By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor
CST Brands, which spun off from Valero last May, became the second-largest publicly-traded convenience store and petroleum retailer in North America.
To celebrate, executives from CST Brands, parent company of the San Antonio-based Corner Store c-store chain, last month traveled to New York to ring the opening bell on Wall Street. CST Brands’ CEO Kim Bowers opened trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 3, surrounded by members of the company’s board of directors, executive leadership team and Corner Store team members from Halifax to California.
“It was an amazing experience to see our CST Brands banner proudly hanging on the front of the New York Stock Exchange, Bowers told CSD. “I only wish our 12,000 CST team members could have been there with us to experience it first-hand. Ringing the bell was a great way to cap off the first seven months of our new company’s life—and we have lots more in store.”
At presstime the company had nine new stores under construction, most of them slated to open in the first quarter of 2014. The new builds follow the addition of 11 new store openings in the past four months, including nine units in Texas, one each in Albuquerque, N.M. and Commerce City, Colo.
“For 2013, we just finished building our 15th new store in the U.S. and our 7th Canadian store will be finished before Christmas. We plan to double our construction of new stores in 2014—with 30 new stores planned, nine of which are already under construction,” Bowers noted.
The Corner Stores currently under construction are located across Texas, including in Dallas, Dripping Springs, Pleasanton, Fort Worth, Cuero, Pearland, Conroe and Cypress. Another new unit is underway in Bernalillo, N.M.
All of the new Corner Stores feature the company’s larger footprint, which includes an expanded parking area, extensive dining options and a full selection of Corner Store’s signature Fresh Choices bakery items, all made fresh in the store. These items include savory sausage and bacon kolaches, whoopie pies, cookies and doughnuts, as well as breakfast tacos with homemade tortillas, grilled sausages and all-beef hot dogs, fresh-cut fruit and salads. In 2012, CST sold more than four million kolaches and 1.3 million whoopie pies.
In addition to Fresh Choices baked and packaged goods, the stores will carry additional signature products, such as U Force energy and sport drinks, Cibolo Mountain coffee, FC Soda, and Flavors2Go fountain drinks.
In the U.S., CST’s Corner Stores retail Valero fuels and a line of 185 signature products. In Canada, CST is the exclusive provider of Ultramar fuels and its Dépanneur du Coin and Corner Stores sell signature Transit Café coffee and pastries.
More than half of CST’s U.S. stores are located in Texas, one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. “With our new stores added to our 1,900-store portfolio, we will delight even more customers every day,” Bowers said.