By John Lofstock, Editor
Southside Oil Co., operator of the Uppy’s convenience stores in Virginia, emerged today as the big winner of Exxon Mobil Corp’s retail assets in Maryland and Delaware, Convenience Store Decisions has learned. The decision was announced today in a conference call with dealers and bidders for the assets.
In addition to operating 42 Uppy’s convenience stores, Southside Oil is a wholesale gasoline distribution company serving the Mid-Atlantic and southern U.S for more than 75 years. It currently provides gasoline distribution services to approximately 109, company-owned and dealer-served BP and ExxonMobil stations.
The Chester, Va.-based oil company also provides petroleum terminal supply for approximately 125 million gallons of gasoline and 15 million gallons of distillates out of its Richmond terminal facilities. The company has its own fleet of proprietary transport vehicles and driver staff.
The deal also figures to be a boost to fuelperks!, Uppy’s growing fuel rewards program. As part of the community loyalty program customers can 5-25 cents off per gallon of fuel. For every $50 spent at neighboring Ukrop’s supermarkets, customers earn a savings of 5 cents per gallon at Uppy’s.
New Jersey Next?
The move by ExxonMobil follows the strategy it outlined in June 2008 to exit direct-store operations. Similar strategies were announced by Shell, BP and ConocoPhillips. Though ExxonMobil hasn’t made public its plans, it said it intends to sell the stores in large blocks to jobbers and distributors that can maintain its retail standards. Insiders told CSD that the winning bids for 256 stores in New Jersey could be next, and possibly before Thanksgiving.
In May, ExxonMobil began its highly anticipated sell-off. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. acquired the On the Run convenience store franchise system in the U.S. and 43 of its company owned and operated sites in the Phoenix market. The agreement transferred to Couche-Tard the franchise agreements for about 450 On the Run c-stores operated by ExxonMobil branded fuel dealers and distributors. These stores, located in 28 states, primarily east of the Mississippi River, will continue to be operated by the franchisee dealers and distributors of ExxonMobil.
The 43 Phoenix sites were converted to Couche-Tard’s Circle K branded convenience stores, and offer Circle K branded fuel.
In other recent deals, Getty Realty Corp. acquired 36 Exxon-branded properties in a sale/leaseback transaction with White Oak Petroleum LLC for $49 million in September. Exxon also is selling its 25 stations in Hampton Roads, Va., to Doswell Ventures. That sale is scheduled to close by the end of November. The stations will continue to carry the ExxonMobil name.
More details to come on this story as they become available.