Circle K to acquire 10 Griffin Group c-stores

Gordon Lawlor, managing director, Circle K Ireland Pic: Naoise Culhane

Acquisition marks Circle K’s first move onto the high street in Ireland and its first multi-site acquisition of standalone stores in Europe



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10 September 2021

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Circle K is to acquire a total of 10 Griffin Group convenience stores in Ireland, marking the forecourt and convenience retailer’s first move onto the high street in Ireland. The acquisition is subject to approval from the CCPC.

The acquisition also represents Circle K’s first multi-site acquisition of standalone stores in Europe. It is part of Circle K’s strategic ambition to deliver its convenience and food retail offering to customers on the high street as well as its established and extensive forecourt network.

The Griffin Group stores in question are currently operating as Griffin’s convenience stores with renowned food brands Subway and Chopped also operating from these locations. The Griffin Group is a highly regarded convenience retail organisation operating in Ireland for over 30 years with 15 stores nationwide. The 10 stores which Circle K are acquiring are all situated in Dublin with the vast majority located in high profile Dublin City centre locations.

The locations of the stores are Upper O’Connell Street, Lower O’Connell Street, Westmoreland Street, College Green, Nassau Street, Grafton Street, Fonthill, Parkwest and Sandyford with the outlets in Sandyford consisting of one convenience store and a coffee shop.

A total of 200 staff are currently employed at the locations in question all of whom will now become employees of Circle K and will continue working at the 10 stores. This brings Circle K’s total number of employees in Ireland to just under 2,400 while its overall store footprint has increased to 430 nationwide. In addition, in recent weeks as restrictions have continued to ease, Circle K has seen a significant increase in traffic and footfall across its company owned network of forecourt locations.

To meet this increased demand, Circle K is now actively recruiting for a total of 150 full and part time positions. Roles being recruited for include customer and food service assistants as well as store management positions.

The announcement follows on from sustained investment by Circle K in the Irish market since its arrival in 2016, with a total of €150 million invested in that time period in the development of all new state of the art motorway locations, the upgrade and development of existing forecourt locations, alongside a range of other brand, fuel, and infrastructural developments.

Gordon Lawlor, managing director, Circle K Ireland said: “We are delighted to make this announcement today and I would like to formally welcome our new colleagues from the Griffin Group as well as our new partners Subway and Chopped to the Circle K family.

“The Griffin Group has an established reputation in convenience retailing in high profile locations with strong expertise in food, and excellent partners all of which greatly complements our network of forecourt locations and will be a tremendous addition to our business,” he added. “We are particularly excited at the opportunities this presents for our food business across our network in terms of innovation, shared learnings and new offerings for our customers, and are looking forward to collaborating with our new colleagues and partners.

“Circle K has been at the forefront of convenience retail not just here in Ireland but globally for many years and we have continuously developed our offering across food, coffee and other convenience items to meet the evolving needs of our customers who are now increasingly focused on ease, consistency and quality of service. We see great potential for our offering on the high street and huge benefits for our customers and are really excited to introduce the Circle K brand to these locations. We will continue looking at opportunities to expand our footprint in Ireland within our forecourt network, as well as any further opportunities we see in high footfall areas.”

Seamus Griffin, CEO of Griffin Group added: “Each of these stores has been developed to the highest standards thanks to the hard work and dedication of our loyal staff, management and partners. Our focus has always been to innovate while providing the highest standards in fresh foods and customer service. We wish our departing colleagues well as they continue their retail journey with Circle K and thank them for their commitment to the Griffin Group over the past three decades. As a group, we will look to further develop our remaining five stores and towards other opportunities within the convenience sector.”

The Circle K convenience offering includes a range of products and services including Circle K’s own specialty coffee, fresh food ranges, K-Freeze drinks, gourmet ice cream options and a number of other convenience items.  The wider Circle K forecourt offering includes its next generation miles and milesPLUS fuel, EV charging facilities, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) solutions for the freight and haulage sectors, largest fuel card network in Ireland, extensive carwash facilities, and wider service offerings including Parcel Motel and Revolution Laundry.



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