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    Chevron Launches ExtraMile C-Stores in Seattle

    Pilot stores showcase four destination areas of the store.

    SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Chevron Corp. this week officially launched the ExtraMile convenience stores in the Seattle market, where the company has 43 ExtraMile stores featuring a fresh look, healthier snacks, more food-to-go options and a variety of premium coffee, energy drinks and chilled waters.

    "With ExtraMile, we are setting a new standard in convenience store retailing that complements the changing tastes and busy lives of our customers who work and live in Seattle," said Wayne Klahs, vice president of global marketing solutions. "In addition, we have designed the store to be warm and inviting. With a clean layout, wider aisles and clearly defined food and beverage displays, we are confident that the new c-stores in Seattle will have customers returning time and time again."

    As reported in the March 2005 issue of CS News , the goal of the franchise pilot was to create a consistent brand image and product offering throughout its multiple classes of trade ownership.

    By leveraging the power of the community of franchisees, Chevron enabled its retailer-operated franchise sites to have the same consistent supply chain, back-office capabilities and customer-facing opportunities as its company-owned and operated stores. By supporting the infrastructure that supports them, the company is increasing its marketers' long-term chances of success.

    "If we start to act together as a network, we should be able to find considerable synergies there, particularly in the areas of cost reduction or efficiencies of scale that we don't currently see," Brian Worrall, general manager of franchise development, said at the time. "We see opportunity in all of those areas, and Seattle, for us, is going to be the place to test that out."

    The ExtraMile stores opened throughout the city this summer to develop a potential franchise offering across the c-store network. Free food sampling, coupons, radio remotes and giveaways were part of the promotional campaign during the summer months to introduce communities throughout Seattle to Chevron’s new look of convenience retailing.

    Seattle was chosen as the site for the ExtraMile Franchise Pilot Program based on a series of industry market-driven factors. Chevron enjoys a strong fuel market share in this city of 573,000 people, with a relatively even mix of company-operated and retailer-owned and operated sites.

    "Seattle is a very vibrant, diverse city and we wanted the challenge of showing we could meet and overcome the demands of the city’s competitive market," Klahs told CS News Online . "We also felt there was no dominant c-store leader in Seattle."

    "In addition, with one of our destination categories being coffee, Seattle -- home to Starbucks -- was a perfect place to test our coffee [offering]," Klahs continued. "If it succeeded there, which I believe it did, our coffee could work anywhere."

    Chevron's ExtraMile Pilot Program, which includes 31 retailer-operated sites and 12 company-operated locations in the Seattle area, features a new C-store concept that showcases four destination categories designed to attract traditional c-store customers as well as consumers seeking healthier food options. The new key destination categories featured are: HydraZone, a wide variety of popular energy drinks, waters, and vitamin-enriched beverages; Coffee, featuring Van Houtte-branded stations offering a wide variety of coffees and assorted hot beverages; Food-to-Go, a selection of fresh food and self-serve items; and Better Choices, healthier snack alternatives, such as protein bars, nuts, snacks, vitamins and energy foods housed in an attractive display.

    The ExtraMile c-store concept is also designed to be flexible to fit a variety of store facilities, enabling Chevron to expand ExtraMile to a much broader cross-section of its fueling network.

    "After studying several of the options around our c-store offering, our teams at Chevron are working closely with suppliers, retailers and franchising specialists to develop a franchise model with the potential to be deployed at many of our sites worldwide," said Klahs. "We envision that the ExtraMile pilot in Seattle will prove that we have a best-in-class franchise solution for c-stores that can be delivered on a global basis."

    "We’re still in the very early stages of the pilot," Klahs told CSNews Online . "But once we prove our concept and credibility in Seattle, we will move on nationally and internationally."

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