Getting the Goods

Pacific Convenience & Fuels drops Circle K for "My Goods Market"

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

My Goods

PLEASANTON, Calif. -- In a move that will turn about 300 stores in the West Coast region from Circle K to a new c-store brand--My Goods Market--Pacific Convenience & Fuels LLC has announced a name switch-up, with officials "excited" about the opportunity to infuse their own ideas into the chain after buying the assets from ConocoPhillips and inheriting the Circle K brand five years ago.

In an interview with CSP Daily News, Sam Hirbod, CEO of the Pleasanton, Calif.-based chain said the Circle K brand, and even the Pacific Convenience & Fuels name, had always been a "placeholder," until the contracts ran out with the Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., which owns and operates Circle K.

"The name change has been in the works for a while," Hirbod said. "We are eager to impose our ideas and views, and we are excited about what we feel is a robust plan."

While the cooler and tobacco sets are stable areas, Hirbod said much can be made of the middle of the store, floor space he called "the biggest challenge" facing his chain and the industry at large.

"There's so much real estate there, and while we are aware of the directions foodservice needs to go--and it will be a category focus--there are other categories and types of snacks that our lateral competitors make use of that as an industry we do not," he said.

Challenges of packaging and pricing have faced the c-store channel with regards to many popular snack and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands, he said, calling the hazelnut spread product "Nutella to Go" a primary example.

Pacific Convenience & Fuels became one of the industry's largest privately owned chains when it acquired nearly 600 retail locations in 2008 from ConocoPhillips. Since then, it has made adjustments to its portfolio, including the sale of 28 locations to 7-Eleven and the purchase of nine California stores from Thrifty Oil and four locations from Food Maxx that expanded the company into Nevada.

The company's retail empire spans Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Nevada and Texas. Of its 310 total stores, 230 are company owned/operated and 80 are run by contract through a fee-operator (contract dealer). Fuel brands include 76 (in California, Oregon and Washington), Conoco (in Colorado and Texas) and some with Chevron and Circle K brand. In the ConocoPhillips acquisition, Pacific Convenience & Fuels also became a Circle K licensee and, in the process, Circle K's largest franchisee.

Angel Abcede, CSP/Winsight By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP
View More Articles By Angel Abcede