02.01.16 Monday
What Downstream Lenders Should Know about Regional Differences in Convenience
By: P. A. (Andy) Weber III

Convenience Stores are a major part of the Downstream Energy Pipeline, and with oil prices at a halt, lenders should be looking at what makes convenience stores stand apart and find success. Some might be tempted to think that once you’ve seen one convenience store, you’ve seen them all.

At Corner Capital, we know that that’s simply not true. Our experienced team has worked in various subsets of the energy industry throughout the United States and we know that convenience is defined differently in different regions. Below are some of the regional differences that are of interest to potential lenders.

Northwest- Locally Focused

Some trends are national, but the push toward locally produced items seems to be the biggest in Northwestern States such as Oregon and Washington. New and established convenience ventures there are finding greater success when they form partnerships with local vendors. Northwesterners value community and will drive an extra couple blocks to support their local economy.

Texas- Bigger is Better

Not surprisingly, Texas convenience stores see the most success when they provide people with bigger, better locations. When Bucc-ees opened their largest location to date in 2012, they got renewed patronage from hundreds of thousands of customers. Their unique bathrooms were a small part of the draw, but most people were there to gawk at the 60+ gas pumps, and one of the largest convenience spaces in existence. To some, size matters.

California- Fresh is Best

With California’s health savvy and fast-paced entrepreneurial culture, successful convenience chains have to provide fast, healthy convenience foods. This can be accomplished by providing more prepared produce and low-cal diet foods. Chains that embrace the “California Lifestyle” are much more likely to see increase in revenue in 2016.

When lenders pay attention to regional trends, they can identify chains that are more prone to success. They can also identify and address chains that aren’t following trends and use that knowledge to their advantage.

At Corner Capital, we know what trends are working in what markets. We can help c-store chains successfully follow these trends, and we can help lenders identify sound investments. If you’re looking for a team with well-rounded knowledge of all facets of Downstream Energy, contact Corner Capital today.

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“Andy Weber and his team at Corner Capital have done exceptional work supporting transactional, valuation, and various proprietary initiatives at our companies. Andy’s extensive industry experience, technical competence, and practical "real world" approach is a valued resource to our organization. The Corner Capital team consistently delivers-----and always in a most timely and impactful manner.”
-M.J. Castelo, Managing Member & President – Andretti Petroleum LLC / Peninsula Petroleum LLC / Humboldt Petroleum Inc.
“Lard Oil recently engaged Corner Capital Advisors on two projects, first to assist in an acquisition opportunity and the other to manage the process to refinance our Sr. term and revolver facilities. The CCA team brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise and did so under our strict timelines and expectations. I have no reservations of recommending their firm and intend to engage with them as other opportunities present themselves.”
-Johnny Milazzo, President and CEO – Lard Oil Co., Denham Springs, LA
“Corner Capital successfully negotiated and facilitated my refi project and helped me find additional capital to support my ongoing growth plans. They managed all aspects of the project very well and I would not hesitate to use them again or to recommend them to other marketers.”
-Carlos Garza, La Lomita
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-Rene Anabi, Anabi Holdings North Master, LLC
“The folks at Corner Capital demonstrated great leadership and industry knowledge managing our financing requests. I was able to consolidate my debt structure, reduce costs, and create capacity to meet our growth needs. I’ve recommended them to my peers and my customers.”
-Jeffrey Magness, Magness Oil Company
“On several occasions, we were approached with different opportunities to exit the industry. Before giving any real consideration to any of those options, my family engaged Corner Capital to provide a Fair Market Valuation for our business. As a result, we furthered our engagement to allow Corner Capital to manage the structured process for our exit strategy. Their knowledge, industry experience, and personal touch provided Lois and me the comfort needed to successfully close our transaction with Sunoco. Without a doubt, a wise decision on our part to bring the Corner Capital team into our process.”
-Jim Kolkhorst, Kolkhorst Petroleum & Rattlers Convenience Stores, Texas