Marathon to acquire Andeavor (Tesoro)

Alpha8472
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Re: Marathon to acquire Andeavor (Tesoro)

Post by Alpha8472 » October 9th, 2019, 2:05 am

The Speedway Express gas stations appear to be smaller gas stations. They either do not have convenience stores or have a small convenience store. I noticed pamphlets regarding the rewards program, but the cashier did not have any rewards cards. I have yet to see a full size Speedway in this area. I did notice some Mobil and Exxon stations that are still Mobil and Exxon branded. They appear to be smaller stations and close early. Perhaps they are not corporate run stations. I hope that they do not convert to Speedway as these locations are the only place that I can use my Mobil credit card.

I stopped going to AMPM once they stopped carrying the Orange Whip drink. It was my only reason for going there. I used to go to the prototype store in Concord, California. It is the nicest one in the area, and used to be the photo on the ARCO website.

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Re: Marathon to acquire Andeavor (Tesoro)

Post by storewanderer » October 9th, 2019, 7:36 pm

Brian Lutz wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 7:49 am
Although there are a lot less AMPM stores than there used to be around here, the ones that are still around seem to be remodeling, and I've even seen one or two new builds within the past couple of years. I think it's a stronger brand in the Pacific Northwest than it might be elsewhere. If an AMPM store here removes the AMPM branding, there's usually a good chance it will be changing gas brands as well.
AM PM is extremely weak in Southern Oregon. There are only two left, one in Grants Pass and one in Ashland. There are also a couple of non-AM PM Arcos (one in Grants Pass, one in Medford). All of these accept credit cards with a per gallon surcharge of .06-.10 and the Ashland one, even with the card fee, is routinely the cheapest gas around. There used to be a few AM PMs in Medford, but those are gone. There was one in Eagle Point that debranded at some point in the past couple years.

Maybe it is stronger around Portland (don't recall seeing much of them there) and Seattle. I wonder if it is stronger in Seattle since that market has been accepting credit cards for the past 8 years...

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Re: Marathon to acquire Andeavor (Tesoro)

Post by storewanderer » October 9th, 2019, 7:38 pm

Alpha8472 wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 2:05 am
The Speedway Express gas stations appear to be smaller gas stations. They either do not have convenience stores or have a small convenience store. I noticed pamphlets regarding the rewards program, but the cashier did not have any rewards cards. I have yet to see a full size Speedway in this area. I did notice some Mobil and Exxon stations that are still Mobil and Exxon branded. They appear to be smaller stations and close early. Perhaps they are not corporate run stations. I hope that they do not convert to Speedway as these locations are the only place that I can use my Mobil credit card.

I stopped going to AMPM once they stopped carrying the Orange Whip drink. It was my only reason for going there. I used to go to the prototype store in Concord, California. It is the nicest one in the area, and used to be the photo on the ARCO website.
Interesting. I would expect many of the former Beacon and USA stations will get this "express" branding.

I think for years that AM PM in Concord was their only new build store. There have been a couple more new builds in NorCal in recent years (past 4-5 years): one at the Sierra College exit in Rocklin, one in Sutter Creek/Jackson/Martell (near the Safeway). These are very nice stations. Nice stores, large fueling areas, and just overall high quality stations.

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Re: Marathon to acquire Andeavor (Tesoro)

Post by SamSpade » October 15th, 2019, 4:09 pm

storewanderer wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 7:36 pm
Maybe it is stronger around Portland (don't recall seeing much of them there) and Seattle. I wonder if it is stronger in Seattle since that market has been accepting credit cards for the past 8 years...
Several independent operators around here have branded with ARCO gasoline in recent history (Portland area stores now post a cash and a debit/credit price). AM PM actually pays money to market on the radio here, unlike any others and I've seen some TV spots.

After all this distributor / supplier change shakes out, I'm unclear on things. Does BP still own and operate ARCO branding in the Pacific Northwest or will Marathon? Some of the AM PMs here are tired and old, others have the "California" look to them with the rear corner convenience store featuring a tile roof and a recent re-emphasis on fresh foods.

