Circle K Rewards Program Gains Steam

More than 8 million members have enrolled in the Inner Circle since its launch this spring.
Melissa Kress
The logo for Circle K's Inner Circle rewards program

LAVAL, Quebec — Just months after introducing a new rewards program, Circle K is seeing high adoption numbers. 

The Inner Circle membership program is "providing meaningful convenience and fuel rewards to our most valuable customers," said Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. President and CEO Brian Hannasch. Circle K is the global convenience retail banner of Laval-based Couche-Tard. 

"I'm especially pleased this quarter with expansion of our Inner Circle membership program in the U.S.," he said during a Nov. 29 call to discuss earnings for the second quarter of the company's 2024 fiscal year. "Inner Circle is, and will be, an important tool in helping us provide consistent and high-visibility value for our customers both inside our stores and at our forecourt. Starting only five months ago, we're now in seven business units covering nearly 3,000 locations and we're well on our way to reaching 10 of our 13 U.S. business units by the end of this fiscal year."  

Since launching in late spring, the program now has more than 8 million members. In its initial Florida market, enrolled customers are visiting Circle K stores more often than non-Inner Circle customers and, Hannasch added, the company is learning how to best personalize offers to increase traffic, grow fuel volume and reward customers. 

"We truly think we've deployed not just a 'me too,' but a really unique program that helps us really focus in on the very valuable customers with a tiered approach," the chief executive said, adding that the company is balancing rolling out the rewards program to new sites with quickly learning from existing sites. 

Looking at the insights coming out of the Florida market so far, Circle K is seeing growth in fuel volume and basket size at Inner Circle sites vs. non-Inner Circle sites.

"[It's] early, but we feel very good that we're off to a good start. Conversion has been solid. We're in the mid-teens both in merchandise and in fuel, and that's growing every week — again early, but we like where we're going," Hannasch said, noting that the original goal was to deploy the Inner Circle program in roughly half the number of sites the company will deploy this year. "We're pleased that the technology and the platforms proved to be very robust, and we'll be in over 3,000 sites shortly."

Couche-Tard is a global leader in convenience and mobility, operating 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 a leader in the convenience store industry and road transportation fuel retail in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics and Ireland. It also has an important presence in Poland and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Approximately 128,000 people are employed throughout its network.

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