Originally Published in CSP Magazine
ATLANTA -- Circle K has inked a partnership with Atlanta convenience store chain Gas Express. On Oct. 10, 2012, Circle K awarded Gas Express a master franchise agreement, allowing Gas Express exclusive Atlanta-area rights to the Circle K brand for Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb and Fulton counties.
This marks Circle K's return to the area after shifting its business focus a decade ago to other regions. Gas Express has committed to branding 42 Atlanta metro area stores.
A store in North Atlanta will serve as the flagship store under this new partnership. The companies expect it to open late in the fourth quarter of 2012 with other stores to follow in 2013.
"On behalf of Circle K, I want to say how excited we are to be expanding our brand in the Atlanta marketplace with Gas Express," notes Dennis Tewell, vice president of Circle K Franchise Operations. "We are proud to have our brand on these quality assets and especially proud to be working with the leadership of Gas Express. We find them to be progressive, service-minded professionals that are focused on supporting and contributing to the communities they serve. We strongly believe our relationship will be mutually beneficial to Gas Express, Circle K and our customers."
Gas Express co-owner Amin Chitalwala said, "Circle K is going to provide leadership and buying power that, as a local business, we don't always have. Such savings will be forwarded to the consumers, offering them more competitive pricing and improving their shopping experience in our stores; however, we will still be individually owned. And as a part of our business and community philosophy, as we grow with the help of Circle K we will help others in our community climb through being able hire more employees and offer them better incentives and benefits."
Gas Express is an independently owned c-store chain offering brands including BP, Shell, Texaco and Chevron. Beginning in 2012's 4th quarter, Gas Express will exclusively utilize Circle K as its sole convenience store brand. Business partners Shams Nanji and Amin Chitalwala began Gas Express with a single store in Riverdale, Georgia, in 1994. It has since grown into a reputable business operating more than 15 sites in five metro-Atlanta area counties. The Gas Express team recognizes the diverse demographics of Atlanta and aims to offer unique, but always dependable service tailored to each market. Gas Express offers unique services such as Growler purchases /refills, a wide selection of wine, a huge selection of Craft beer with Robs rating and beer caves within select stores.
Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s network includes approximately 6,100 c-stores throughout North America, including about 4,500 stores with fuel. It has agreements for the supply of motor fuel to 357 sites operated by independent operators. Its North-American network consists of 13 business units, including nine in the United States covering 40 states and the District of Columbia (under the Circle K banner) and four in Canada covering all 10 provinces (under the Couche-Tard and Mac's banners). The stores feature Premium Circle K Coffee, ThirstBuster fountain drinks, beer, snacks, candy, ATMs, Talk And Go Mobile prepaid wireless phones, gift cards, money orders and general merchandise.