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BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. -- Appalachian Oil Co. (Appco) shortened operating hours at the majority of its convenience stores across the region, hoping for an influx of capital to put the company back on solid footing once again, according to Timesnews.net.
Appco President and CEO Marty Anderson told the paper most of the company’s 55 retail locations are operating on an abbreviated schedule -- closing at 6 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. or midnight, the report stated.
Most Appco stations have already exhausted their fuel supplies, and merchandise on store shelves is quickly disappearing. Anderson said Appco’s parent company, Titan Global Holdings Inc. of Richardson, Texas, is working on a refinancing plan to pump funding into the local operation to allow it to restock inventory, according to the report.
“Our parent company is responsible for all the financing of our company, and they are diligently working on a refinance that will bring some working capital into the company," Anderson said in the report. "Myself and everybody in this company is fighting night and day to hold the thing together. We’re waiting for refinancing. We hope it will happen any day now."
Anderson said Appco employs roughly 500 people across the region.
"We haven’t completely shut down any stores right now. We don’t want to do that. We want to protect peoples’ jobs -- especially in this difficult economy. That’s my No. 1 priority -- to protect the jobs and the livelihood of our employees" Anderson said in the Timesnews.net report, adding he’s hoping for good news from his parent company soon.
"As soon as they do close (financing details), we’ll move toward restocking the stores and getting our inventory back, getting our customers back," he said. "I’ve been here eight years, moved up in the company to the position I now hold. I’ve got my heart and soul in this company, and I’m doing everything I can to make sure we succeed. But at the end of the day, I need working capital."
Appco was founded in 1923. It operates convenience stores in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Eastern Kentucky.
In addition to its retail locations, Appco has been one of the Southeast’s largest distributors of branded and unbranded petroleum products, serving wholesale customers in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and North and South Carolina.
CSNews Online asked "What’s Up with Appco?" in a recent Spare Change blog post. Click here to see what people are saying, or to add thoughts.