ConocoPhillips Sells Northeast Units to Cumberland Farms

Discussion
Jun 06, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Convenience store operator Cumberland Farms is going to grow by 200 service stations after reaching a deal with ConocoPhillips.


Lily Bentas, president and chief executive officer of the family-owned Cumberland Farms said, “Our strategy is to expand our branded petroleum marketing presence within the Northeast and make Gulf and Exxon the service stations of choice. Bringing the Exxon flag into the Cumberland Farms family is a big step in reaching this goal, as well as in reaching a whole new set of customers.”


With its 200 new additions, Cumberland Farms will now operate more than 1,100 stores in New England, the Mid-Atlantic States and Florida.


CSP Daily News reported in January, ConocoPhillips was seeking to sell retail units to concentrate on expanding oil production and reserves. According to CSP, “Many industry observers have been expecting ConocoPhillips to sell Phoenix, Ariz.-based Circle K.”


Moderator’s Comment: Is the convenience store industry
in a crisis?


ConocoPhillips readiness to get out of the retail end
of the business may be a harbinger of things to come.


According to the National Association of Convenience Stores
(NACS), convenience store sales grew 2.7 percent in 2002 but profits were down
24.3 percent from the previous year. Profits on a per-store basis were down
27.9 percent. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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