SAN DIEGO -- Street Corner, a franchisor of convenience stores in shopping malls, urban multiuse developments and other alternative venues, has signed its first territory representative to expand the chain in the San Diego metropolitan area.
The first area store, an "Urban Superette" with convenience items, deli and fresh grocery offerings, is slated to open in an under-development complex in East Village next year.
Here are the details, along with images from an already-open location in Chattanooga, Tenn. …
San Diego plan
Vikram Dhillon, the master franchisee for the area, plans 12 and possibly as many as 19 more stores in San Diego and Imperial counties, Calif., over the next five years, the company said. These will be a combination of additional Urban Superettes, stand-alone c-stores with gasoline and traditional mall stores, said Peter LaColla, Street Corner’s CEO.
“This is a significant milestone both for Street Corner and the San Diego region, as it will bring a new style of high-end convenience store to the area,” LaColla said. “In some neighborhoods, particularly populous ones with a critical mass of millennials looking to dine, shop and entertain themselves close to where they live, these will be a handy and practical alternative to a large grocery store. And our finish-to-order concept will stand in stark contrast to the prepackaged salads and hot dogs on a roller of the well-worn convenience chains.”
Fresh fare is a “hallmark” of Street Corner’s Urban Superette concept, the company said. Besides deli, it offers such amenities as fresh breads, coffee and espresso-style drinks, craft beers where permitted and locally sourced favorites.
Banks on it
Founded in 1988, Topeka, Kan.-based Street Corner has more than 40 franchises in 16 states.
The chain has rolled out in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Cincinnati in the past 10 months.
“The first store to open in Chattanooga last fall was a ‘proof-of-concept,’ ” said LaColla. “With Cincinnati now open, Street Corner has begun actively securing leases for these stores in highly desirable downtown areas, with San Diego the first of many markets across the country.”
One recent Street Corner opening in Cincinnati was in a development called The Banks.
“We have been evaluating ‘urban markets’ for The Banks for almost two years. Many operators call their concept an urban market but are nothing more than a c-store attempting to fit into the urban fabric,” said Laura Griffin of Nicol Investment Co., Nashville, the landlord at The Banks. “Street Corner is the first operator we have seen that understands the appropriate product mix and how to create the look and feel of a store that welcomes urbanites in. We are thrilled to finally have this addition to our Cincinnati project.”
Street Corner technology
The Urban Superette showcases Street Corner’s latest technology. The concept offers Wi-Fi and encourages customers to linger while they enjoy a snack or beverage.
The grocery area can be partitioned off and remain accessible to building residents even when the convenience store closes, with self-checkout and fingerprint payment.
Dhillon also anticipates launching Street Corner gas locations, which will directly compete with other convenience chains with gas but add pump-side ordering and delivery with a swipe of a credit card; “inline” stores in area shopping malls; and grab-and-go express stores in office settings.