As more New Zealanders embrace electrification, more businesses are coming to the party and supporting the build of public charging infrastructure. The shift also provides opportunity for new brands to enter the mix and get the jump on legacy rivals. Case in point, Circle K.
While Circle K isn’t a household name in New Zealand just yet, it’s a convenience store juggernaut overseas, with 14,000 outlets dotted around the world. And, Pamma Retail Group (PRG) confirmed last week that it has become the chain’s local licencee.
Among PRG’s Circle K plans is the aim to open some of the country’s first purpose-built EV charging stations. This, according to Iqubal Basra, Circle K NZ site development director, could see Circle K transform the local fuel market and reinvent ‘the traditional petrol station’.
“The growth in EVs is set to impact the way fuel outlets are designed, and to address that change, Circle K NZ is planning to transform the New Zealand retail fuel market – opening some of the first purpose-built EV charging and petrol stations at sites around the country as the industry closely watches how the EV trend will reinvent the traditional petrol station,” Basra said.
“We’re now actively searching for service station sites and operators throughout New Zealand that will be designed specifically to accommodate the local growth in the country’s EV fleet.”
Among Circle K’s other planned distinctions is the aim of creating larger stores with more expansive food options, including $1 coffees and a push to “help convenience store owners move away from a dependence on tobacco as a revenue source”.
“What New Zealanders can expect to find in one of our stores is a significantly different retail experience from the traditional corner dairy and service station. The larger stores are a hybrid of a convenience store and prepared food outlet,” Basra added.
“They will carry over 2,000 different SKUs – a mix of our Circle K private label brand, self-serve frozen and chilled beverages, world famous hot dogs and food to go, with menu items such as fish & chips as well as a wide array of well known international foods.
“With us, they will be able to leverage the buying power of a multinational along with the market intelligence and data insights that will help them progress with these changing customer behaviours and regulations.”