CSN EXCLUSIVE: Inside the Launch of Kudos Convenience Stores

The new-to-market brand provides licensees flexibility in their offerings, as well as marketing and structural support.

HOUSTON — Starting a new business is always a risky venture, especially in retail. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 45% of all new businesses on average fail within the first five years.

Though to be fair, most of those ventures don’t have the backing of a 2,000-member regional association to support them.

The Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association (GHRA) has been around for a quarter century and primarily served as an umbrella organization for smaller convenience store brands, allowing them to buy goods at bulk prices and take advantage of continuing education. Last year, the organization decided to enter into a new specialty: direct retail.

In September, GHRA opened its first Kudos convenience store, a new-to-market brand that’s focused on both serving customers in the southeast Texas region and supporting local community nonprofits and first responders.