As a now ex-merchandiser for Acosta's convenience division, I have no idea how that division is profitable for Acosta or any of their clients or competitors. Granted, I probably don't know all the numbers involved, and I'd imagine that if there was no money to be made, then companies like Acosta wouldn't be worth multiple millions.
All I know, is that of the 200+ stores I was in, almost all of the independents were barely clinging to a profit large enough to warrant keeping their doors open. Many of them were only open because of their lotto machine. I threw out (hopefully got credit for) whole boxes of confections that had expired years ago. Think about that. It means that no one has touched that particular box of chocolate for 2+ YEARS. And my job, was to sell them MORE chocolate that MAY sell, and may not. Independent store owners aren't stupid. They don't want a 96 count box of a new candy that MAY sell. They want products that WILL sell.
Anyway, the other sections of the business seem profitable. Acosta's contract with CVS probably rakes them in a profit, and 7-11's aren't doing so bad either. Tedeschi's also isn't doing so bad. But those independents....man. I don't think they're going to be around much longer. Not in the Northeast, anyway. They just can't compete with all the corporate competition. Who on EARTH is going to buy ketchup at JimJoeBob's Convenience for 300% markup, when they have Target/WalMart/Stop & Shop/etc etc. to choose from?
Also, I imagine that Acosta's grocery division does very well. But their Convenience division needs some overhauling...they need to realize that there is very little if any money to be made with independent owners, many of whom are barely holding on as it is.