DURHAM, N.C. — The Guess Corp. is taking its efforts to open a chain of upscale convenience store and gas stations to a new level.
In addition to the c-store/gas station chain, known as GP Express, the company will launch a chain of ultra-luxury gas/convenience stores as country clubs with memberships required. This chain, which will fall under the company's petroleum unit Guess Petroleum Ltd., will be known as GP Club.
According to The Guess Corp., GP Club will be the ultra-luxury brand for the ultra-affluent, while GP Express is the company's luxury brand for affluent consumers. GP Club will feature mansion-style designed buildings with a separate area of fueling.
The four-level buildings will include a steakhouse restaurant, business center, video-conferencing center, meeting rooms, suites for sleeping and resting, a medical clinic, a boutique selling select designer merchandise, and a hair salon.
The main level will house a convenience store with "premium quality merchandise, fresh goods and a dining room."
The GP Club will serve consumers who have applied for and become members. Households with a net worth exceeding $50 million will be the clientele for these units, the company added.
Upon arrival, members will be greeted by a valet and a concierge/doorman will assist them upon entering the building. While they shop, dine, meet or relax, their vehicles will receive full fueling and hand-washed and waxed to perfection.
There will also be an on-site swimming pool and water park for members. The design for GP Club was provided by Orlando, Fla.-based Scott+Cormia. The firm will also handle construction project management. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank will handle site selection.
Prospective members will pay an annual membership fee that gives them access to planned GP Clubs in the United States and internationally as they are built. GP Club will be their "home on the road," The Guess Corp. explained.
In addition, as a GP Club member, they will receive 24-hour emergency roadside assistance and around-the-clock travel concierge to provide support. Members will be issued platinum-plated membership cards that allow them to charge all expenses using the card to their membership account with a monthly billing cycle.
The company will also partner with various companies to offer exclusive benefits to members such as upgrades, discounts and exclusive access to entertainment events.
"We wanted to develop a new type of gas/convenience store under a country club format to cater to the ultra-rich consumers and we will accomplish this with our planned GP Club," said Cutie Shrestha, senior executive vice president/chief development officer for The Guess Corp.
The company plans to build 250 GP Club units globally over the next 36 months with "a modest roll-out."
In the U.S., there will be approximately two GP Club units per state, the initial planned list is as follows: Cary and Wilmington, N.C.; Atlanta; Columbia and Charleston, S.C.; Orlando and Coral Gables, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Biloxi, Miss.; Arlington and Richmond Va.; Bethesda and Potomac, Md.; Greenwich, Conn.; and Beverly Hills, Calif.
The Guess Corp. will announce more cities in the near future.
Similar to GP Express, the company will offer an operating partner program for GP Club and prospective operating partners will be allowed to own up to 40 percent of the unit, while the company's petroleum subsidiary will own 60 percent of the unit.
Based in Durham, The Guess Corp. is a privately held conglomerate that began as a luxury goods holding company in 2012, with a focus on diamonds. It has since expanded into other business areas, including wine, lumber and automotive.