History and timeline ontario

Couche-Tard is the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry. In the United States, it is the largest independent convenience store operator in terms of the number of company-operated stores. In Europe, Couche-Tard is a leader in convenience store and road transportation fuel retail in the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden and Denmark), in the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), as well as in Ireland, and has an important presence in Poland.

As of February 2, 2020, Couche-Tard's network comprised 9,799 convenience stores throughout North America, including 8,594 stores with road transportation fuel dispensing. Its North American network consists of 18 business units, including 14 in the United States covering 48 states and 4 in Canada covering all 10 provinces. Approximately 109,000 people are employed throughout its network and its service offices in North America.

Storefront of Circle K.

International market

In Europe, Couche-Tard operates a broad retail network across Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics and Russia through 10 business units. As of February 2, 2020, Couche-Tard's network comprised 2,697 stores, the majority of which offer road transportation fuel and convenience products while the others are unmanned automated fuel stations which only offer road transportation fuel. Couche-Tard also offers other products, including aviation fuel and energy for stationary engines. Including employees at branded franchise stores, approximately 24,000 people work in its retail network, terminals and service offices across Europe.

In addition, under licensing agreements, more than 2,380 stores are operated under the Circle K banner in 15 other countries and territories (Cambodia, China, Egypt, Guam, Honduras, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jamaica, Macau, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam), which brings the worldwide total network to more than 14,800 stores.


  • 2017

    Continued roll-out of Circle K global brand to Canada (Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Maritimes), Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland

  • 2016

    Roll-out of Circle K global brand in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark

  • Downtown view of a beautiful city in Europe.


    Circle K is launched globally - the world's preferred destination for convenience and fuel.

    Find out more about the global brand launch.

  • 2012

    First Circle K President and convenience store icon John A. Gillett, Jr., passes away at the age of 87.

  • 2011

    Bigger and better than ever, Circle K celebrates its 60-year anniversary.

    Cityscape view of commercial buildings.
  • 2008

    Circle K heads overseas, adding licensing for stores in the Social Republic of Vietnam through GR Vietnam International Limited.

  • Palm trees under blue sky in Mexico.


    250 Circle K stores are scheduled to be opened in Mexico by a subsidiary of Grupo Kaltex, S.A. de C.V.

  • 2003

    The company launches a new creative campaign for the Circle K brand with the tagline “What Else Do You Need?”

    Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. acquires The Circle K Corporation

  • 2002

    Phillips Petroleum Company and Conoco Inc. merge to create ConocoPhillips, head- quartered in Houston, Texas. ConocoPhillips becomes the new owner of Circle K.

  • Curved Road along with mountain and forest.


    Circle K celebrates 50 years of fast, friendly service.

    Phillips Petroleum Company, headquartered in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, acquires Tosco Corporation and the Circle K brand.

  • 1999

    Fred Hervey, Circle K’s founder, dies at the age of 90 in his hometown of El Paso, Texas.

    City Skyline with lake view.
  • 1998

    Thirst Freezer®, the Circle K proprietary brand of frozen beverages, is introduced. Circle K is named the “Official Pit Stop of NASCAR.” The Circle K Domestic Franchise Program is launched.

  • 1997

    The Arizona Republic votes
    Circle K coffee the “Best Cup of Coffee” in Phoenix.

  • 1996

    Circle K is acquired by Tosco Corporation, an independent petroleum refiner and marketer. The company keeps its headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona.

    An alley in a forest.
  • 1995

    Circle K completes an initial public offering of 6.5 million shares of common stock. The company stock is traded under the symbol CRK on the New York Stock Exchange. Circle K launches Emily’s Meals & More, a new business venture in the home meal replacement category.

    Circle K forms a marketing alliance to sell 76-branded gasoline at stores in Arizona and Nevada.

  • 1994

    The tagline “Circle K – A Better Way” is introduced.

  • 1993

    The company is purchased by Investcorp, an international investment group, and emerges from bankruptcy. The tagline “Circle K – We’re on the Way” is introduced.

  • A crowd of people enjoying the sunset at a beach.


    After years of rapid expansion and learning the hard lessons of 1980s corporate economics, Circle K files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

  • 1984

    Sales reach the $1 billion mark.

    Sales reach the $1 billion mark. Circle K adopts United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) as its national charity and begins fundraising efforts in its stores.

    Curved road next to lake under horizon.
  • 1983

    The Thirst Buster® fountain drink is introduced.

    Circle K acquires 960 UtoteM stores doubling the company’s size.

  • 1979

    Circle K signs its first licensing agreement with a Japanese retail chain.

  • 1975

    The 1,000th store is opened on Christmas Day in Lehi, Utah.

  • 1971

    The Foodservice Division is introduced and sandwiches are made in the company’s fast food kitchen. The company marks its 20th anniversary with the opening of its 500th Circle K store in Deer Valley, Arizona.

  • Desert with short bushes under blue skies in Arizona.


    Circle K opens its 200th store in Tucson, Arizona.

    The “Pepe” logo is introduced illustrating a young boy dashing to the nearest Circle K store.

  • 1957

    Circle K expands into New Mexico and Arizona

  • 1951

    Fred Hervey purchases three Kay’s Food Stores in El Paso, Texas - stores which served as the beginning of Circle K