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    Cenex Brand Sees Record Growth in 2007

    Expansion in major metropolitan areas and growth in rural communities helps the company exceed its goal to add 145 retailers each year.

    INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. -- CHS Inc., parent company to more than 1,600-unit Cenex-branded convenience stores, saw more than 150 retailers join the Cenex brand family in fiscal 2007, a record amount of growth, the company stated.

    The growth was a result of the company's continued focus on expansion in major metropolitan areas, while maintaining growth in many rural communities, according to the company.

    "Our goal has been to increase our network substantially by attracting 145 retailers per year over the next four years," Doug Dorfman, brand, product and marketing manager of refined fuels for CHS, said in a statement. "We exceeded our goal for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2007, thanks to tremendous teamwork, a new image and brand campaign, a large toolbox of added-value programs and major investments in a reliable fuel supply. With our experienced staff and strong infrastructure, the Cenex brand is definitely positioned for continued growth and success."

    Helping the growth was a new image for Cenex-branded retail locations, which was unveiled in 2007, and will be rolled out to all Cenex locations over the next three years. The program calls for re-designed canopies, brighter paint colors, new lighting and digital signage in an effort to reinvigorate brand identity and increase consumer appeal, according to Dorfman.

    "The updated appearance will help Cenex outlets attract and retain customers in a highly competitive marketplace, and will help improve consistency across the system's retail locations," he said in a statement.

    Meanwhile, the company entered its second year of the Cenex Guy brand campaign. "The Cenex Guy campaign not only builds affinity for the Cenex brand, it provides a fun, engaging opportunity for retailers to tie into the campaign locally to build store traffic," said Dorfman.

    In addition, unique programs and services along with a highly personalized approach allowed Cenex to reach record growth in 2007, the company stated. Some of these features include assistance with operating cost control, business management and computer-based training for store employees.

    "We remain committed to supporting our retailers with promotions and programs to grow their sales and reduce their costs," said Dorfman. "We also continue to hear from customers that they enjoy our personal touches and attention, like the extra one-on-one time our field staff spends with each account."

    Adding to its growth was the company's investment in renewable fuels, which already totals 250 E85 outlets. "Savvy retailers are increasingly concerned about securing reliable fuel supplies and having options when it comes to renewable fuels. The Cenex brand comes from a company committed to leadership in these areas," said Dorfman.

    In 2007, the company invested in a coker unit at its Laurel, Mont., refinery to increase refining yields, and also in the construction of two Montana petroleum pipeline terminals to enhance fuel supply, according to the company.

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