Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

pseudo3d
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2611
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 7:01 pm
Been thanked: 3 times
Status: Offline

Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by pseudo3d » September 19th, 2016, 7:46 am

jamcool wrote:That mid 80s acquisition period was when former billboard magnate Karl Eller ran Circle K- they bought UToteM, then Stop & Go, then Little General, and other regional chains, in an attempt to be the largest C-store chain in the country-it didn't work out.
Circle K didn't buy Stop N Go (National Convenience Stores), they bought a number of stores off of it in the late 1980s, traded some stores with it in 1994, and attempted a buyout in 1995. Stop N Go was acquired by Diamond Shamrock to fend off Circle K's bid, and ultimately the Stop N Go name vanished in favor of Diamond Shamrock's own brand, Corner Store. Diamond Shamrock was eventually purchased by Valero, and Corner Store was spun off as CST Brands, and, well, that's where we are today.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4348
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by storewanderer » September 19th, 2016, 9:21 pm

Believe it or not Corner Store actually had the Stop N Go name in use on at least two stations in California.

The stores are visible on Google Street View. Was this the same logo that was used by the previously defunct Stop N Go chain?

1. 785 Jamacha Road, El Cajon, CA 92019 - used on store only. Store was a "Corner Store" in all but the sign on the building that said Stop N Go. Back when this station had Beacon/Ultramar gas branding the store was branded Ultra Mart.
2. 1216 Clovis Ave, Clovis, CA - very temporary arrangement. Station had Arco branding. For some reason it was removed and replaced by Stop N Go. There were a few other Arco locations that Corner Store had, those were old Beacons and the Arco branding arrangement dated back many years to a time before Diamond Shamrock owned Beacon/Ultramar. Supposedly they agreed to brand a dozen or so stations as Arco and in turn Arco would be Beacon's "back up" fuel supplier in an event where their primary fuel supplier (at the time Exxon) could not provide fuel. This was before Diamond Shamrock had a refinery of its own in NorCal. These Arco locations owned by Valero were always strange in that they accepted credit cards unlike most Arcos. They also accepted and promoted Beacon, then Diamond Shamrock, then Valero, credit cards.

pseudo3d
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2611
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 7:01 pm
Been thanked: 3 times
Status: Offline

Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by pseudo3d » September 22nd, 2016, 11:40 am

storewanderer wrote:Believe it or not Corner Store actually had the Stop N Go name in use on at least two stations in California.

The stores are visible on Google Street View. Was this the same logo that was used by the previously defunct Stop N Go chain?

1. 785 Jamacha Road, El Cajon, CA 92019 - used on store only. Store was a "Corner Store" in all but the sign on the building that said Stop N Go. Back when this station had Beacon/Ultramar gas branding the store was branded Ultra Mart.
2. 1216 Clovis Ave, Clovis, CA - very temporary arrangement. Station had Arco branding. For some reason it was removed and replaced by Stop N Go. There were a few other Arco locations that Corner Store had, those were old Beacons and the Arco branding arrangement dated back many years to a time before Diamond Shamrock owned Beacon/Ultramar. Supposedly they agreed to brand a dozen or so stations as Arco and in turn Arco would be Beacon's "back up" fuel supplier in an event where their primary fuel supplier (at the time Exxon) could not provide fuel. This was before Diamond Shamrock had a refinery of its own in NorCal. These Arco locations owned by Valero were always strange in that they accepted credit cards unlike most Arcos. They also accepted and promoted Beacon, then Diamond Shamrock, then Valero, credit cards.
NCS (Stop N Go) has had stores in California before. In 1988 it had 25 stores in San Francisco and 120 in Southern California, pulling out in 1994 in the aforementioned store swap where those outlets became Circle K in SoCal. Anyway, it looks like that logo is identical (desaturated) to what Stop N Go was using in Houston et. al. (it looks like they were phased out between 2005 and 2008 when Diamond Shamrock became Valero). Because the end of the conversions came at the time when Google Street View was coming in, the pictures of Stop N Go are pretty blurry. [https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7499334 ... 328!8i1664]

pseudo3d
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2611
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 7:01 pm
Been thanked: 3 times
Status: Offline

Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by pseudo3d » February 1st, 2017, 8:43 am

So late last year, CST Brands shareholders did approve the merger, and it is supposed to close in early 2017, but I haven't seen much info otherwise.