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Re: Marathon to acquire Andeavor (Tesoro)

Post by storewanderer » October 15th, 2019, 5:34 pm

SamSpade wrote:
October 15th, 2019, 4:09 pm
storewanderer wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 7:36 pm
Maybe it is stronger around Portland (don't recall seeing much of them there) and Seattle. I wonder if it is stronger in Seattle since that market has been accepting credit cards for the past 8 years...
Several independent operators around here have branded with ARCO gasoline in recent history (Portland area stores now post a cash and a debit/credit price). AM PM actually pays money to market on the radio here, unlike any others and I've seen some TV spots.

After all this distributor / supplier change shakes out, I'm unclear on things. Does BP still own and operate ARCO branding in the Pacific Northwest or will Marathon? Some of the AM PMs here are tired and old, others have the "California" look to them with the rear corner convenience store featuring a tile roof and a recent re-emphasis on fresh foods.
Arco in OR/WA/NorCal (Modesto north) is owned/controlled by BP. Marathon has nothing to do with those Arcos.

Up here in Reno (which is Marathon-Arco territory) we were getting some AM PM Radio ads and billboards in 2018 then also earlier this year... then a few more locations debranded from AM PM and all that went away.

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Re: Marathon to acquire Andeavor (Tesoro)

Post by storewanderer » October 15th, 2019, 9:35 pm

So it appeared that Giant had one site in metro Phoenix:
http://www.giant.com/locations/az/chand ... riggs-road

But now it appears that site was a Giant in 2015 but by 2018 was a Superpumper. It appears this Giant outfit chose not to compete in the Phoenix market (probably knew they'd get eaten alive).

I do not know why this Giant was run so poorly that it did not remove stations from its locator that left its network over 2 years ago. This explains why they never even put signs up on the 30+ former Flyers they were operating in NorCal and ran them as generic c-stores with no name, no brand, and generic uniforms, cups, everything. Zero investment by this Giant outfit in equipment or any upgrades at all to the stores in NorCal. Speedway is having a lot of work to do to replace 20+ year old soda and coffee equipment, and get these stores into 1990 by adding in frozen carbonated beverage machines, but they are doing it.

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Re: Marathon to acquire Andeavor (Tesoro)

Post by Alpha8472 » October 18th, 2019, 12:56 am

I finally visited a full sized Speedway today. This was a former Flyer's that converted to Mobil and recently converted to Speedway. The gas station canopy was redone with the Speedway silver gray decor. The convenience store had Speedway soda fountains and Speedy Freeze machines. There were some Speedway products as well.

I was impressed with the Speedy Freeze flavor selection. They had an Orange Creme flavor that was quite good. I will definitely return. Ever since ARCO discontinued the Orange Whip drink, I have searched convenience stores all over to find something like it. Finally, I have found a suitable replacement. Sixty-nine cents is a bargain for any size of fountain soda or Freeze. The store has not yet received the Speedway cups, but the employees had their new Speedway uniforms. There were at least 3 employees in the store at the same time. The store seems well staffed, however the employees had problems with the Speedway cash register being very slow. One transaction seemed to freeze and there was a 10 minute wait. Speedway really is pushing the Rewards Card. There was a Rewards Card kiosk to attract people into signing up for the card.

The store is offering 10 cents off per gallon of gas for signing up for a Speedway Rewards card. The price of gas was cheaper than most other gas stations in the area, except for Costco.

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Re: Marathon to acquire Andeavor (Tesoro)

Post by BillyGr » October 18th, 2019, 4:22 pm

Alpha8472 wrote:
October 18th, 2019, 12:56 am
I was impressed with the Speedy Freeze flavor selection. They had an Orange Creme flavor that was quite good. I will definitely return. Ever since ARCO discontinued the Orange Whip drink, I have searched convenience stores all over to find something like it. Finally, I have found a suitable replacement. Sixty-nine cents is a bargain for any size of fountain soda or Freeze.
Alpha8472 wrote:
October 18th, 2019, 12:56 am
Speedway really is pushing the Rewards Card.
Just FYI - They did the $0.69 cold drinks here too when they first converted from Hess stations. Then it went up to $0.89 for any size and now is $0.89 for anything up to 44 oz. but more for the largest size. Not that those prices are bad, either.

