LAVAL, Quebec — Circle K is working toward being a leader in mobility innovation through its proprietary fuel brand in North America and its electric vehicle (EV) charging efforts in Europe.
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., parent company of Circle K, reported progress on both fronts during the second quarter of its 2021 fiscal year. The retailer converted additional North America locations to the Circle K fuel brand. To date, nearly 2,600 convenience stores across the continent sport the brand on the forecourt, according to President and CEO Brian Hannasch.
"We're also piloting in more than 500 sites across various geographies to build the Circle K fuel brand awareness and claim the premium fuel customer," he said during the company's earnings call on Nov. 25. "The pilot is still early, but we’re pleased with the initial results."
Circle K continues to enhance its mobility network as well, including bringing additional products tailored to its B2B customers in Norway.
"The most notable feature is a combined fuel and charge card, which consolidates all purchases from fuel, merchandise, car wash and electric [charging] onto a single bill for the businesses. Circle K is a first mover in this product and we believe it will give us a competitive advantage being a partner for B2B customers using both liquid fuels and electric charging," Hannasch said.
"We’ve now also hit a milestone in home charging in Norway, selling more chargers in the last quarter than for all the quarters combined since we launched the program," he added. "We take this as a clear sign that we can grow our position in customers’ homes and where they work, and are looking to build on that momentum."
In North America, the company is preparing to install more EV chargers at Circle K locations in core EV markets. "In the near-term, Quebec and California will be our likely starting points," Hannasch said.
As of Oct. 11, Laval-based Couche-Tard's network comprised 9,261 convenience stores throughout North America. Its North American network consists of 18 business units, including 14 in the United States covering 47 states and four in Canada covering all 10 provinces. In Europe, the company operates a broad retail network across Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics and Russia through 10 business units. As of Oct. 11, its European network comprised 2,722 stores.
In addition, under licensing agreements, more than 2,220 stores are operated under the Circle K banner in 15 other countries and territories, which brings its worldwide total network to more than 14,200 stores.