With Canadians being hyper-aware of gas prices, as well as fierce competition in the sector, Circle K’s Fuel Day event held on December 7 was well-timed. From 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. local time, Circle K offered a deep discount of 10 cents off per litre at participating fuel sites in Canada, including 370 in Ontario and 98 in Alberta.
How did Fuel Day go? OCTANE caught up with Mélissa Lessard, head of North American marketing at Couche Tard/Circle K, to find out.
What motivated Circle K to create Fuel Day last December?
ML: We had a very successful Fuel Day Event in the U.S. ahead of the Labour Day holiday in September. It had been a challenging summer for travel, and we wanted to find a way to thank our customers for their loyalty by offering them great savings ahead of the busy holiday weekend. We knew customers had been dealing with varying gas prices over their summer travels and wanted to do our part to end the summer on a high note. The response was amazing, which is why we decided to bring the same offer to our valued customers in Canada and Europe ahead of the holiday season.
What kind of response did Circle K get from Fuel Day?
ML: Customers were very receptive, and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Multiple sites saw lines forming from eager customers. We generated double-digit growth in fuel on that day and saw “stickiness” through time as well, thanks in part to bounce-back discount offers we handed out at our sites.
From a marketing perspective, was it a success?
ML: Definitely, there was a great deal of media coverage locally and nationally from that three-hour promotion and we also got a lot of positive customer engagement on social media. By all measures, it was a success for Alimentation Couche-Tard in every region where we did the initiative.
Did fuel day help drive customers in-store and increase their spending?
ML: The focus on Fuel Day really was to offer fuel savings so most of the activity was on the forecourt. Multiple stores were offering our fresh food items and vendor partner products for sampling as people were waiting. We saw great appreciation for the product on the forecourt. The merchandise offers included in the promotion [for in-store items, including coffee and food, as well as car washes] drove some positive sales in the following days.
How did Circle K get operators involved?
ML: We could not be prouder of our operations team on this one. They were the stars of making this event successful. First off, we committed to this event as one team, so our office employees were asked to go support their local Circle K and lend a hand. This really showed our support for our front-line workers and enhanced customer service given how busy our store sites were. Second, every operator got their store ready to ensure a great experience all around for our customers by providing product sampling, couponing and other special offers in their stores.
Any plans for a repeat event?
ML: That is a great question. We are looking at ways to surprise and delight our customers with more exciting offers like this.