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Inside Nouria Energy's New Concept Store

LEWISTON, Maine — In today’s evolving convenience store landscape, operators know that adaptation and cohesion play important roles in longevity and growth. Nouria Energy Corp.’s new retail brand — nouria — is proof of this ideology, as it represents a strategic repositioning for the company.

“We knew that our brand stands for more than fuel, but that our focus had been fragmented across many different brands, with each location named either after the town it operated in or with a generic name,” said Joe Hamza, chief operating officer for retail and marketing. “We wanted to create a brand cohesion that would help customers know what to expect when entering one of our nouria locations.”

Worchester, Mass.-based Nouria Energy owns 137 convenience stores in five New England states, 116 of which are company-operated and 21 of which are operated by commission and leased dealers. The company also owns and operates 47 car washes under the Golden Nozzle brand.

“By effectively implementing this strategy, we believe that the nouria brand can be viewed as uniquely differentiated and more consumer-relevant,” Hamza explained.

After nearly three years of planning, nouria made its debut in Lewiston, Maine, on Sept. 11, 2018. A grand-opening celebration took place in November. Occupying nearly 2 acres of developed space, including 6,000 square feet of store space, this location was selected for the inaugural nouria store because of its prime positioning — it’s situated at a major intersection in Lewiston and nestled between Lewistown High School and Bates College.

Unique architecture, differentiated in-store offerings and eye-catching, inspiring artwork reflect the retailer’s quest to appeal to younger adults and female consumers.

“The in-store design; color scheme; lifestyle and community-inspired graphics; [and] brighter, more spacious layout are all designed to help deliver the ultimate customer experience through an inviting environment,” Hamza told Convenience Store News.

Additionally, nouria’s fresh-food offering is designed to provide customers with a one-stop shopping experience by providing grab-and-go items, snacks, beverages and the essentials for creating healthy, fresh, take-home meals.

Recognizing that “shopping experience” is a huge point of interest for consumers today — and as a means of inviting customers to relax and enjoy their meals — the inaugural nouria store introduces café nouria. This concept encompasses full-service hot coffee, espresso drinks and iced coffee; a wide variety of pastries; parfaits and fruit cups; other beverages; and breakfast sandwiches. All items are available in-store or via the store’s drive-thru.

Nouria Energy opened its second nouria store in Westborough, Mass., on Dec. 28, 2018. The company plans to upgrade and rebrand all of its company-operated stores to this new concept over the next five to seven years, Hamza shared with CSNews