Austin Powers CST Brands' Expansion

Three new Corner Stores in Texas among those slated for first-quarter 2014 growth

CST Brands Corner Store

AUSTIN, Texas -- Corner Stores, the convenience store and gas station chain recently spun off from Valero Energy Corp., has plans to open three new locations in the Austin, Texas, area in 2014 as part of a wider expansion, reported The Austin Business Journal.

A spokesperson for parent company CST Brands Inc. told the newspaper that Corner Stores will open a Dripping Springs store in the first quarter of 2014 and plans on new stores in Round Rock and Austin later next year. The Dripping Springs location will be part of seven new stores the company plans to open in the first quarter, said the report, following nine openings in the fourth quarter of 2013, including one in Austin.

In the past several months, CST Brands has opened nine new Corner Stores in Texas: Austin, Montgomery County, Willis, Houston, Conroe, Burnet, League City, Katy and San Antonio. It also opened a new store in Albuquerque, N.M., and razed and rebuilt one store in Commerce City, Colo. And the company acquired four stores in Canada from Sobeys in late November.

Corner Stores are under construction across Texas, including in Dallas, Dripping Springs, Pleasanton, Fort Worth, Cuero, Pearland, Conroe and Cypress. Another new Corner Store is underway in Bernalillo, N.M.

In a recent investor presentation, the company said that in executing on its post-Valero spin strategy, it will establish a CST culture and develop its Corner Store brand by ramping up large-format growth through new-to-industry builds, further grow square footage and expand foodservice offering though raze-and-rebuilds on "exceptional" lots and participate in industry consolidation through selective acquisitions.

It is also taking steps to increase visibility and grow the brand onsite through signage and canopies and in the community through media sponsorships, local involvement and more.

On pricing, as a standalone retail company, its priorities have shifted from a fuel volume maximization strategy to one focused on expanding its fuel gross profit dollars and optimizing in-store customer traffic.

CST Brands is one of the largest independent retailers of motor fuels and convenience merchandise in North America. Based in San Antonio, CST employs nearly 12,000 team members at approximately 1,900 locations throughout the southwestern United States and eastern Canada offering a broad array of convenience merchandise, beverages, snacks and fresh food.

In the United States, CST Brands' Corner Stores sell Valero fuels and signature products such as Fresh Choices baked and packaged goods, U Force energy and sport drinks, Cibolo Mountain coffee, FC Soda and Flavors2Go fountain drinks. In Canada, CST Brands is the exclusive provider of Ultramar fuel and its Depanneur du Coin and Corner Stores sell signature Transit Cafe coffee and pastries.