Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

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storewanderer
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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by storewanderer » December 25th, 2017, 10:48 am

Don't forget Holiday is keeping its brand too.

Some of what Circle K has bought is so bad, I would not put my brand on it... Kangaroo Express/Presto and the Flash Foods arm of Corner Store have some truly awful locations.

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by pseudo3d » December 25th, 2017, 1:10 pm

storewanderer wrote:
December 25th, 2017, 10:48 am
Don't forget Holiday is keeping its brand too.

Some of what Circle K has bought is so bad, I would not put my brand on it... Kangaroo Express/Presto and the Flash Foods arm of Corner Store have some truly awful locations.
What I expect to see is that Circle K will rebrand the Corner Stores and others they want to keep, everything that they don't want (Kangaroo Express, early Diamond Shamrock era Corner Stores, etc.) will get closed down. But then again, Circle K may end up rebranding everything before it realizes it has made a terrible mistake.

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by pseudo3d » January 4th, 2018, 3:56 pm

Went to a Corner Store today (and bought a zero-calorie, zero-sugar pickle-flavored ice pop since I wanted something cold but not particularly expensive or calorie-laden, and yes, it was as bad as it sounds) but also checked out the conversion process. All signage is still Corner Store, uniforms, etc. The only Circle K indications were the fountain drinks, the rebranded "Froster" (ICEE) machine, a display of some pharmacy items, and exterior advertisements. The coffee cups are Corner Store Market and the food options (including some "take and bake" items with the Corner Store name) are Corner Store Market as well. It's *possible* that Corner Store Market will live on as a brand name for some packaged and prepared food items.

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by storewanderer » April 21st, 2018, 10:13 pm

It appears this rebranding is slowly coming along. Circle K uniforms are appearing on some employees (others still have Corner Store uniforms). Coffee cups seem to be changed to Circle K at some locations but not at others (maybe sales are just slow). Circle K products are present in various categories.

There are also the stores that they had to divest. Those seem to have been sold to someone called Fast Market. In Phoenix, those stores still have Corner Store signs up, and you don't know it is something else until you go in (and see the mostly higher prices since they didn't drop fountain to Circle K levels, extremely flimsy cheap thin soda cups). The store I went into was very clean and employee friendly and in a neat looking uniform/shirt with the Fast Mart or Fast Market logo. Curiously in El Paso I saw a divested store and they (poorly) covered up the Corner Store signs and had one banner up which wasn't even their logo but just plain text that read "FAST MARKET" and did not look like something from a large chain.

I wonder if the gas brands will be staying Valero...?

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by jamcool » April 22nd, 2018, 3:40 pm

I suppose the Fast Market sites are what was sold to Empire Petroleum by C-T

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by storewanderer » April 25th, 2018, 12:00 am

jamcool wrote:
April 22nd, 2018, 3:40 pm
I suppose the Fast Market sites are what was sold to Empire Petroleum by C-T
Yes, it appears they are.

They show up on my credit card statement as "Store xxxx" - no business name, just a store number. Actually, the old Corner Store store number. I immediately identified the two I visited based on the city but this is pretty stupid to not clearly list who they are on a credit card transaction.

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by pseudo3d » April 26th, 2018, 6:17 am

storewanderer wrote:
April 21st, 2018, 10:13 pm
It appears this rebranding is slowly coming along. Circle K uniforms are appearing on some employees (others still have Corner Store uniforms). Coffee cups seem to be changed to Circle K at some locations but not at others (maybe sales are just slow). Circle K products are present in various categories.

There are also the stores that they had to divest. Those seem to have been sold to someone called Fast Market. In Phoenix, those stores still have Corner Store signs up, and you don't know it is something else until you go in (and see the mostly higher prices since they didn't drop fountain to Circle K levels, extremely flimsy cheap thin soda cups). The store I went into was very clean and employee friendly and in a neat looking uniform/shirt with the Fast Mart or Fast Market logo. Curiously in El Paso I saw a divested store and they (poorly) covered up the Corner Store signs and had one banner up which wasn't even their logo but just plain text that read "FAST MARKET" and did not look like something from a large chain.

I wonder if the gas brands will be staying Valero...?
I've seen some pretty terrible-looking Valero stores (many of them substandard Diamond Shamrock or Shamrock stores before), so I would guess yes, at least for now. In terms of my observations, I actually haven't been to a Corner Store in months, so I'll have to check one of the stores. I did notice that Google Maps labels all of them as Circle K now...

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by storewanderer » April 26th, 2018, 11:51 pm

I always thought most of the Corner Store network was in pretty good shape... not necessarily large and modern, but at least clean and well maintained.

But there are always exceptions. Such as the one in Deming, NM.

The Valero branded sites that are not Corner Stores on the other hand, seem to be universally terrible. I actively avoid them.

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by pseudo3d » April 29th, 2018, 3:16 pm

Went to a local "Corner Store" today, and it seems to be a process.

- The Circle K promotional signage is all up, including "Security by Circle K" on the outside.
- Fountains and Froster machines are all Circle K, didn't pay attention to the coffee machine especially
- No internal Circle K décor, all of it is turquoise due to being a Valero Corner Store (not the yellow logo)
- Employee uniform still said Corner Store
- Receipt still said Corner Store
- A few Circle K products (like chips) but others (pork cracklins, candy, baked goods) were all Corner Store/Corner Store Market brand.

The deal closed less than a year ago, and I guess I should be happy I'm seeing this much. I don't expect to see much from Stripes in a while, though store closures I'll be on the lookout for....

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Re: Circle K acquiring "Corner Store"

Post by wnetmacman » April 29th, 2018, 4:45 pm

pseudo3d wrote:
April 29th, 2018, 3:16 pm
Went to a local "Corner Store" today, and it seems to be a process.
Circle K has been very slow on some fronts, and not on others. There are still Kangaroo stores in Louisiana. Circle K bought Kangaroo several years back. Yet they purchased the local Cracker Barrel chain late last year, and those are all Circle K now. I wouldn't expect an expeditious changeover for Corner Store, as they are a very popular chain. Slow changes are better than rapid ones; rapid changes cause loss of business.

My closest Corner Store hasn't made any more changes than you've mentioned. I'm not expecting it to be rushed.

Stripes has shown no signs of any changes, other than reduced hours, and that has nothing to do with 7 Eleven.

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