ATLANTA -- Circle K will return to the southeast region of the United States, after shifting its business focus elsewhere a decade ago, through a new partnership with Atlanta-based Gas Express convenience stores. On Oct. 10, the company awarded Gas Express a master franchise agreement that gives it exclusive Atlanta-area rights to the Circle K brand for Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb and Fulton counties.
"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," stated Danny 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 has committed to branding 42 stores in the Atlanta metropolitan area, with the Chattahoochee Avenue store in North Atlanta serving as the flagship store under the new partnership. It is expected to open late in 2012, with more stores to follow in 2013.
"Circle K is going to provide leadership and buying power that, as a local business, we don't always have," said Gas Express co-owner Amin Chitalwala. "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 that offers different fuel brands such as BP, Shell, Texaco and Chevron at more than 15 sites in the Atlanta region. It seeks to tailor its service to each market and features growler purchases and refills, a wide selection of wine and craft beer, and beer caves within select stores.
Circle K, a subsidiary of Alimentation Couche-Tard, has more than 3,300 stores within the U.S.