Saturday, June 14, 2008

Exxon quitting the retail biz

Exxon Mobil is selling of the last of its company-owned gas stations to distributors.

Motorists, however, will continue to see Exxon's Tiger-themed stations and Mobil outlets in their neighborhoods. Already, about 75 percent of Exxon Mobil's roughly 12,000 stations in the U.S. are owned by branded distributors, who buy Exxon Mobil products and pay to use the name.

Irving-based Exxon, the world's biggest publicly traded oil company, said it now plans to sell to distributors its remaining 820 company-owned stations and another 1,400 outlets operated by dealers.
There's practically no profit in selling gasoline at retail. The narrow margins tend to be eaten up by credit card fees.
Most gasoline retailers long ago got past any illusion they can make money by selling gas. They rely on gas sales to drive traffic to their shops, where they hope auto repairs or food and drink sales will help them turn a profit.

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