A Fresh Alternative

United Family strives to provide convenience solutions for the busy lifestyle of today’s shopper.

By
Tony Crumpton, Executive vice president of fuel, facility & supply

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Life has never been more on the go than it is now. We often hear our guests talk about their busy schedules and desperate need for quality convenience options—and we couldn’t agree more.

The United Family recognizes the need for convenience, quality and service in the c-store industry and is proud of the effective solution we have created through the United Express brand.

It didn’t start with United Express, though. The United Family (formerly United Supermarkets LLC) has a long, rich history of providing convenience options for our guests.

In 1997, we opened our first fuel station in Lubbock, Texas, which served as the foundation of all our convenience offerings. Over the years, we’ve built a strong, well-respected name in the retail fuel business; our network eventually expanded to a total of 19 fuel stations at select United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos locations.

Recently, The United Family has undertaken a multiyear effort to grow our convenience offerings at fuel locations through the expansion of those existing kiosks. With the addition of walk-in access to the kiosks, guests now have the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of convenience items, including freshly brewed coffee and iced tea, breakfast burritos, milk, bottled water, fountain drinks, candy, gum and an assortment of other grab-and-go snacks.

The United Family officially entered the business of stand-alone c-stores in December 2006 with the opening of our first A Taste of Market Street in Lubbock. This concept offers many of the same gourmet and specialty items our Market Street stores sell, with a more convenient experience, while operating on the same property alongside a full-size Market Street. There are three A Taste of Market Street locations, all of which will be converted to United Express in 2014 as part of our ongoing rebranding initiative.

Because our A Taste of Market Street concept was so successful, we knew we were on to something big in the world of convenience. From there, we decided to adjust our existing concept and enter the stand-alone c-store market under the name United Express. In May 2011, we opened our first United Express location in Lubbock. 

Providing Solutions

Our goal with United Express was to take the offerings and products such as prepared foods, which have been most successful in our A Taste of Market Street stores, as well as on-the-go convenience items, and blend them so guests will see traditional offerings with a unique United Family flair.

We know some days our guests don’t have time to walk through a large grocery store for just a few items. We aim to satisfy all the needs of our guests. If they are busy, we want to make life a little easier for them. By creating convenience stores that offer many of the same things our full-service stores offer, we are providing our busiest guests a solution.

If a guest wants to come in and get a bag of chips and a soft drink, they can do that. But our guests don’t necessarily have to sacrifice their nutrition just because they don’t have time to take a trip to the grocery store. If they are looking for a nice tossed salad or some other quality meal solution, those are available as well. And we’re especially proud of those offerings, because they are items, made fresh daily, you don’t typically find in a convenience store.

Widespread Offerings

At the end of 2012, we revealed our new generation of United Express stores, which host a slew of new offerings designed to meet our guests’ needs and positively affect their shopping experience.

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