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NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- Clarks Brands LLC plans to aggressively expand westward this year, entering states such as Texas, Arizona and New Mexico for the first time, according to a PetrolPlaza report. Part of its strategy also includes a refined payment processing service that includes a check processing program and a multi-store gift card option.
The company licenses the Clark brand to more than 80 independent fuel marketers that own and operate 450-plus Clark branded locations in 30 states and Washington, D.C. Last year, Clark Brands added 125 new locations licensed to 22 different marketers.
In 2012 -- its 80th anniversary -- Clark plans to reestablish itself in Michigan and fellow legacy state Wisconsin, as well as expand into the West. This fall, it signed Richmond, Mich.-based Foster Blue Oil as a branded marketer, as CSNews Online previously reported.
"We were actually in Michigan when Clark Brands was founded, so Michigan is a legacy state for Clark, and it's been a state where we have been successful in the last couple of years in reentering that market," said Karl Goodhouse, Clark Brands president and CEO. "We've already been able to add a number of new licensees and new flags for Clark in the Michigan market."
When it comes to the western expansion, Clark expects to reach regional markets without much prior exposure to its brand, according to the report.
"We saw a common ground with marketers looking for flexibility and new branding relationships in some markets where we wanted to grow," said Goodhouse. "We said, 'We offer a licensed brand. We're not going to require you to buy any supplies from us -- what we're doing is developing a licensee relationship with you."