CST Brands Inc. has announced a total brand makeover that will start in San Antonio and spread outward, creating a network of rebranded stores within three years.
CST has unveiled its first rebranded Corner Store built from the ground up. The store is in north San Antonio, and the company plans to add four more just like it in San Antonio before the end of the year.
The Corner Store name has not changed, but a dramatic new look and feel carries out the company’s new service promise: “Simply Fresh. Always Friendly.” The color palette and design elements are refreshing, neighborly and in-touch, and will encompass the store logo, signage, interior and exterior.
The larger stores will be known as Corner Store Markets, and will offer an expanded selection of fresh produce, quick meal fixings and a made-to-order food menu with pizzas, sandwich melts, soups, salads and more. This will be in addition to the already popular freshly-prepared Corner Store kolaches, tacos and whoopie pies.
CST is launching the brand initiative with five new Corner Store Markets in San Antonio that will open before the end of 2015. In early 2016, the Company will debut a total of 21 new and legacy San Antonio stores that will carry the new Corner Store logo, signage and color palette. The larger stores will also be Corner Store Market locations.
After opening these new and refreshed stores, CST will begin a rollout to all Corner Stores in San Antonio and the surrounding area, with the goal of rebranding the network in three years.
CST expects that the lifts it will receive from the investment in rebranding legacy stores will deliver similar returns to what is currently enjoyed in the new-to-industry capital program, and that this initial pilot will validate the expected return on investment.
This initiative is based upon extensive market research that shows Corner Store’s customers want a broad range of food and beverage options, including healthy choices, grocery staples and fresh food prepared on-site. These customers are also seeking a welcoming, neighborly atmosphere, and are open to trying new items and flavors from this trusted brand.
“Looking to the future of our industry, it’s crucial that Corner Store continue to establish a clear retail identity broader than our fuel offerings. Inside our stores, food and beverage sales are a vital and stable profit generator. With this exciting brand initiative, we are looking to not only expand those offerings, but to call more attention to the great food, beverages and service we already offer,” said Kim Lubel, chairman and CEO of CST Brands. “Ultimately, we believe this pivotal new direction will energize our existing customers, draw new ones to our stores, increase overall revenues and enhance shareholder value.”
Unifying all Corner Store locations under this new brand will allow for more effective network-wide advertising, adding a powerful tool to leverage the existing strength, offerings and scope of the convenience retail chain. CST plans to continue its expansion through new store builds and strategic acquisitions that add value to the company’s network of more than 1,000 stores across the U.S.
For instance, as a benefit of CST’s 2014 acquisition of New York- based Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, Corner Store was able to import the smaller chain’s popular made-to-order food program to Texas through its Corner Store Market concept, introducing its award-winning hot and cold food menu anchored by its highly acclaimed pizzas.
With the modern makeover and expanded grocery and food offerings, Corner Store aims to attract more Millennials and women looking for on-the-go lunch options or quick dinner solutions without the hassle of navigating a big box store. Central to introducing this new look, the initiative is built on a renewed commitment to service, and to enhancing the customer experience inside stores.
“Our customers lead busy, active lives and Corner Store is here to make things easier. Our goal is to create a simple and streamlined shopping experience from start to finish so customers can make the most of their time,” said Hal Adams, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of CST Brands. “Fresh is about a lot more than food, it’s about delivering an overall refreshing experience— a clean store, quality products, a neighborly atmosphere and team members that genuinely love to serve customers.”
Over the last year, CST worked with Prophet, a global brand and marketing consultancy, on the rebranding initiative. The Prophet team worked with CST management to articulate the fresh and friendly look and promise, and to apply it to the stores, store team members and 14,000 employees across the company.
“Our goal is to create a nationally recognized convenience store brand and we greatly appreciate Prophet’s valuable contribution in bringing this to life,” said Peter Brodnitz, vice president of marketing at CST Brands.
With nearly 1,900 sites in the U.S. and Canada, and nearly $12.8 billion in revenues in 2014, Corner Store’s parent company, CST Brands, is one of the largest independent retail and wholesale distributors of motor fuel and convenience merchandise, freshly prepared food and other services in North America.