Alimentation Couche-Tard and Millat Convenience announced a Master License Agreement that will bring Circle K to South Africa. The first Circle K location expects to open in the Gauteng province in October.
Outside the U.S. and Canada, Couche-Tard has approximately 1,900 franchise Circle K locations in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.
“We are always exploring opportunities to bring Circle K to new customers with franchise partners who understand how to build brands in their markets,” said Pat Fitzpatrick, vice president of Global Franchise for Circle K. “Millat Group understands the South African consumer, has a strong track record of building retail, hospitality and food service brands in that country and has exciting plans for the Circle K brand. We are very pleased to be working with them to bring to life our mission to make our customers’ lives a little easier every day.”
Millat Group is a privately owned, multinational family business that over the years has built up a broad portfolio of assets within the tourism and hospitality sector.
Hamza Farooqui, CEO of Millat Group, said his company has worked extensively over the past year to lay the foundation for Circle K’s introduction to the South Africa market.
“Bringing Circle K to South Africa aligns with our concept of introducing customer-centric brands, experiences and compelling food service offerings. This further speaks to our strategy to play within the leisure, hospitality, food service and convenience segments,” said Farooqui. “As a brand, Circle K is an acknowledged leader in the convenience retail sector, and this deal will allow for disruption in this space as we are a company with extensive expertise in every facet of convenience and retail.”
Couche-Tard operates in 26 countries and territories, with more than 14,100 stores, of which approximately 10,800 offer road transportation fuel. With its well-known Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States.