Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Convenience Store Decisions 2007 Chain of the Year, announced a dramatic realignment of it retail business that creates two new business units in the U.S.
These units will be identified as the Southwest Division to be based in Dallas and will be comprised of the states of Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The Gulf Division, it will be based in Pensacola, Fla., and will be comprised of the states of Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and the western Panhandle of Florida.
Lou Valdes has been appointed to the position of vice president operations for the Southwest Division. Valdes has been with Circle K for almost 10 years holding a variety of positions from district manager to director of operations and facilities. He has over 27 years of experience in operations.
Jason Broussard has been appointed to the position of vice president of operations for the Gulf Division. Jason has been with Circle K for more than 17 years holding a variety of positions from zone manager to director of marketing and fuel. He has 24 years of experience in operations and marketing starting in 1983 with 7-Eleven’s former parent company, Southland Corp.
"This realignment was necessary due to acquisitions that occurred over the past few years, and in order for our business units to position themselves for growth opportunities and to maintain the integrity of our business model which calls for each of the divisions to remain close to their stores, their customers and provide opportunities for our people", said Real Plourde, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
The appointments of Valdes and Broussard also crucial for the chain. Couche-Tard is managed through a decentralized management structure, which now includes 11 regional offices in the U.S. and Canada, each run by what President and CEO Alain Bouchard calls "CEOs," that have full decision-making power and support from the parent company.
"I get used to the comments when visitors realize my office looks out on the parking lot, but the message here is we don’t have a head office," Bouchard said. "At our executive offices [in Laval, Quebec], we propose management strategies to the board of directors and steer the company’s direction. Each of our divisions is run by a vice president who is essentially a CEO of his own multi-million dollar company. Responsibility is delegated generously at the base of the pyramid where each store manager has wide discretionary powers."
Couche-Tard, operates more than 5,600 convenience stores in the U.S. in Canada under three powerful brands, Couche-Tard, Mac’s and Circle K, and maintains a thriving international franchisee network that spans nearly 4,000 stores and 10 countries.