Exxon’s Retail Exodus

Exxon Mobil Corp. is exiting the retail gasoline business, though 75% of its 12,000 U.S. stations are already owned by branded distributors who buy ExxonMobil’s products and pay to use the company’s name, the Associated Press reported.

Irving-based Exxon, the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, plans to sell to distributors its remaining 820 company-owned stations and another 1,400 outlets operated by dealers, though motorists will continue to see the company’s Tiger-themed stations and Mobil outlets, the Associated Press reported.

Exxon Mobil didn’t disclose financial details but said the sales will take place over a "multiyear period." Texas has the most company-owned retail locations with about 190, and Florida is second with 170. The other stores are in Tennessee.

"As the highly competitive fuels marketing business in the U.S. continues to evolve, we believe this transition is the best way for Exxon Mobil to compete and grow in the future," said Ben Soraci, director of Exxon Mobil’s U.S. retail sales.

A Washington Post report said the change will impact some of the small independent gas station operators.

Sohaila Rezazadeh, who owns an Exxon franchise in Oakton, told the Post she pays rent to Exxon, which owns her land, and has complained about rising rent and tight profit margins. She hasn’t been able to afford new gasoline supplies for the past week, so after 12 years as an Exxon dealer, she is closing her doors.

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