SAN ANTONIO — Corner Store convenience stores are embarking on an era of change.
As part of parent company CST Brands Inc.’s 2020 strategic plan, the Corner Store brand is getting an overhaul starting in its hometown of San Antonio and spreading outward. The new initiative focuses on growth in food choices and in-store sales.
Given the increase in fuel efficiency in the automotive fleet these days, people are stopping less to refuel. In spite of this, CST still wants Corner Store customers to come into the store every day, Kim Lubel, CST’s chairman and CEO, told Convenience Store News.
“Fuel is essential to our business, but behind this rebranding strategy is a move to make our stores — not our fuel — the chief customer driver,” she explained. “Over the next five years, as we plan on building hundreds of stores, we want customers across the country to cheer when a Corner Store opens in their neighborhood. They will know what we stand for and why they want to shop with us.”
The first step in CST’s 2020 strategic plan is to rebrand and reimage both its new-to-industry stores and its legacy stores with a new Corner Store logo and new brand promise of “Simply Fresh. Always Friendly.” In addition, its larger-format stores that offer more extensive fresh food and grocery selections will do business now as Corner Store Markets.
“Our brand promise will come to life across our network,” Lubel told CSNews.
The rebrand of Corner Store is rooted in CST’s core values — Servant Leadership, Strategic Thinking, Entrepreneurial Spirit and Innovation — in every way, Lubel noted. “The work is innovative, took strategic thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit. And the ‘Simply Fresh. Always Friendly.’ promise fits perfectly with the value of servant leadership,” she said.
Over the past year, CST worked with Prophet, a global brand and marketing consultancy, to create a uniform banner for Corner Store locations. Vibrant colors, the new logo, fun signage and a refreshed, clean appearance show off the new side of Corner Store’s personality.
“We also made the store layout simpler to meet the needs of our on-the-go customers,” Lubel pointed out. “The look is refreshing, neighborly and in touch with the modern consumer looking for convenience and quality.”
CST unveiled its first Corner Store Market built from the group up in North San Antonio in November and the company expected to have three more rebranded Corner Store Markets open by the end of 2015, with a fifth store opened in January.
The goal for this year is have all of its San Antonio Corner Stores rebranded by the end of 2016, according to Lubel. From there, the overhaul will continue into other markets. Within three years, the retailer anticipates the entire Corner Store network will be completed.