In my area, the Corner Store stores don't conflict with any Circle K stores, the last of the local CKs pulled out in the late 1990s. I'd predict some of the divested stores (in the South) may end up getting sold to Stripes, which has been on a buying binge itself (Sac N Pac, Rattlers--the latter which left some overlap).

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4348
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by storewanderer » February 1st, 2017, 8:52 pm

CST Brands sold its California operations to 7-Eleven. Some of the locations did not get sold to 7-Eleven and were subsequently sold off to independent businesspeople. I think almost half of the locations actually did not get retained by 7-Eleven; I don't know why they bought them in the first place.

I went into one over the weekend that still had all the Corner Store signs up but was clearly no longer a Corner Store and not a 7-Eleven. It still had Valero branding. Went inside and did a fuel prepay using Credit. Receipt had NO business name on the receipt anywhere. The employee was in a t-shirt and jeans and some female was leaning against the coffee equipment talking to him. Not even close to the operational standards that Corner Store had. I didn't pump the whole thing so I went back in for a refund slip (usually this involves the employee pulling up the transaction and pressing the Credit/Debit key and the refund automatically processes). The employee and female had moved outside and were smoking and came in the other door. The employee pulled up the transaction but did not want to press Credit/Debit. He showed me the screen and said "there is your refund." I told him I needed a receipt. He pressed a few buttons and didn't make it happen. I then suggested he press the Credit/Debit button. He did not want to do that and instead pressed the Cash button and out popped the cash drawer and a "change due 16.85-" message on the screen. At that point he said "it will just go back to your card." I said to him "no, it won't now that you cashed it out." I think he was trying to lift the cash from the fuel prepay. At this point he said "I can just give you the cash." I accepted that and left. I notice the charge posted to my credit card as "EXPRESS LAND." I guess that is the new business name.

I wish the California Locations had been included in going to Circle K. Circle K is a much better operation than 7-Eleven and I think they would have kept a lot more of the stores.

wnetmacman
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 789
Joined: January 17th, 2010, 2:36 pm
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 9 times
Status: Offline

Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by wnetmacman » February 1st, 2017, 9:05 pm

pseudo3d wrote:So late last year, CST Brands shareholders did approve the merger, and it is supposed to close in early 2017, but I haven't seen much info otherwise.

In my area, the Corner Store stores don't conflict with any Circle K stores, the last of the local CKs pulled out in the late 1990s. I'd predict some of the divested stores (in the South) may end up getting sold to Stripes, which has been on a buying binge itself (Sac N Pac, Rattlers--the latter which left some overlap).
Stripes is building a much larger new model that includes full Laredo Taco locations. Most of the true, older CST stores are smaller and have no room for this. Plus, new Stripes locations are being branded Sunoco. Not sure Valero would be happy with that.

pseudo3d
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2611
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 7:01 pm
Been thanked: 3 times
Status: Offline

Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by pseudo3d » February 1st, 2017, 9:33 pm

wnetmacman wrote:
pseudo3d wrote:So late last year, CST Brands shareholders did approve the merger, and it is supposed to close in early 2017, but I haven't seen much info otherwise.

In my area, the Corner Store stores don't conflict with any Circle K stores, the last of the local CKs pulled out in the late 1990s. I'd predict some of the divested stores (in the South) may end up getting sold to Stripes, which has been on a buying binge itself (Sac N Pac, Rattlers--the latter which left some overlap).
Stripes is building a much larger new model that includes full Laredo Taco locations. Most of the true, older CST stores are smaller and have no room for this. Plus, new Stripes locations are being branded Sunoco. Not sure Valero would be happy with that.
Stripes entered the area with the purchase of a 12,000 square foot store called Chicks (it was based after Buc-ee's, right down to the branding). It also sold hamburgers. But later stores were more modest (they did add LTC). The acquired Sac-N-Pac stores are also modestly sized and I don't think they offer LTC.

