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September 21, 2010 - Oil Price Information Service

     Look for large independent West Coast jobber Nella Oil to switch to a single brand and to expand through the offering of branding/franchising agreements in the next year. Nella confirms plans to hang up the Olympian and Western Energetix labels and convert all of its c-stores, card locks, bulk plants and trucks to its Flyers brand.
    Nella determined that a single brand would be more cost-effective, saving on advertising and other costs, said Dave Jackson, the firm's director of Commercial Fueling. Also, there is some consensus that an independent brand has more room to grow on the West Coast in the post-major merger climate. Nella Oil's corporate name would remain unchanged.
    Nella has already changed all of its California card locks to Flyers and has started conversions of card locks and bulk plants in Nevada. All 85 company trucks will be refaced to Flyers. One of the newly labeled trucks is on display at the Pacific Oil Conference in Reno, Nev., this week.
    With 25% of Nella's fuel transportation business in the common carrier end, the brand name change should provide more recognition for the oil company, said Jackson.
    All conversions will be completed by the end of 2011. By the second quarter of next year, Nella will begin offering franchising and branding agreements, Jackson said. Further details on the franchising/branding efforts were not available.
    Nella, based in Auburn, Calif., currently owns and operates Flyers and Olympian c-stores in northern California. In addition, Nella is a branded distributor of Chevron, Shell and Valero fuels for both wholesale and retail customers. Card lock fueling chains include Olympian in California and Western Energetix in Nevada.
    The transportation division is comprised of two fleets of fuel transports supplying independent dealers, jobbers and other commercial end-users in California and Nevada.
    The name switch may take some getting used to by consumers in markets such as San Francisco, where the Olympian brand has been around for 50 years.


Reprinted by Permission: Oil Price Information Service, Mary Welge, 2010©
 
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