CHARLOTTE, N.C., and JOHANNESBURG, South Africa—Alimentation Couche-Tard and Millat Convenience announced a deal that will bring Circle K to South Africa. Millat, which has been granted an exclusive license to develop franchised Circle K stores in South Africa, expects to open the first location in the Gauteng province in late October.
Millat Group is a privately owned, multinational family business that has built 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, foodservice 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.”
Outside the U.S. and Canada, Couche-Tard has about 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.”
In North America, Circle K is focused on growing its fresh foodservice offers, leveraging its investments in a ghost kitchen and restaurant hub technology company and rolling out smart checkouts in its convenience stores.