In terms of the card, one of the things they offer with it (on the drinks) is after you buy 6, you get the 7th one free, and it works on any type of drinks. So, when they first started with the $0.69 sodas but coffee was closer to $2 for the large size, it was a benefit to buy the sodas, then use the free coupon for a coffee, making it worth even more.

You also get points for each purchase, and some type of benefit you can choose each month (a bonus of 100 points each day you buy a beverage is a common option), plus other promos sometimes (like visit x days in a month and get some # of bonus points) and those build up over time and can be redeemed for gift cards.

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Re: Marathon to acquire Andeavor (Tesoro)

Post by storewanderer » October 19th, 2019, 12:45 am

BillyGr wrote:
October 18th, 2019, 4:22 pm
Alpha8472 wrote:
October 18th, 2019, 12:56 am
I was impressed with the Speedy Freeze flavor selection. They had an Orange Creme flavor that was quite good. I will definitely return. Ever since ARCO discontinued the Orange Whip drink, I have searched convenience stores all over to find something like it. Finally, I have found a suitable replacement. Sixty-nine cents is a bargain for any size of fountain soda or Freeze.
Alpha8472 wrote:
October 18th, 2019, 12:56 am
Speedway really is pushing the Rewards Card.
Just FYI - They did the $0.69 cold drinks here too when they first converted from Hess stations. Then it went up to $0.89 for any size and now is $0.89 for anything up to 44 oz. but more for the largest size. Not that those prices are bad, either.

In terms of the card, one of the things they offer with it (on the drinks) is after you buy 6, you get the 7th one free, and it works on any type of drinks. So, when they first started with the $0.69 sodas but coffee was closer to $2 for the large size, it was a benefit to buy the sodas, then use the free coupon for a coffee, making it worth even more.

You also get points for each purchase, and some type of benefit you can choose each month (a bonus of 100 points each day you buy a beverage is a common option), plus other promos sometimes (like visit x days in a month and get some # of bonus points) and those build up over time and can be redeemed for gift cards.
In California, any price for fountain drinks under about $1.50 is a bargain. The Circle Ks do .89-.99 everyday but Circle Ks are few and far between in most parts of California.

I am noticing they are installing a lot of new equipment on the drink area. Some of it doesn't seem to quite be working yet. One location I went to even had iced tea brewers for Speedy Tea (but they were not yet in use). Some locations are only getting 2 flavor machines for Speedy Freeze and some are getting 4 flavor machines. That is better than the 0 previously offered by these locations when they were under operating as unmarked disguised Giant locations.

I wonder what was wrong with the cash register; I have found it to work fast. But Quik Stop uses that same system and seems to have some real problems with it since they left Kroger (never saw any issues under Kroger). The Chip reading pumps, if you mess it up, are another story.

Their Rewards program is pretty good and has been around a long time. They were pushing it 10-15 years ago even. I think in their established markets the program is successful. I wonder how it has done in the former Hess markets.

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Re: Marathon to acquire Andeavor (Tesoro)

Post by Alpha8472 » October 20th, 2019, 11:02 pm

This Speedway in San Leandro, California has 2 Speedy Freeze machines and a total of 8 flavors. The tiny Speedway Express in Pleasant Hill, California which was a former Mobil and USA Gas has not yet changed any of the drink machines. Sodas are 99 cents. The small Speedway Express stores are slow to change anything. They accept Speedy Rewards, but no discount on gas. I did not see any Speedway products.

The store still has some kind of off brand fruit slushy machine with 2 flavors.

The only Shell station left in the neighborhood has slashed its prices. Shell was still 10 cents higher than Speedway. I got an email from Shell telling me that old Shell stations that I used to visit are no longer Shell. They converted to Speedway. These were former USA Gas stations as well. Shell was begging me to return with a 25 cent gas discount after 4 fill ups.

Shell is losing in this area as Speedway seems to be one of the lowest priced gas stations. I do not yet know about the quality of Speedway gas. It does not seem to be Top Tier.

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