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Why do the Scotchman convenience stores sell different brands of gas?

Wayne Faulkner
StarNews

Worsley/Scotchman auto and truck stop in Wilmington, seen on Jan. 30, 2012. Photo by Mike Spencer

Q. Why do the Scotchman convenience stores sell different brands of gas? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to sell the same brand of gas at all stations?

A. “A lot of this would have to do with supply, since we have 425 stores,” said Jennifer Meyers, spokeswoman for Wilmington-based VPS Convenience Group. In addition to Scotchman, VPS owns stores under the names Village Pantry, Young’s, Li’l Cricket, EveryDay Shops and Next Door Stores.

“Sometimes one brand is not able to supply all the gallons of fuel we sell,” she said.

“People like choices as well,” Meyers said. “There are some people who are very committed to their brand of fuel, so we like to offer that as an option to people.”

Most wholesalers, which can sell through their own retail outlets or independent outlets, have multiple contracts with different major oil company suppliers, said Gary Harris, executive director of the N.C. Petroleum and Convenience Marketers.

Those prices vary every day. So, selling different brands of gas gives the wholesaler, such as the owner of a convenience store chain, more choices, Harris said.

Say you are a wholesaler and you have a total of 20 stations. Ten of them sell Exxon and 10 sell BP. On a particular day Exxon gas might be more expensive to the wholesaler than BP. Selling the two brands instead of one helps to balance out the cost, Harris explained.

RELATED LINKS:

Why is North Carolina’s gasoline tax so much higher than surrounding states?

What is the average net profit per gallon of gasoline for gas stations in Wilmington?

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