Convenience Store News

JUL 2015

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32 Convenience Store News | JULY 2015 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM COVER STORY Additionally, Shell remains focused on growing its Fuel Rewards loyalty program, which launched in 2012. This year, the program hit the half-billion-dollar milestone in savings after less than three years. It currently has more than 5 million members and a national network of partners that includes more than 10,000 restaurants, 1,400-plus retail locations and nearly 700 online merchants. Simultaneously, Shell has launched its largest North American fuel campaign and one of its largest campaigns ever for new Shell V-Power NiTRO+ Premium Gasoline. According to Shell, NiTRO+ combines two key cleaning agents that perform better than the single component in the previous Shell V-Power formulation, as CSNews Online reported. No.3 Capitalizing on another year of growth, Shell Oil/Motiva Enterprises landed in the No. 3 spot on this year's Top 100 list, down from its No. 2 spot last year. According to Nielsen TDLinx data, Shell's retail network, which is comprised almost entirely of franchisees and licensees, includes more than 5,000 stores that generate annual sales of more than $11.8 billion. Most recently, the Houston-based company continued its stride to become a top liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer when its parent company Royal Dutch Shell plc struck a deal to acquire BG Group for $70 billion. Not only will the deal make Shell an LNG powerhouse, but the transaction will add 25 percent to its oil and gas reserves and 20 percent to its production capabilities. Shell Oil/Motiva Enterprises LLC Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. No.2 Alimentation Couche-Tard jumped up two spots to become the second-largest convenience store chain in the United States, thanks largely to its acquisition of Cary, N.C.-based The Pantry Inc. News of Couche-Tard's acquisition of the Southeast chain broke in mid-December and the transaction was completed this spring. The deal between the parent of Circle K and the parent of Kangaroo Express added approximately 1,500 c-stores to Couche-Tard's existing portfolio of 6,000 retail locations throughout North America. In the U.S., the Laval, Quebec-based retailer has a total store count of 5,373 — 4,802 company-operated and 571 franchise/licensee locations. In the past year, Couche-Tard also made moves overseas by penning an acquisition agreement with A/S Dansk Shell for its retail, commer- cial fleet, commercial fuels, aviation, and connected trading and supply products businesses. The businesses will be managed by Statoil Fuel and Retail A/S (SFR), a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Couche-Tard. Shell's Danish retail business comprises 315 sites, of which 225 are full-service stations, 75 are automated fuel stations and 15 are truck stops. Of the 315 sites, 140 are owned by Shell, 115 are leased from third parties and 60 are dealer-owned. Most recently, in the states, the company's Circle K Southwest divi- sion purchased 21 c-stores, 151 dealer fuel supply agreements and five development properties from Cinco J Inc. (d.b.a. Johnson Oil Co.), Tiger Tote Food Stores and their affiliates. Couche-Tard's busy growth year coincided with Brian Hannasch tak- ing over the role of president and CEO in September. He replaced com- pany founder Alain Bouchard, who now serves as executive chairman of the board of directors. 7-Eleven Inc. No.1 Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. remains at the top of the Top 100 with more than 8,000 stores in the United States. This number is poised to grow even more as the retailer pushes forward with its recently announced acquisition of Rockland, Mass.-based Tedeschi Food Shops Inc. In addition, 7-Eleven is pursuing organic growth. The retailer spread its wings with the opening of its first store located inside a U.S. air- port terminal at Los Angeles International Airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal. The c-store giant plans to open a second in-terminal store in its own backyard in the post-security section of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's (DFW) Terminal A this fall, fol- lowed by another DFW store in Terminal E at a future date. The retailer has also been busy building up its franchise locations through its Zero Franchise Fee Initiative. Under the program — which ran through the end of June — the company waived the franchise fee on select U.S. 7-Eleven stores available for franchise, a savings of up to $80,000. Approximately 250 stores across the country were eligible for the initiative. The franchising process can take anywhere from five to seven months to complete. Inside its stores, 7-Eleven is beefing up its offering. In recent months, the chain added Ultra Mobile prepaid service plans at more than 6,700 of its convenience stores nationwide. It also reached out to lottery players to expand its foodservice reach. Through a partnership with the Virginia Lottery, those testing their luck were able to purchase a 7-Eleven scratch-off ticket that included a coupon attached for a food item, regardless if the ticket was a lottery winner. And in another highlight of this past year, 7-Eleven bolstered its technological reach with 7Rewards, a new loyalty platform on its mobile app. 7Rewards allows customers to receive a free beverage for every six purchased. Different from some loyalty programs, 7-Eleven counts every beverage its sells served in a 7-Eleven cup toward the seventh free item. Top 10 Chains

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