Maverik to enter California

storewanderer
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Re: Maverik to enter California

Post by storewanderer »

bryceleinan wrote: February 17th, 2021, 10:03 pm
I went to Idaho last year and was quite pleased with the Walmart gas station in Boise, and it was pretty well stocked, very similar to the Aisle 1 stores Raley’s owned. They crammed a lot of stuff into a smaller building.
Most of the Safeway stations are also that format- a tiny building in the 1,000 square foot range with a surprisingly wide amount of product available for sale. The Wal Mart Stations are quite nice since they have Wal Mart-type pricing on the convenience store merchandise. I have been surprised they did not build a gas station on their Fernley lot.
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Re: Maverik to enter California

Post by retailfanmitchell019 »

storewanderer wrote: February 17th, 2021, 10:40 pm Most of the Safeway stations are also that format- a tiny building in the 1,000 square foot range with a surprisingly wide amount of product available for sale. The Wal Mart Stations are quite nice since they have Wal Mart-type pricing on the convenience store merchandise. I have been surprised they did not build a gas station on their Fernley lot.
The Vons gas station in Escondido has a 500 or so sqft convenience store located right next to the gas pumps.
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Re: Maverik to enter California

Post by lake52 »

California strikes me as a place where a Wawa-esque conveinence store could do really well. The grocery market is relatively saturated and it is hard to find the land to build new stores in developed areas. However, there is plenty of desirable 5000 sq ft spaces available. I don't really think they'd even need gas at every location. Wawa does just fine in urban areas without gas stations (and is building new stores like such). Loop is the closest CA has and Maverik is closer too, but I think if a chain really developed a good Wawa/Sheetz knockoff focused on fresh foods, the money is there.
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Re: Maverik to enter California

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lake52 wrote: February 18th, 2021, 6:54 pm California strikes me as a place where a Wawa-esque conveinence store could do really well. The grocery market is relatively saturated and it is hard to find the land to build new stores in developed areas. However, there is plenty of desirable 5000 sq ft spaces available. I don't really think they'd even need gas at every location. Wawa does just fine in urban areas without gas stations (and is building new stores like such). Loop is the closest CA has and Maverik is closer too, but I think if a chain really developed a good Wawa/Sheetz knockoff focused on fresh foods, the money is there.
I think part of the problem is in CA there are simply too many better options for quick food. There are a lot of 5,000 square foot spaces but do they sit at an intersection with entries on both sides, strong visibility, and the other attributes of a typical Wawa site? Decoupling the concept from gas where you can't put a gas station in because you are in the middle of a downtown is one thing, but out in a suburb, I don't think Wawa or Sheetz is building anything without gas. The gas sales and traffic it brings are a significant portion of what helps pay for the in-store labor to run their prepared foods programs (and also add additional foot traffic to increase food turnover). Wawa and Sheetz run extremely high volume operations. Despite high population count in CA it seems like it is tough to get the volumes high enough with imported concepts like this.

One thing in CA is you are sitting with a ton of fast food restaurants in visible locations as described above and their dining rooms were never full or close to full and now they are not used at all. Perhaps someone needs to reinvent some of those into a concept that has convenience store type merchandise sales in the previous dining in space.

Maverik staffs more like a 7-Eleven or AM PM. It is not unusual for them to only have one or two employees on duty during afternoon/early evening around Reno. Sometimes in the morning you'll see 4-5 employees on duty though.
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Re: Maverik to enter California

Post by storewanderer »

Looks like the liquor license application for the proposed Maverik in Anderson was withdrawn..

Very high volume Safeway gas station is near their proposed site.
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Re: Maverik to enter California

Post by HCal »

As a Californian, I'm always amused by all this talk about fancy gas stations. Texans love Buc-ee's, Pennsylvanians rave about Sheetz. I'm like... it's just a convenience store?

I personally don't think these premium convenience store brands will do well in California. There are plenty of places to get fast food, alcohol, etc. If Maverik gets well-positioned locations and has good gas prices, they will probably do all right, but they aren't going to make a huge splash in this already saturated market by selling a commodity that's available everywhere.
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Re: Maverik to enter California

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HCal wrote: February 19th, 2021, 9:17 pm As a Californian, I'm always amused by all this talk about fancy gas stations. Texans love Buc-ee's, Pennsylvanians rave about Sheetz. I'm like... it's just a convenience store?

I personally don't think these premium convenience store brands will do well in California. There are plenty of places to get fast food, alcohol, etc. If Maverik gets well-positioned locations and has good gas prices, they will probably do all right, but they aren't going to make a huge splash in this already saturated market by selling a commodity that's available everywhere.
They aren't really "premium" c-store brands. They just offer more (and do it at a much lower price than the CA c-store operators do). CA (and OR and WA- OR/WA are actually probably worse- bad climate for c-stores) has some of the worst c-stores in the US from a value proposition. Customers of course have the attitude "it is just a c-store" when they are used to such inconsistently and often poorly operated sites with few amenities, limited selection of goods, and very high prices.

