Valero Races Ahead with Road Runner Concept

SAN ANTONIO -- Valero Corp., headquartered here, opened its new Road Runner convenience store concept on Culebra Road here recently, a move that emphasizes the company's progress on its retail assets, which have evolved to include more prepared foods as well as its proprietary line called Fresh Choices, the company stated.

The Road Runner store, at 5,500 square feet, is larger and brighter than its Valero Corner Stores, and offers more space for prepared foods and meals to go, according to the company. The move was in response to consumer demand for a larger, brighter and more complete food store, the company stated.

"Ever since Valero got into the retail business, our focus has been to invest in upgrading our network," Gary Arthur, senior vice president of retail and specialty products marketing, said in a statement. "Because of this strategy, we have been able to develop items that customers really like, and we think the new Road Runner concept will be just as popular."

The Road Runner store design features bright colors and an open, spacious interior, in efforts to further differentiate Valero-owned locations as premium destinations for consumers, the company stated. With the larger footprint -- Valero Corner Stores are approximately 3,500 square feet -- the stores offer wider selection and increased inventory of products. In addition, all of the company's nearly 1,000 Valero Corner Stores will be eventually remodeled and refurbished, and sport the Road Runner name.

With the launch, the company's Fresh Choices line was revamped to include its existing snacks, soft drinks, spring water, vitamin water, teas and pastries, along with the fresh foods offered in the Road Runner stores, the company stated.

Approximately 30 percent of the floor space is devoted to fresh and perishable foods, including fresh, never frozen hot dogs and other trans fat-free roller grill products; ready-to-eat salads, cheeses, dips and meat; breakfast tacos made with homemade tortillas; and fresh-baked kolaches, doughnuts, pastries and muffins.

In addition, the store allows customers to customize their fresh foods with a self-serve "topping bar" for sandwiches, hot dogs, baked potatoes and tacos.

The Road Runner concept also features premium hot beverages through its Cibolo Mountain premium roast coffee, which offers several styles, from light roast decaffeinated to medium roasted Colombian and dark roasts of espresso and French. Coffee, made with triple-filtered water, is served in triple-layer paper cups with built-on sleeves. Also available at the hot beverage counter are a variety of cappuccino flavors.

The store's Flavors 2 Go fountain area features 30 dispensers including fountain drinks, fresh-brewed iced tea, ICEE-branded carbonated drinks and a self-serve shake machine, the company stated. Beverages can be made with both cubed and "chewable" ice. Similar to the hot beverages, fountain drinks are made with triple-filtered water and served in cupholder-friendly sizes and don't "sweat" on hot days, according to the company.

Other features of the Road Runner store are a large icehouse walk-in cooler; general merchandise including greeting cards, ice chests and automotive goods; expanded restrooms; ample parking; and 14 fueling positions using Gilbarco fuel pumps, which offer a Smart Merchandising feature that advertises in-store products and printable coupons, the company stated.
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