Circle K Tobacco Club Burns Bright

Enrollment, offers increase in Couche-Tard’s first quarter

LAVAL, Quebec – Circle K’s tobacco loyalty program, called its Tobacco Club, continues to receive accolades from executives, who noted an enrollment of about 4 million customers during the convenience-store retailer's Sept. 6 first-quarter fiscal 2019 investor call.

Year-over-year, same-store merchandise revenue in the United States was up 4.2%, according to Brian Hannasch, president and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the parent of the Circle K chain. Also, the chain saw improving traffic trends, particularly driven by the ramping up of its traffic-driving and promotional activities.

Those activities include its Tobacco Club. “Our Tobacco Club in the U.S. grew sequentially through the quarter,” Hannasch said. “We increased both the number of unique users enrolled in the program, now pushing almost 4 million, as well as the quantity of offers delivered.”

He called the effort a “unique differentiator, and anticipate further leveraging in the program across other categories as we enrich [the program with] finer marketing capabilities.”

Going into more detail, Hannasch said the chain recorded significant unit and dollar growth in other tobacco products including vapor, snuff and cigars. He described these tobacco subcategories as “growing at very, very strong rates. Some of this is attributable to manufacturer innovation with products like Juul, but it’s also reflective of merchandising [and] the speed of which we’ve been activating new offers in emerging brands.”

Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard's retail network includes 9,978 c-stores in North America in 48 U.S. states and all 10 provinces in Canada, primarily under the Circle K and Holiday brands. Through CrossAmerica Partners LP, Allentown, Pa., Couche-Tard supplies motor fuel to approximately 1,300 U.S. locations.

Photograph by Greg Lindenberg

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