Susser Completes Conversion from Circles to Stripes

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Susser Completes Conversion from Circles to Stripes

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Susser Holdings has completed the re-branding of both its convenience stores to the Stripes brand and its retail fueling islands to the Valero brand.

"Our dual re-branding campaign is a key element in our growth strategy," said Ron Coben, Susser's chief marketing officer. "Through Stripes, we can continue to expand across both our existing markets and into new ones under a single convenience store brand that we can control and shape into a premier, proprietary regional name."

Coben also pointed out that the Valero brand has a strong identity across Susser's markets. "The new supply agreement we signed last year with Valero ensures that we have access to stable, long-term supplies of motor fuel to accommodate our retail store growth plan," he added.

Susser began re-branding its convenience stores from the Circle K licensed brand to its own proprietary Stripes brand in the second quarter of 2006.

"The main goal of this campaign was to transfer the goodwill that we have earned over the last decade as Circle K into even stronger customer loyalty as Stripes," Coben said. "The conversion has gone very smoothly, and we are well on our way to building a regional brand with which our customers can identify."

With the store signage change now complete, Susser will follow its earlier "Stripes are in, Circles are out" media campaign with a new advertising campaign scheduled to roll out in March in its major markets, with TV, radio and outdoor advertising.

Susser began re-branding its fueling islands from CITGO to Valero in the third quarter after signing a new 12-year supply agreement in July 2006. San Antonio-based Valero is the No. 1 rack fuel marketer in Texas and is the largest refiner in the United States, with refineries and distribution facilities located in close proximity to Susser's market stronghold in the southern half of Texas. All of the retail stores that were supplied by CITGO are now supplied by Valero. Construction crews will be completing punch lists and cosmetics during the first quarter, according to the company.

Corpus Christi, Texas-based Susser Holdings Corp. is a leading non-refiner convenience store operator and motor fuel distributor in Texas. In 2006, it opened 16 new retail locations and closed 10 as part of an ongoing strategy to upgrade the size, quality and location of its convenience store/fueling chain.

At year-end 2006, Susser had 325 retail stores, and it expects to open 18 to 22 new retail stores in its primary markets in Texas in 2007. There are more than 145 Laredo Taco Company restaurants located in the Stripes stores.

During the past year, Susser added 30 new units to its wholesale network and discontinued branded wholesale supply to nine locations. At year-end, the company supplied 367 locations in its dealer network.