Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"


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wnetmacman
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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Postby wnetmacman » July 3rd, 2017, 2:40 pm

pseudo3d wrote:Well, the merger has quietly closed without a bunch of fanfare, and from what I'm reading, they'll only have to divest 70 stores though they apparently sold off over 200 stores prior to this, so the number comes out to close to 300...still less than I had expected. They've acquired a lot of stores recently, including Cracker Barrel in Louisiana and Tiger Tote in Texas, and I do wonder what their future plans are. Since the 1980s, they've had to exit a lot of markets...


The Cracker Barrel stores (not related to the restaurant chain) were a mess. Since the announcement of the acquisition, they cut hours, merchandise and quality at all the stores, and they weren't that great to begin with. A few new stores had been built in the last few years, but several older stragglers have been kept as well. One old pumper station, and a former non-gas 7/11 store were closed just before that purchase became final. Some were branded Chevron, but the vast majority were Shell, and I suspect that Couche-Tard will keep that.

I would love to see a full list of the 70 stores that were divested from CST Brands. Only 3 of the stores here (former Albertsons Express) would be large enough to be fully viable as a modern convenience store. All the others would require massive rebuilding to be made modern.

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Postby jamcool » July 3rd, 2017, 5:10 pm

Most of those 70 sites began as Diamond Shamrock sites... multiple pumps under a big canopy with a small c- store in the middle. Empire Petroleum is buying those stores, who knows what they will be rebranded to.

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Postby jamcool » July 11th, 2017, 6:55 am

And now Circle K plans to buy the Holiday Stations operation. Holiday has stores across the Northern tier of the US, plus Alaska. That would turn Circle K into a 48 state retailer.

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Postby wnetmacman » July 11th, 2017, 1:02 pm

jamcool wrote:And now Circle K plans to buy the Holiday Stations operation. Holiday has stores across the Northern tier of the US, plus Alaska. That would turn Circle K into a 48 state retailer.


Holiday Stationstore is one of the oldest convenience store concepts, and one of the creators of true, modern day convenience store operations. This truly makes me sad, because I know what will become of that once C-T takes over and 'Circle K''s the place. It won't be half of what it was, and they'll be stuck with a bunch of oversized halfbreed stores. I'm seeing that happen here with the takeovers of both CST and Cracker Barrel of Baton Rouge.

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Postby jamcool » September 13th, 2017, 6:18 am

Circle K is planning to divest 200 of its stores-I assume many of the older stores will get sold off.
Also I have noticed they are installing new fuel pumps in a number of Phoenix locations-they are the new red/orange colors and have the added brand of "miles". Is this CK''s version of "top tier" fuel?

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Postby storewanderer » September 13th, 2017, 10:21 pm

Maybe Circle K will leave Holiday Stationstores alone... given that 1/3 of Holidays are franchise operations, there will be no "rebranding all at once."

We can hope...

Let's face it, a lot of this stuff Circle K has bought is basically junk. Kangaroo Express had some good markets but a lot of it was flat out garbage. Many of the store did not even carry the Kangaroo Express brand but had other names like "Presto" or no name at all. Corner Store generally had well maintained sites and well operated sites but had major inconsistencies in store size, some pricing issues, and then went out and bought odd things like Flash Foods (junk) and who knows what else.

Holiday Stationstores is a little bit different. This is a pretty refined concept. This is a concept with strong branding, strong marketing, a lot of really good programs, and appears to run pretty high volume sites. I suspect Holiday Stationstores, despite having pricing that is below typical convenience stores, product variety that is above typical convenience stores, and staffing levels that are way above typical convenience stores, do more profit and volume than any of this other junk that Circle K has bought. This, combined with the lack of overlap with the rest of Circle K, may cause them to do a pause. It is too bad Holiday Stationstores decided to sell out.

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Postby wnetmacman » September 15th, 2017, 1:16 pm

storewanderer wrote:Maybe Circle K will leave Holiday Stationstores alone... given that 1/3 of Holidays are franchise operations, there will be no "rebranding all at once."

We can hope...


As my grandfather used to say, you can hope in one hand.....and you have something else in the other.....
My bet is that they won't leave it alone.

storewanderer wrote:Let's face it, a lot of this stuff Circle K has bought is basically junk. Kangaroo Express had some good markets but a lot of it was flat out garbage. Many of the store did not even carry the Kangaroo Express brand but had other names like "Presto" or no name at all. Corner Store generally had well maintained sites and well operated sites but had major inconsistencies in store size, some pricing issues, and then went out and bought odd things like Flash Foods (junk) and who knows what else.


Exactly. Kangaroo (The Pantry) and Circle K (Couche Tard) both operated on much of the same principles: Operate simple stores, and buy out the ones you can't beat. The speed with which both have done this has hampered operations for Circle K to say the least, operating stores in some markets under 3-4 different names. In Louisiana, they operate Circle K, Circle K Express, Kangaroo, Kangaroo Express, Cracker Barrel and Corner Store. If you know what you're going for, you can almost always find a Circle K. But what has happened is that these stores operate under multiple formats and gas brands. It isn't unusual to find Circle K with Shell, Exxon, Chevron, Valero and their own branded gas. It is very confusing.

storewanderer wrote:Holiday Stationstores is a little bit different. This is a pretty refined concept. This is a concept with strong branding, strong marketing, a lot of really good programs, and appears to run pretty high volume sites. I suspect Holiday Stationstores, despite having pricing that is below typical convenience stores, product variety that is above typical convenience stores, and staffing levels that are way above typical convenience stores, do more profit and volume than any of this other junk that Circle K has bought. This, combined with the lack of overlap with the rest of Circle K, may cause them to do a pause. It is too bad Holiday Stationstores decided to sell out.


I am really hoping they bought Holiday to learn from and not to strip assets. It would be a shame to lose that part of retail history.

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Postby jamcool » September 21st, 2017, 10:51 pm

Has Circle K/Couche Tard gotten too big to fast?

http://www.cspdailynews.com/industry-ne ... p-jeopardy

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Postby storewanderer » September 21st, 2017, 10:57 pm

Yes...

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Postby wnetmacman » September 22nd, 2017, 2:10 pm

jamcool wrote:Has Circle K/Couche Tard gotten too big to fast?

http://www.cspdailynews.com/industry-ne ... p-jeopardy


This article really doesn't mention the rapid growth, just a very unusual ownership/controlling interest structure.

Are they growing too fast? Absolutely. They cannot afford to rebrand and remodel the stores they already had, then they go and buy out another 1000 stores. So now there are 2 more names in the south that are essentially Circle K stores with some old owner's decor and packaging. It makes it very hard to stop there.

To break it down:
Circle K
On The Run (franchised)
Mac's
Kangaroo
Kangaroo Express
Corner Store
Cracker Barrel (Louisiana only)
Soon to add Holiday
And many others.

They cannot even afford to convert the first on on the list to where all stores have the current marketing image (known as the Kmart effect; keep opening or buying stores simply to raise sales. By the time they figure out it doesn't work, they cannot afford upkeep).


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