain based in Cary, North Carolina that operates Kangaroo Express stores.[2] The Pantry was founded in 1967 by Sam Wornom and Truby Proctor, Jr.[3] 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.[4] (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.[4]

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.[2][5]

BP Gas Station with a Kangaroo Express store

On December 18, 2014; Quebec based Alimentation Couche-Tard, the parent company of Circle K, announced its plans to acquire "The Pantry, Inc." 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 will increase Couche-Tard's presence in the Southeast and Gulf Coast. Following the closing, all 1537 Kangaroo Express stores are expected to be rebranded under the Circle K banner by 2017.[6]


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.[7]

Products and services[edit]

The Pantry offered its own private label "Kangaroo" brand of gasoline,[2] and operates 250 in-store quick-service restaurants.[5] Additionally, 285 stores sell Marathon gasoline under a co-branding agreement.

The Kangaroo Express chain offered "Bean Street Coffee Company", its own brand of coffee,[8] 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,[9] "The Battle for Bean Street" in North Carolina's Triangle Area stores,[10] Salute Our Troops, and Roo Cup.[11]

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[5] to improve the Bean Street Coffee Service,[5] revamp nearly all Kangaroo Express stores, and add more appealing meals and snacks.[5] 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.[12]

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.[13]


Awards and acknowledgements[edit]

  • Fortune 500 - since 2007
  • Convenience Store News 2012 Grand Spirit Award [14]
  • Convenience Store News 2011 Spirit Award for companies with 500-plus stores [15]
  • Convenience Store News 2014 Best Original Store Design[16]
  • Convenience Store News 2014 Gold Medal Award Best Food Service/ LTO Promo[17]


  1. ^ Kress, Melissa. "The Pantry's Fresh Initiative Gets Second Look". Convenience Store News. pp. May 8, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Morrison, Mitch (July 24, 2003). "The Pantry Profits Climb". Convenience Store News. Retrieved May 25, 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ Staff (2001). "History of The Pantry, Inc". Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Staff (February 15, 2012). "The Pantry Names Dennis G. Hatchell as President and Chief Executive Officer". The Pantry, Inc. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Liebeck, Laura (November 7, 2011). "From Good to Great". Convenience Store News. Retrieved May 25, 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ "Cary's The Pantry stores sells for $861M to Circle K parent". December 18, 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Staff (January 9, 2009). "Pantry Buys New HQ". Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Bean Street Coffee Company". Retrieved May 25, 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  9. ^ CSD Staff (September 2, 2010). "Kangaroo Express Launches "Freeze The Swamp" Campaign". Convenience Store Decisions. Retrieved November 14, 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  10. ^ "Tar Heels Triumph in Kangaroo Express' Battle for Bean Street". CSP Daily News. April 5, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  11. ^ The Pantry, Inc. (April 1, 2014). "Pre-Registered ROO Cup Fans Unlock Extra Week of Refills at Kangaroo Express". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Kangaroo Express' Salute Our Troops Raises $1.9M". Convenience Store News. September 22, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  13. ^ Tammy Mastroberte (September 2014). "Modelled After The Military". Convenience Store News. Retrieved November 14, 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  14. ^ "Kangaroo Express Wins 2012 Grand Spirit Award". Convenience Store News. October 17, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  15. ^ "Kum & Go Wins CSNews' Grand Spirit Award for Community Outreach". Convenience Store News. October 2, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  16. ^ Linda Lisanti (October 20, 2014). "CSNews Celebrates the Best in Chain-Store Design". Convenience Store News. Retrieved December 5, 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  17. ^ Don Longo (November 3, 2014). "Maverik Takes Gold in CSNews Foodservice Innovators Awards". Convenience Store News. Retrieved December 5, 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)

External links[edit]