Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2017 - 66
AU ENERGY (FORMERLY VINTNERS DISTRIBUTORS)
California-based Au Energy is developing a new concept to bring healthy foods and
offerings to the traditional convenience store. BY STEPHANIE CRETS
Au Energy is dedicated to ensuring its stores are
clean, well-stocked and comfortable, making it a good
environment for employees and customers.
u Energy began in 2010 and now has 119
locations throughout California dedicated to high-quality fuel and a high-quality experience, always providing a clean
and well-lit store for its customers. "We're very
good at being nimble, creative, and innovative,"
President Varish Goyal says. "We are strong operators. We really understand real estate and how to
Goyal's family has been operating convenience
stores since 1978. He was originally planning to become a doctor, but moved back to California after
college and joined the company in 2002 to develop
the company's new IT infrastructure.
"Once you get good at IT, everything else revolves
around it," Goyal explains. "So, I started to get more
involved with marketing and merchandising, then
operations, HR and a little finance and accounting
to understand how data from the stores went into
the general ledger. Through that, I started to take on
different roles in different parts of the company. In
2010, we acquired 74 stores in the Bay Area. With
the added stores we had to bring in more talent, and
I took on the president role."
Goyal credits the company's success to the people
working in the stores. Finding strong team members has been a continuous challenge for Au Energy
but it is constantly working on making every store a