Global convenience and fuel giant Circle K set for big NZ push

01 Oct 2021 10:50 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

Global convenience and fuel giant Circle K has plans underway to launch a multi-million dollar franchising drive in New Zealand.

The American-based retailer is one of the world's largest convenience store brands with more than 14,000 locations.

Circle K, under its local licence Pamma Retail Group (PRG), is planning to open more than 100 New Zealand outlets, and hopes to see 2 per cent of the country's 5000 convenience stores converted to the Circle K brand and retail fit-out.

Circle K is also plans to open some of the first purpose-built electric vehicle (EV) charging and petrol stations at sites around the country in an attempt to transform the local fuel market.

Iqubal Basra, Circle K NZ's site development director, said achieving their rapid outlet growth target will mean the brand will become one of New Zealand's largest grocery convenience and food service retail chains.

"What New Zealanders can expect to find in one of our stores is a significantly different retail experience from the traditional corner dairy and service station. The larger stores are a hybrid of a convenience store and prepared food outlet."

Basra said they are looking for 200m2 sites that can open 24 hours a day but can also work with sites with smaller footprints or operate on reduced hours in rural or lower traffic areas.

"They [the stores] will carry over 2000 different SKUs - a mix of our Circle K private label brand, self-serve frozen and chilled beverages, world famous hot dogs and food to go, with menu items such as fish and chips as well as a wide array of well known international foods," Basra said.

"In addition, customers will also be able to purchase self-serve coffee for $1 - a move that is set to have an impact on this part of the industry as well."

Basra said Circle K NZ is now actively searching for service station sites and operators throughout New Zealand.

"The growth in EVs is set to impact the way fuel outlets are designed, and to address that change, Circle K NZ is planning to transform the New Zealand retail fuel market - opening some of the first purpose-built EV charging and petrol stations at sites around the country as the industry closely watches how the EV trend will reinvent the traditional petrol station," he said.

"... [the sites] will be designed specifically to accommodate the local growth in the country's EV fleet."

Circle K first entered the New Zealand market in 2018, and currently has four convenience stores, all in Auckland.