Dublin-based c-store brand Applegreen has an emerging East Coast footprint and is mulling wider expansion into the United States with a positioning built around a “Low Fuel Prices, Always” and “Better Value Always.”
- Publicly listed company established in 1992
- Leading brand in Ireland, with sites primarily located in motorway service areas (rest areas)
- Operates more than 200 sites in Ireland and the U.K.
- Winner of NACS’ 2016 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award
- Believes initiatives developed in home market will resonate with U.S. consumers
- Low-price fuel strategy designed to drive traffic into stores for retail, food and beverage sales
- Strong value proposition inside the store
- Food and beverage platform includes international limited-service-restaurant brands as well as the company’s own aCafe and Bakewell cafe brands
- Targeted U.S. consumer base includes locals, tourists and long-distance travelers
U.S. ambitions: The retailer now operates 10 c-stores with gasoline in two states and recently signed agreements with CrossAmerica Partners LP and 7-Eleven Inc. that could open the door to further expansion in the United States.
Santiago, Chile-based fuel and c-store giant COPEC (Compania de Petroleos de Chile S.A.) is making a big splash into the U.S. market with the purchase of the Mapco retail system from Delek U.S.
- Publicly traded parent company Empresas Copec S.A. established in 1934
- System includes hundreds of fuel stations and c-stores in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Peru
- C-store formats developed for urban, suburban and highway locations
- Mapco composed of about 350 corporate stores operating primarily in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, with additional presence in Arkansas, Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi
- Mapco banners include Mapco Express, Mapco Mart, East Coast, Fast Food and Fuel, Favorite Markets, Delta Express and Discount Food Mart
- $535 million acquisition expected to close by the end of 2016
U.S. ambitions: COPEC says that the size and geographic area of Mapco’s system will provide it with “proper” competitive operation as it enters the market. The company views the United States as a key strategic growth opportunity.
Mexico’s leading c-store chain, OXXO, has big plans for U.S. expansion, where brand recognition and market positioning could prove fruitful along border states such as Texas.
- Publicly traded parent company FEMSA, based in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, is a multinational beverage, fuel and retail conglomerate with roots going back to 1890
- Nearly 14,500 small-format OXXO stores in Mexico and Colombia
- Opened first of two current U.S. units in Texas in 2014
- History of rapid expansion
- Adept at building stores and creating an efficient supply chain
- Foodservice platform bolstered by FEMSA’s ownership of Mexico’s more than 160-unit Gorditas Doña Tota restaurant chain
U.S. ambitions: Add 900 units over the next 10 years, with a primary focus on Texas.
State-owned Mexican oil company PEMEX (Petroleos Mexicanos) is eyeing Texas as entry point to the United States as part of larger effort to develop new revenue channels beyond upstream in its home country.
- Private, Mexico City-based company established in 1938 to control Mexico’s energy sector from exploration to pump
- Exploring new revenue streams as it now loses some of its monopoly in Mexico
- Texas an opportune market due to cultural, demographic and economic alignment
- Launched five units in Houston market in late 2015 (click here to see slideshow)
- Large, well-stocked stores, along with pumps, forecourt and canopy, have the look and feel of any new U.S. convenience facility
- Targeting Mexican nationals and other Hispanic consumers, as well as other U.S. demographics
U.S. ambitions: Using first five locations in Houston area as a test for future growth in the state.
- Tokyo-based Seven & i Holdings is a public company with U.S. headquarters in Irving, Texas
- Network consists of about 27,000 subsidiary c-stores globally, including 18,250 in Japan and 8,000 in the United States, and a further 30,400 area licensees in markets such as Asia and Europe
- Previous management stated potential for up to 30,000 total locations across North America
- Exact plans for the United States not yet disclosed
U.S. ambitions: The company plans to continue short-term growth via acquisitions, such as a deal announced in June to acquire 79 units in California and Wyoming from CST Brands.
Alimentation Couche-Tard/Circle K
Canada’s c-store heavyweight, Alimentation Couche-Tard/Circle K, sees more opportunity for growth in North America—primarily in the United States—following recent M&A activity.
- Public company based in Laval, Quebec
- Global network of more than 12,000 c-stores, with 7,888 in North America
- Circle K is the flagship banner
- Other operating markets include Europe, the Middle East and Asia
- Set to acquire approximately 2,000 locations from CST Brands Inc. and 1,100 locations from CrossAmerica Partners in North America
U.S. ambitions: Applying best practices from recent acquisitions across the company and creating top-line synergies; more organic growth, particularly in the United States, where the company says its market share is still relatively small; and deleveraging its balance sheet to the point where it could look at another sizable acquisition.