Circle K was founded in El Paso, Texas in 1951 (In 2003 they were acquired by Canadian based Alimentation Couche-Tard ) and has grown into the second largest convenience store in the U.S.A. (the largest in overall numbers being 7-Eleven). Circle K stores in the U.S.A. often operate gas pumps with fuel being supplied by oil companies such as BP, ConocoPhillips, Mobil, Shell and Union 76.
According to the Circle K website there are 3,300 Circle K locations across the USA and 4,000 locations internationally including Mexico, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Guam, United Arab Emirates and Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
The first Vietnam store opened in District 1 of HCMC in December 2008 and there are now 20 stores across Vietnam including two locations in Vung Tau. According to Wikipedia the company plans to “become the leading convenience store chain in Vietnam” by opening another 550 stores by 2018.
Although the HCMC stores operate only as convenience stores the two locations in Vung Tau are partnered with PV Oil (a subsidiary of PetroVietnam), a model the two companies plan to co-develop and introduce nationwide.
Amy Wu of Circle K in Vietnam claimed that the majority of the clientele in Vung Tau are foreigners although the company plans to attract a domestic clientele with, amongst other things, a more traditional, Vietnamese iced coffee.
Walk into either Vung Tau location and aside from the Vietnamese staff (not to say a Vietnamese person might not be working in an American Circle K) you could easily imagine yourself in California or Arizona stocked as they are with many of the same brands in addition to those more commonly found in Vietnam.
Circle K signature items such as Thirst Buster© fountain drinks and the Froster© will also be introduced to compliment such essentials as toothpaste, condoms (a surprisingly impressive selection!), phone cards, alcohol (beer, wine and spirits), soda, cigarettes and an assortment of snacks.
If the selection isn’t enough to lure you in consider the convenience of being open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And keep a look out for the free coffee promotion!
240 Le Loi, Phuong 17, Vung Tau
54 Duong 30/4, Phuong Thang Nhat, Vung Tau
Sources: circle k site(s), wikipedia,
Yuri Doric / yuridoric.tumblr.com