The largest convenience-store operator in Canada, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is also a major force in the U.S. and global c-store markets. Couche-Tard's 24-country network includes c-stores in the United States under the Circle K and Holiday Stationstores banners and in Canada under the Circle K, Mac's and Couche-Tard banners. In Europe, under the Circle K and other banners, Couche-Tard operates retail networks in Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics and Russia. Including licensing agreements in 15 other countries and territories, Couche-Tard's total worldwide network consists of about 14,300 mostly Circle K-branded c-stores.

For 2023, Entrepreneur magazine named Circle K to its Franchise 500; YouGov put Circle K on its list of most popular grocers; BrandSpark placed Circle K in its most trusted grocers ranking; and Payless Power put Circle K on its favorite fuel stops list. Also, Women in Governance awarded Couche-Tard bronze-level certification for its progress toward gender parity in the workplace.

Couche-Tard also created a new chief operating officer position, promoting Alex Miller to the role.

Working with Mashgin, Circle K has begun deploying touchless checkout technology to more than 7,000 stores in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Circle K launched its first U.S. nationwide advertising campaign, "Fueled by Circle K," focusing on the brand's fuel, available in more than half of its locations. Meanwhile, Couche-Tard has begun deploying electric-vehicle fast chargers in the United States, planning 200 North American units over the next two years.

The company has also expanded its partnership with cannabis retail and technology platform Fire & Flower in Canada and the United States. It is also investing in food delivery services and ghost kitchens.

For benchmarking purposes, store counts are as of Jan. 1, 2023.

Headquarters:Laval, Quebec
No. of Stores:7008
Rank Last Year:2