Circle K is still all about fuel retailing despite High Street move: Derek Nolan
Circle K isn’t planning to move onto the High Street in Northern Ireland any time soon, says Derek Nolan, senior director of retail operations for dealer & franchise with the fuel giant in Ireland.
Last year, Circle K acquired 10 Griffin Group convenience stores across Dublin, most of which were in coveted city centre locations. It was an unexpected step onto the High Street for the forecourt giant which is well known globally for its fuel and convenience store.
But senior director of retail operations for dealer & franchise Derek Nolan insists the company is in no danger of forgetting its roots, despite its continued interest in the High Street, and rules out a similar move in Northern Ireland any time soon.
“This is an important and exciting development with Circle K, but it’s important to note that we remain hugely committed to fuel retailing and our network of service stations throughout the island of Ireland,” he tells NR.
Derek’s own area of the business – the dealer and franchise network – is growing quickly, with 243 sites across the island of Ireland where he works directly with independent retail partners.
“We’ve brought 15 new sites to the dealer network over the last 15 months. Our dealer partners look to the Circle K model as to what the future is going to look like, and an example of that would be around electrification and fuel quality,” Derek says.
“We have more than 14,000 stations globally and that gives us a good sound basis of understanding of the current market and what the future looks like.
“We currently have 49 dealer partners in Northern Ireland and we grew it by eight dealer partners last year. We’ve already seen another new site join since May, so watch this space because Northern Ireland is still a big area of opportunity for us.
“One big highlight recently was the Musgrave Marketplace deal which was a big opportunity for us – it was a big statement for Circle K in Northern Ireland that we went from five Musgrave sites to now 12 overnight.
“Musgrave are investing in a high number of these sites and we’re excited to be part of the big renovation at the site in Portstewart.”
To read the full feature, watch out for the next issue of Neighbourhood Retailer.