Convenience Store News

JUL 2015

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36 Convenience Store News | JULY 2015 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM COVER STORY Chevron Corp. No.7 After a year of no major acquisitions, Chevron slipped two spots in 2015 and landed at No. 7 on the Top 100. The San Ramon, Calif.-based company focused on inter- nal improvements of existing locations rather than aggressive growth. Chevron's store count stands at 3,886 stores, of which 314 are corporate-owned and 3,572 are franchise/licensee locations, according to Nielsen TDLinx, which also reported its latest year-end sales at more than $24 billion. Its banners include Chevron, Chevron ExtraMile and Texaco. This June, Chevron USA launched the Chevron and Texaco Xponent Rewards Card, a reloadable, prepaid card that lets users save five cents per gallon of fuel based on their everyday purchases at participating Chevron and Texaco stations. Cardholders can also increase fuel savings by using their card for pur- chases at participating merchant locations. Chevron USA also now embraces mobile payment at its c-stores. The company in October 2014 began accepting Apple Pay, which lets consumers make payments using their Apple mobile devices if they own a Visa credit or debit card issued by Bank of America, Capital One, Citi Bank, Chase or Wells Fargo Bank. Chevron initially accepted Apple Pay for in-store transactions at 3,000 stores and later announced plans to add it at the pump in 2015. Multiple surveys conducted in the past year showed that Chevron enjoys a good reputation with employees and customers alike. Chevron was praised for its friendly service in a study conducted by retail design firm King Retail Solutions, and the corporation ranked No. 155 on Forbes magazine's America's Best Employers 2015 list. On the marketing front, Chevron launched fall campaigns based around the themes of two classic American pasttimes: country music and sports. This included the tailgate-themed University of Texas Football Instant Win Game and the Game Day Chef Challenge, which concluded in a grand finale cook-off at the 2015 Rose Bowl. No.10 Despite falling two spots to No. 10 on the Top 100 list, Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey's General Stores turned in one of its best years ever. Nearly all aspects of its in-store operations had a banner 2015 fiscal year, with the foodservice, grocery, packaged beverages, salty snacks and tobacco categories leading the way. The owner and operator of 1,890 convenience stores posted sales of more than $7.9 billion in its fiscal year ended April 30, and also saw profits rise significantly to $180.6 million. Casey's grew both organically and via acquisition during its latest fis- cal year, opening 45 new-build stores and purchasing 36 locations. The retailer also completed 27 store replacements and 27 major remodels. For its 2016 fiscal year that began May 1, Casey's has set a target to build or acquire 72 to 108 stores and replace 25 locations. To help Exxon Mobil Corp. No.8 After holding steady at No. 6 for several years, Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp.'s retail arm dropped two ranks on this year's Top 100 as other chains pursued ambitious growth and its own convenience store count saw a slight decrease. ExxonMobil currently has 3,409 locations, all of which are franchise/ licensee locations. Its c-store banners include Exxon On The Run, Exxon Tiger Mart, Mobil Mart, Mobil On The Run, Mobil and Mobil Snack Shop. The company's latest year-end sales totaled approximately $8.3 billion, according to Nielsen TDLinx data. Rumors that ExxonMobil would buy BP plc began to swirl in March after Exxon sold $8 billion of debt in its largest bond offering ever, but the company ultimately made no major acquisitions since last year's Top 100 list. Rather than increase its number of stores, Exxon has focused on ways to increase loyalty at its current locations and signed on with multiple platforms designed to provide added benefits to consumers. In June, the company added the Uber Partner Fuel Card powered by FleetCor and MasterCard to its Momentum Driver Rewards Program. That same month, Exxon also joined up with AT&T Inc., Macy's Inc., Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Rite Aid Corp., Direct Energy and Hulu to launch Plenti, a U.S.-based coalition loyalty program that lets consumers earn and use points for purchasing a wide variety of prod- ucts, regardless of what payment method they choose. facilitate growth in its newest markets of Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee, Casey's is on track to open a second distribution center in Terre Haute, Ind., in February or March of 2016. The Midwest retailer also plans to reach new customers via its online order- ing service, which is rolling out chainwide. Customers can order online to indulge in pizza, sub sandwiches and related products. Casey's plans to add this service to 300 stores per month and expects to have online ordering available in all of its stores by end of this calendar year. Also in the foodservice realm, pizza delivery is another source of continued growth, as Casey's plans to expand this service to an addi- tional 100 stores in its fiscal year 2016. Casey's General Stores Inc.

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