HONOLULU, Hawaii — Aloha Petroleum Ltd., a Hawaii-based gas retailer and convenience store operator, unveiled the first ground-up version of its new prototype design that highlights the chain’s local roots.
Designed by branding and retail design consultancy CBX, the 3,000-square-foot store and adjoining gas islands with five pumps opened in mid-June on Waialae Avenue in the Kahala suburb of Honolulu. An existing Aloha store and fuel islands were demolished on the site to make way for the new structures, according to a news release from CBX.
Customers to the new location find references to Hawaiian-style architecture — a nod to Aloha Petroleum’s roots as the only local fuel marketer and c-store operator on Oahu, Hawaii Island and Maui. The building’s exterior has been treated to horizontal wood siding and a modified double-pitched roof, evocative of the plantation architecture style found throughout the Hawaiian islands. The overall design underscores Aloha’s efforts to develop a “kama’aina,” or local brand of convenience stores to compete against those from traditional mainland companies.
“The company wants to position its convenience operation as the c-store brand of choice in its markets on the three islands,” explained Joseph Bona, president of the retail division of New York-based CBX. “Our role was to help create a brand that stands for more than convenience, while establishing a stronger emotional connection with those who work and live in the islands.”
Among the most commanding elements of the new design is the restyled Aloha logo that’s repeated on the façade signage, gas canopy and pumps. The updated logo features a stylized “A” floating in a field of watery blue and accented with green. Various shades of blue emerge from the refreshed logo to reflect the calm and serenity of the ocean, while the green suggests the lushness of the tropics. “The overall color palette is cool, refreshing and reflective of the relaxed lifestyle found in the Hawaiian islands,” stated Bona.
Inside the store, customers find the stylized Aloha “A” repeated on green wallpaper that calls attention to foodservice areas. They’ll also notice an abundance of natural light coming from the glass wall entrance, supplemented by a series of bowl-shaped galvanized metal pendant lights, which contribute to the historic design aesthetic.
Built with an eye toward easy navigation, the cleanly styled store has generous aisles, while providing optimal food and beverage display space. A refrigerated island case, positioned immediately off the entrance, holds a wide variety of fresh-delivered sandwiches, beverages and other chilled offerings.
A well-positioned pay point with room for multiple cashiers also sits opposite the entry, along the back wall for increased visibility and to help create an expanded impulse zone. Dark brown gondola fixtures are used to merchandise pantry basics and assorted snacks. The store’s offer is rounded out by a large walk-in-cooler and ‘beer cave’ found along the back wall.
In addition to the new Kahala prototype store, Aloha just opened a new fueling station and 2,000-square-foot c-store in Kahului, Maui. It is the first Aloha-branded store on that island. It also added a new-to-industry 3,000-square-foot c-store and fuel station in Kona on Hawaii Island.
Commenting on the new store and scheduled rollout of the design, Richard Parry, Aloha president and CEO, stated: “We are very pleased with the Kahala prototype. CBX has done an outstanding job in capturing the look and feel of the islands and developing a functional and attractive store, brand image and fuel facility. We believe that this sets a great foundation for Aloha Petroleum’s plans to expand and further develop our c-store business in Hawaii.”
Aloha is the largest retail gasoline marketer in the state of Hawaii. Currently, it has more than 100 Aloha, Shell and Mahalo branded retail fuel locations and 35 Aloha Island Mart convenience stores on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii (the Big Island) and Kauai.