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    INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Topaz Debuts New C-store Design in Dublin

    The company increases its portfolio by acquiring 350 service stations and 100 c-stores from Shell Ireland and Statoil Ireland, ending a century of presence.

    DUBLIN, Ireland -- The Emerald Isles' capitol city provided the platform for two new Topaz fuel center/convenience stores. Directed by the retail division of the New York-based CBX, the prototype underscores Topaz's new comprehensive strategic brand and corporate identity program.

    With 3.5 billion euro in annual revenue, Topaz Energy Group Limited ranks as one Ireland's largest private businesses. In 2005, it purchased the retail, commercial fuels and lubricants business of Shell in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The following year it acquired Statoil Ireland.

    Over the next 12 to 18 months, 350 service stations and 100 convenience stores acquired from Shell Ireland and Statoil Ireland will be branded with the Topaz name. In an attempt to affectively compete against multi-nationals like Texaco and Esso, Topaz hired the New York-based CBX to handle market research and design concepts.

    "We believed there was a unique opportunity to position Topaz as Ireland's major homegrown, nationwide convenience store, fuel and energy company," Joseph Bona, president of CBX's retail division, said in a released statement.

    "Motorists driving past the new stations will come across a much warmer and friendlier brand identity intended to represent earth, sun and environment in a uniquely fresh approach for an energy company," Bona said in a released statement. "The brand mark is also intended to portray Topaz as a progressive company, operated by progressive Irish locals."

    The new Topaz ORestore' convenience store is framed by a bright green and deep blue fa├žade. Once inside, customers are greeted by a sleek, contemporary design featuring an abundance of light, warm red tones on walls and upholstery, as well as rich woods on fixtures, flooring, furniture and in-store seating, explained Bona.

    "This particular project," Bona noted, "offered CBX the opportunity to tap all of our disciplines, from our experts in consumer research and brand strategy, to our corporate identity, graphic and environmental design groups."

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