Circle K, the Canadian-owned forecourts retailer previously known in Ireland as Topaz, has invested €3.7 million in a new site opening this week on the N7 artery into Dublin.
The investment is part of a €35 million capital expenditure package that includes three large motorway forecourt sites that will open next year in Wexford, Kildare and Westmeath.
Circle K will open its latest premises on the N7 at Kill north on Thursday, employing more than 20 staff. The retail brands include Cantina, Circle K's Mexican hot food offering, as well as pizza and deli counters and hot coffee.
Niall Anderton, chief executive of Circle K, said the new site is expected to be among the busiest in its network of about 420 stations across the country, which are split between company-operated premises and dealer-run sites using its brand.
The Kill north station is located on the site of an old Esso service station on the way into Dublin from Kildare. Circle K expanded the site into a strip of land that was owned by the nearby Goffs equine centre.
Mr Anderton confirmed that Circle K's new motorway sites, operated under a deal with the National Roads Authority (NRA) , were all on schedule to open next year.
The NRA developed a site near Gorey on the M11, which is being converted to the Circle K brand and will open in February.
The group is building the other two more motorway forecourts itself under deals with the NRA, on the M9 at Kilcullen, due to open next October, and on the M6 near Athlone, due for November.
Mr Anderton said Circle K was about 60 per cent of the way through the full rebranding of its network, which it started earlier this year as it introduced the brand to the Irish market. Its fuel pumps are being rebranded to Miles, while the forecourt canopies and retail outlets become Circle K.
Mr Anderton said it had focused on rebranding city and major urban sites first, before it tackled its rural locations.“We have already noticed that sales in the rebranded sites are higher than the ones that have yet to be changed over.”