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Couche-Tard credits inflation for boost in sales of its private label brand

A Couche-Tard store is seen Wednesday, September 25, 2013 in Laval, Que. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Canadian convenience store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. says higher fuel and food costs are impacting customer driving and shopping habits and boosting sales of its private label brand.

President and chief executive Brian Hannasch says while some big brands like Coca-Cola or Monster Energy drinks have maintained strong sales, customers are “trading down” on other food items.

He says the Quebec-based company is seeing strong double-digit sales growth of its house brand as people look for value, especially in categories such as confection and salty snack food.

Hannasch says inflation at the pump affected the volume of fuel sold, which declined as consumers looked to save money on gas.

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His comments during a call with analysts come a day after Couche-Tard reported net earnings of $872.4 million in the first quarter of its 2023 fiscal year, a 14 per cent increase from the prior year’s quarter.

The company also reached an agreement with the Competition Bureau to resolve its concerns over Couche-Tard’s $346.8-million deal to buy the Wilsons chain of gas stations in Atlantic Canada.

The company has agreed to sell 46 Wilsons sites and supply agreements and one Couche-Tard gas station to address concerns raised by the federal competition regulator.

The company operates in Canada, the U.S, Europe and Asia under numerous retail banners, including Couche-Tard, Circkle K, Holiday and Ingo.

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