Not sure what you refer to as "true older" Corner Store. Corner Store Markets are much larger than the new Stripes stores, and there's also some ~1,000 square foot Corner Store stores, which no big chain will end up wanting. As for Valero-to-Sunoco, while acquired Stripes stores tend to get Sunoco, that isn't the case (two of the Stripes stores locally, the Chicks and another store that was built and never finished out properly are both Exxon stores). So it's not a stretch to imagine a Valero-branded Stripes.

rwsandiego
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 712
Joined: April 3rd, 2016, 10:57 pm
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 10 times
Status: Offline

Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by rwsandiego » February 1st, 2017, 9:40 pm

storewanderer wrote:CST Brands sold its California operations to 7-Eleven. Some of the locations did not get sold to 7-Eleven and were subsequently sold off to independent businesspeople. I think almost half of the locations actually did not get retained by 7-Eleven; I don't know why they bought them in the first place.

I went into one over the weekend that still had all the Corner Store signs up but was clearly no longer a Corner Store and not a 7-Eleven. It still had Valero branding. Went inside and did a fuel prepay using Credit. Receipt had NO business name on the receipt anywhere. The employee was in a t-shirt and jeans and some female was leaning against the coffee equipment talking to him. Not even close to the operational standards that Corner Store had. I didn't pump the whole thing so I went back in for a refund slip (usually this involves the employee pulling up the transaction and pressing the Credit/Debit key and the refund automatically processes). The employee and female had moved outside and were smoking and came in the other door. The employee pulled up the transaction but did not want to press Credit/Debit. He showed me the screen and said "there is your refund." I told him I needed a receipt. He pressed a few buttons and didn't make it happen. I then suggested he press the Credit/Debit button. He did not want to do that and instead pressed the Cash button and out popped the cash drawer and a "change due 16.85-" message on the screen. At that point he said "it will just go back to your card." I said to him "no, it won't now that you cashed it out." I think he was trying to lift the cash from the fuel prepay. At this point he said "I can just give you the cash." I accepted that and left. I notice the charge posted to my credit card as "EXPRESS LAND." I guess that is the new business name.

I wish the California Locations had been included in going to Circle K. Circle K is a much better operation than 7-Eleven and I think they would have kept a lot more of the stores.
The Corner Store/Valero near my previous residence was sold to 7-Eleven, but I am not sure whether it was retained. It is teeny (probably 1,000 sq ft) and has experienced all kinds of computer issues since the sale took place. They also increased the price of gasoline to 10 cents a gallon higher than the Valero a few blocks away. What used to be a crazy busy station is now not very busy at all. Sad, really.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4348
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by storewanderer » February 1st, 2017, 10:05 pm

The station I visited was still being fairly competitive on its gas. It was at 2.54 (same price cash or credit); the Safeway fuel across the road was 2.48 cash/2.58 credit.

It also had just a small 1,000 square foot or so store in the middle of the pumps; very compact.

The locations sold to 7-Eleven that 7-Eleven is actually operating should have 7-Eleven coming soon signs or similar posted; also would expect to see Big Gulp, etc. cups at the drink areas if they offer that. Also they would have a 7-Eleven NCR cash register for in-store purchases (but using some other Gilbarco register for the gas pumps because 7-Eleven's NCR registers aren't compatible with Valero's network).

I was in one of these in Pacific Beach in December, another very small store, and it was being operated by 7-Eleven, but still said Corner Store. They had some 7-Eleven cups inside and the odd two cash register set up with a Gilbarco terminal controlling the gas pumps and a 7-Eleven NCR machine being used for everything in-store. There were multiple 7-Eleven coming soon signs posted. I remember the gas pump there felt awkward; I ran my card and after what felt like forever it gave a "Receipt Yes/No" prompt then "begin fueling." No zip code prompt. Probably too slow for that. Perhaps on dial up or something. Clearly not the old fast Verifone system that Corner Store used.

pseudo3d
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2611
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 7:01 pm
Been thanked: 3 times
Status: Offline

Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by pseudo3d » July 3rd, 2017, 6:57 am

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...

Post Reply