[UPDATE: Through the deal addressed in the story below, The Pantry is switching from Chevron to Valero, and the move appears to cement The Pantry’s preference to work with two historically powerful regional fuel brands, Valero and Marathon.
Observers recently praised the long-term deal The Pantry signed in 2010 with Marathon to supply nearly 700 sites and speculate that The Pantry may have entered into a similar deal with Valero, preferring a regional player with an incentive to trade price for volume.
See Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage of The Pantry and Marathon.]
CARY, N.C. & SAN ANTONIO -- The Pantry and Valero have agreed to convert 143 properties to a newly created Kangaroo Express and Valero co-branded banner in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. An additional 25 sites in Florida will be branded with Valero's standard teal-and-gold image.
A spokesperson for Valero told CSP Daily News that the partnership is relatively new and is the first time The Pantry has branded sites Valero.
"We've been aware of them and they've been aware of us for some time," said Bill Day, executive director of media relations for San Antonio-based Valero. "We've been expanding in that part of the country for the past couple of years, with the Valero brand growing rapidly where others have been static."
After the branding of the 168 The Pantry sites, Valero's coast-to-coast network will grow to nearly 5,400 retail- and wholesale-branded outlets.
Valero also entered into an unbranded agreement with The Pantry to supply additional unbranded sites in Florida.
"Our relationship with Valero, one of America's largest refiners, enables us to reliably supply our sites with their full line of quality fuels," said Keith Bell, senior vice president of fuels with The Pantry. "Valero places a high premium on building strong relationships with its distributors and marketers, making this agreement a great fit for The Pantry. We place the same high value on the relationships we've established with our convenience store customers."
The Pantry's relationship with current fuel suppliers, including Marathon, was not touched on in press statements and calls to Pantry officials were not returned by press time.
"Valero is extremely pleased to have The Pantry and the Kangaroo Express banners join the Valero family," said David Parker, senior vice president, product supply and wholesale marketing with Valero. "We view The Pantry as a valued strategic partner and the perfect addition to our branded presence in the Southeast. The Pantry and Valero's cultures are very similar, and it was a great fit from the very first meeting."
San Antonio-based Valero Energy, through its subsidiaries, is an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels, petrochemicals and power. Its assets include 16 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately three million barrels per day, 10 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of 1.2 billion gallons per year and a 50-megawatt wind farm. Approximately 6,800 retail and branded wholesale outlets carry the Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock and Beacon brands in the United States and the Caribbean; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The Pantry, Cary, N.C., operates more than 1,600 stores in 13 states.