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DURHAM, N.C. — The Guess Corp.'s "upscale" GP Express portfolio will feature an open layout similar to small grocery stores.
According to the company, "the design allows the company to achieve its objective of an upscale store with a boutique feel for the gas/convenience store market."
Each store will feature a seating area along with a dining area for an in-store deli/restaurant and an upper level that overlooks the lower level of the store. Orlando, Fla.-based firm Scott+Cormia created the design.
GP Express employees will be assigned to sections of the store and equipped with mobile payment devices so that customers do not have to visit the main register for checkout. Employees will also wear uniforms with aprons and be required to carry bags to the vehicles of customers, The Guess Corp. said.
The stores will also offer full-service fueling. Attendants will be available to pump gas for customers without them having to get out of their vehicle.
"We are pleased to share more information on this exciting undertaking as The Guess Corp. continues working toward revolutionizing the gas/convenience store industry with an upscale experience that we believe customers will welcome," said Cutie Shrestha, senior executive vice president and chief development officer of The Guess Corp.
Scott+Cormia is The Guess Corp.'s exclusive architect and is overseeing its designs for the GP Express. The firm will handle nationwide construction/project management as stores are built or renovated as part of an acquisition.
In addition, The Guess Corp. is now accepting applications from individuals who wish to become approved operating partners for GP Express locations.
According to the company, operating partners will be allowed to own up to 40 percent of a GP Express store location. Operating partners must be individuals and they will only be allowed to own a partnership stake in one store. They will be known as the managing partner and will maintain an office on-site and be required to supervise the store's management to ensure that the operation is successful and profitable, the company added.
Operating partners will receive up to 40 percent of the profits of the store they operate on a monthly basis. Candidates for an operating partnership with The Guess Corp.'s GP Express will need to:
- Have a liquid net worth of $750,000;
- Have at least five years of experience in the retail industry;
- Have a clean background; and
- Have a college degree.
Operating partners will also be required to participate in an equity contribution program over a specified period of time and must formally apply for the opportunity by filling out an application, submitting an application fee and submitting to a full background check. If approved, operating partners will undergo a 90-day training program, and work with the company's real estate broker on site selection and will oversee construction locally and facilitate the launch of the store in which they will become an operating partner.
The Guess Corp.'s petroleum unit, Guess Petroleum Ltd., will cover the majority of the construction and operating costs for each location and will reserve the right to terminate operating partner contracts and appoint a replacement operating partner.
All planned 1,000 locations will have an operating partner. The Guess Corp. will accept applications through its Office of Corporate Affairs.
Separately, the company will allow GP Express to develop an EB-5 program for immigrants pursuing viable business opportunities in the United States that will allow foreign nationals to become operating partners as part of the U.S. investor visa program.
Based in Durham, The Guess Corp. is a privately held conglomerate that began as a luxury goods holding company in 2012, with a focus on diamonds. It has since expanded into other business areas, including wine, lumber and automotive.