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Alimentation Couche-Tard Aims to 'Win' With Five-Year Strategic Plan

The convenience retailer's food and fuel offers are among the lighthouses guiding the next leg of its journey.
Melissa Kress

LAVAL, Quebec — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. laid out a roadmap for growth, with four beacons to guide the company's way, over the next five years.

The Laval-based global convenience retailer revealed its next five-year strategic plan at its 2023 Analyst and Investor Conference on Oct. 12. "It is with great pride that we announced our new '10 for the Win' strategy today. The entire executive team and I believe that we have put together a compelling and achievable path to reach our ambitious goals," said President and CEO Brian Hannasch.

By the Numbers

  • 14,421 convenience stores globally
  • 7,055 c-stores in the United States
  • 4,800 sites offering Fresh Food, Fast
  • 8.5 million customers served per day
  • 35 million gallons of fuel sold per day
  • 6,400 sites offering Circle K fuel

"We are excited to start executing on '10 for the Win' to bring more value to our customers, team members and shareholders as we strive to become the most trusted brand in convenience and mobility," he added.

Guided by its vision to become the world's preferred destination for convenience and mobility, along with its mission to make its customers' lives a little easier every day, Couche-Tard will tackle "unfinished business" in the next leg of its journey.

[Read more: Alimentation Couche-Tard Moves Closer to Growing Its Network in Europe]

As Hannasch said during his overview remarks at the conference, the parent company of the global Circle K brand "has a lot of runway" and does not view the new strategy as radically different.

According to the chief executive, the next five years will be guided by four lighthouses:

  1. Winning Offer, which includes winning in food, thirst and private label;
  2. Winning Fuel, which includes winning with the business-to-consumer value proposition, the business-to-business value proposition and the fuel supply chain;
  3. Winning the Customer, which includes building fans through loyalty, the digital experience and operations first; and
  4. Winning Growth, which includes new-to-industry sites, raze and rebuilds, and acquisitions.

The strategy is supported by the foundation, according to Hannasch. "It's having a great cost structure. It's having an IT infrastructure that is not only solid and reliable, but also flexible and fast, and it's having a great HR mentality and organization to build culture," he explained.

The new plan comes as Couche-Tard wraps up its previous five-year strategic plan, "Double Again." Launched in 2018, that plan saw the company double EBITDA — during a time period that included the COVID-19 pandemic — and open more than 600 new-to-industry convenience stores with returns above 15 percent, Hannasch noted.

Couche-Tard's journey to grow its business from 2018 to 2023 also used several lighthouses as guideposts, including:

  • Chain of One;
  • Hire Right and Train to Win;
  • Simplify Processes; and
  • Grow.

Couche-Tard operates in 25 countries and territories with more than 14,400 stores, of which approximately 10,800 offer road transportation fuel. With its well-known Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States and is a leader in the convenience store industry and road transportation fuel retail in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics, as well as in Ireland. It also has an important presence in Poland and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of People's Republic of China.

Couche-Tard is No. 2 on the 2023 Convenience Store News Top 100 ranking.

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