Circle K wants in on the subscription commerce craze and is set to launch a new program, covering beverages, on Wednesday (May 5). The convenience store chain’s subscription, widely reported, will cost $5.99 per month.
The drink deal will allow subscribers to have one tea, coffee, Froster slushy or Polar Pop fountain drink of their choosing every day, CNBC reported. Burger King and Panera Bread had previously jumped into the world of beverage subscription.
The pandemic disrupted convenience stores’ business, in particular the area of self-serve beverages. The National Association of Convenience Stores reported that “hot dispensed drinks’ sales fell by a third, while cold dispensed drinks shrank by 7.9 percent.”
In part, Circle K’s Sip & Save program aims to pull customers back into its stores, said CNBC — which noted that consumers made fewer trips to convenience stores during the pandemic.
“We really see this as an opportunity to drive traffic at a time that people are just starting to come out of the understandable cocoons that they’ve been in for the last 12-plus months,” said Kevin Lewis, chief marketing officer of Alimentation Couche-Tard, Circle K’s parent company.
Lewis told CNBC that Circle K had plans to roll the program out last year, but then the COVID-19 health crisis hit. Many states issued lockdowns and, then, restrictions on the number of people allowed in stores. Public health officials urged people to stay home if they could.
Now, states and local communities across the country are easing, or even removing, regulations.
For its part, Montreal-based Couche-Tard operates more than 7,200 convenience stores across the U.S. This includes other brands like On the Run and Holiday. The company reported U.S. revenue of $37.8 billion in 2020.
The PYMNTS 2021 Subscription Commerce Conversion Index looks at the mushrooming direct-to-consumer (D2C) movement.
The report concluded that “34 percent of all subscribers (14 million U.S. consumers) have signed up for at least one new plan since the pandemic began, on average. Sixty-two percent (8.4 million) of these consumers are subscribing for products and services directly from manufacturers.”
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