These out of state chains have much more to offer than the c-stores in CA currently offer. Maverik, not so much... they just have a larger footprint for their sites, larger restrooms, more flavors of soda, etc. Actually the new build AM PMs are very comparable to a new Maverik in product offering but still not as good on amenities like larger lots and restrooms (once you get past that it is AM PM, you probably can't use a credit card, etc.). Maverik does have a food program where they make prepared foods (Bonfire they call it)- their meal food is absolutely terrible and very overpriced. Their baked goods (cookies, muffins) are very good but at 1.99-2.49 each from a gas station they better be. But these other operators like the Sheetz or the Wawa with what is basically a full Subway type of thing right inside the store (and then some), pizza, and much more, at very attractive pricing, added with a large store footprint, really do draw in customers. Quik Trip with larger selection, a smaller assortment of on demand food which is pretty good quality and lower cost, more than a dozen flavors of brewed iced tea available at any given time, and consistently clean and efficient sites also has a very compelling package.

The thing with these c-store operators outside CA is they provide consistent experiences to the customers, due to being corporate operated networks. The gas pricing is routinely competitive. The sites are clean, maintained, and have easy access and easy parking for both fuel and non-fuel customers. There are no surprises when you go inside and try to buy something small like a soda or a candy with a card (no "card fee" or other pushback). They don't have cash and credit prices for gas. CA c-stores many have the cash price, credit price, some stations give debit the cash price others don't, etc. So many inconsistencies. Public restrooms are always available in these so called "premium" c-stores and they are large sized, within the store, not single occupant ones and not out back with the "key." If you just want a cup of ice there is a code to charge you .50 or whatever for the cup and not try to get the full soda cup price out of you which in many of these CA c-stores comes out near $2 after tax. There is just a consistent product offering in the stores- you will find Icee or slushie in every site. CA c-stores are just too inconsistent in their offerings (both products and amenities) and policies. When I am in CA I rarely even go into c-stores because there is no reason to. Just find the cheapest gas and not even go inside. Better to stop elsewhere for a quick drink or snack, even just pay a Starbucks price at least knowing what you are going to get and that it will be a decent experience. But in the territory of Quik Trip, it is absolutely a no brainer I will stop there, multiple times in a day, and am always more than satisfied with the entire experience and overall value of it. Quik Trip is by far my favorite- best drink offerings, all that iced tea, various coffee based drinks, nicely laid out sites, lots of space away from the dispenser to lid and straw your cup.





Very few c-stores in CA are corporate operated by these c-store operators. Some are run by large oil jobbers. Chevron has a string of corporate sites that do a good job, Circle K has a string of corporate sites that are pretty terrible at least in NorCal, United Oil has a string of corporate sites that passable at best. You have the attempted entry of Speedway which may have made a difference as their new builds are nice but what they acquired wasn't very nice and is right on par with the typical CA c-store- and now with 7-Eleven taking those over there goes that chance.

And based on how Maverik has done with its Reno entry, I can tell you- there is absolutely a demand for these better c-stores in any market. Maverik sites move very high volumes of fuel as well as merchandise. I am actually surprised how well they have done. I expected them to do well, but not this well (as in their sites are often all pumps full and most c-store parking spaces full when I drive by them). They've had to do major expansions on the next lot over at 3 locations due to the overcrowding.
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Re: Maverik to enter California

Post by jamcool »

Buc-ee’s is basically a modern version of Stuckey’s mega-sized
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Re: Maverik to enter California

Post by J-Man »

We may not have a major super C-store chain in California, but there's Eddie World in Yermo (outside Barstow).
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Re: Maverik to enter California

Post by Brian Lutz »

Compared to most C-stores in Western Washington, Maverik would be a huge improvement. I know Jacksons has been fairly aggressive with opening new stores and remodeling\rebuilding older ones around here (but even their new stores are still just pretty basic C-stores) and even AMPM and 7-Eleven have been doing some remodels recently, but those all seem to be purely cosmetic upgrades. I know Maverik has a handful of locations in Eastern Washington (at least in the Spokane area) but I haven't seen them go much beyond that. I think the biggest barrier to entry Maverik would run into in Western WA would be finding enough land to build on. In general Maverik (and other operators like QT and Wawa) seem to build on much larger parcels of land than someone like a 7-Eleven or Jacksons would, and spaces like that would be difficult to source and expensive. They might have more luck outside the major metro areas though.
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