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Quick Summary: Sheetz is a privately held, family-run business. This means that there is no Sheetz stock to buy on Robinhood or any other broker. The outlook for a future Sheetz IPO is not promising.
Introduction: Is Sheetz Publicly Traded?
Sheetz has a focus on growth, a loyal customer base and a technology-enabled business that has helped give it a leg up during difficult times for other food service and retail oriented businesses. These factors make it a potentially attractive option for stock market investors.
Unfortunately for us as Robinhood investors, Sheetz is a privately held company owned by members of its founding family. As a result, there is no Sheetz stocks available to trade. Based on previous comments by the Sheetz family who’s serve as the company’s executives, there are no plans to ever go public, leaving us with yet another attractive convince store that is off limits to stock investors.
Sheetz: A Brief Company History
It may be supririsng to Sheetz legions of loyal fans that the company still currently operates in just six states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
Despite this relatively modest geographic footprint, Sheetz is listed by Forbes as the 75th largest private company in America, with $5.6 billion in revenue across 630 locations employing more than 20,000 employees.
Sheetz was founded in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1952 as a single dairy store by Bob Sheetz, who purchased the business from his father. The company has grown significantly in the following decades, all the while managing leadership transitions carefully to keep the company firmly under family control.
The format of the stores have changed from the original dairy concept to a grocery store to a convenience store and now a convenience store with a focus on quick serve food items. The company’s executives describe their strategy as serving the “on-the-go” customer, whether that is through food, gas or groceries.
Sheetz weathered the pandemic and related economic downturn quite well. The stores are famous for their digital touch screen ordering method and the role of technology helped propel the company towards new innovations, including “scan and go” checkout and curbside pickup. These new services were rolled out in “crazy fast time” according to the company’s executives, and being a privately held company likely helped in being able to move with such speed to serve their customers.
Sheetz Stock: For Employees Only
Like other successful private companies we have profiled, including Sheetz competitor Wawa and grocery store chain Publix, Sheetz does make stock available for employees and executives through a company ESOP plan.
Similar to the other companies, Sheetz stock is an exclusive benefit to their employees and is not accessible to outside investors. Employees must have worked at Sheetz for one year to qualify for the plan. The ESOP is considered a company perk and one reason that Sheetz is routinely listed as one of the best places to work in the US.
Sheetz Stock IPO Potential
In age of rampant IPOs and SPAC mergers, you might wonder what the prospect is for a Sheetz stock IPO is in the near future. Unfortunately for eager stock investors, this question has been answered fairly definitively by the company’s leadership in the negative.
Stan Sheetz told Family Business Magazine the following about whether the company will ever go public:
“The senior members of the family who work for the company intend to keep it private and grow it. There are only two reasons to go public. One is to raise capital, and we don’t need that. The other is to provide liquidity for shareholders, and we’ve been able to handle that internally as well.”Stan Sheetz as quoted in Family Business Magazine, 2013
Sheetz has one of the strongest family-run ethos of any major private business we have covered. The family is large and many family members participate in the ownership transition from generation to generation. The fact that the Sheetz family has already been through four such transitions since the company started suggests that they are very unlikely to change their strategy now, especially since the business is extremely profitable and the growth is self-funded.
As a result, we don’t think there will be a Sheetz stock IPO in the future.
Sheetz Stock Alternatives on Robinhood
The fact of the matter is there are no great public stock alternatives to Sheetz. While there are many stocks that touch on aspects of Sheetz business, from convenience stores to grocery stores and gas stations, none have the same combination of factors and unique offerings as Sheetz. The closest competitors, such as Wawa and 711, are also privately held chains.
One interesting alternative to investigate might be Murphy USA (MUSA), which recently acquired the QuikChek convenience store chain and also has its own gas station business.
Sheetz is another uniquely positioned business that has chosen to remain private. To read about others, check out Why a Chick-fil-A Stock IPO Will Never Happen and New Balance Stock: Is New Balance Publicly Traded?