Could Amazon be the next 7-Eleven? Reportedly, the giant online retailer is looking to get into the convenience store business.
But Kim Lubel says it won’t be easy, even for the super-successful Amazon. She is CEO of CST Brands, one of the biggest convenience store chains in North America. It joined forces recently with Canada’s Couche-Tard chain in a nearly $4 billion deal.
“What we sell, things like hot cups of coffee, a breakfast taco, and a gallon of gas, you can’t really get on the Internet,“ Lubel says. She adds that the majority of convenience stores in the U.S. are “neighborhood businesses” dominated by family-owned franchises. That’s why she believes “Amazon may be challenged” because store owners “know everybody on their corner.”
Lubel also talks about why CST (”CST”) decided to sell the company after only three years since its spinoff from Valero Energy, and how consolidation could impact the competitive convenience store industry.