Convenience Stores Head Up Energy List

Convenience stores still top the list of the state’s largest private companies in the energy sector, with one more added this year.

This year, Flash Market Inc. of West Memphis, a convenience store chain and fuel retailer, remained at the top of the list.

According to the company’s website, Flash Market supplies fuel to about 150 retail locations, about 75 of which it owns and operates under the Flash Market banner. Most of its locations are in Arkansas, but some are also in Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. It had revenue of $1.05 billion, down from last year’s $1.15 billion and putting it closer to the No. 2 company on the list, E-Z Mart Inc. of Texarkana, Texas.

E-Z Mart’s revenue was mostly flat, standing at just more than $1 billion. It owns 302 convenience stores in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. It and Flash Market remain the only energy companies with more than $1 billion of revenue.

One convenience store operator is new to the list this year: Summerwood Partners LLC of Bryant, with $196 million in revenue. Summerwood does business as Big Red Stores.

According to the company’s website, it has 26 of these locations throughout Arkansas, with the first five having opened in Little Rock and North Little Rock in 1997, and the most recent opening in 2012.

The company also owns three Family Markets grocery stores in Pangburn, Mabelvale and Malvern, all of which opened in 1997 and 1998.

Other than North Little Rock’s Coulson Oil Co. Inc. and Jonesboro’s Mid-South Sales Inc., much of the rest of the list is made up of the state’s utility cooperatives, the largest of which is Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., with $736 million in revenue, up from last year’s $653 million. It provides utility service in mostly rural areas.

Also present on the list is Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., which shares management with AECC. AECI had revenue of $416 million, down from $438 million in 2013. It sells machinery and services to other utility companies.