US-based United Supermarkets said it "officially entered" the convenience sector with the opening of its first United Express store yesterday (4 May) in Lubbock, Texas.

"We've built a strong and well-respected name in the retail fuel business and are especially proud of our proprietary brand," said United Supermarkets executive vice president of facility, fuel and supply Tony Crumpton.

The company said that it is also expanding many of its existing fuel kiosks into small c-stores, with product offerings for "guests on-the-go", with four outlets already extended under the new concept.

The chain said the outlet includes a six-pump fuel station and will feature fresh produce, as well as "traditional" convenience store items.

"If a guest wants to come in and get a bag of chips and a soft drink, they will be able to do that. But if they are looking for a nice tossed salad or some other quality meal solution, those are available as well - and those are the items you don't typically find in a convenience store," said Chris Bridgford, the company's director of fuel and convenience operations.