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    Clark Brands Pursue CITGO Locations

    After the withdrawal of CITGO fuel in hundreds of locations, Clark steps up to the plate.

    NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- Clark Brands will "aggressively offer" its brand and licensing program to the locations affected when CITGO ditched its fuel agreements in the ten states and other markets in Texas, the company stated in a release.

    "We think we're the right branding and credit card solution for CITGO marketers and independent distributors alike … We want to talk to every CITGO distributor in every market affected by CITGO's re-alignment and tell them about Clark and our programs," said Karl Goodhouse, president for Clark Brands.

    Goodhouse said in a written statement that Clark Brands offer a comprehensive credit card program through its Clark Platinum MasterCard, with a possible 8 percent consumer rebate. The program also allows marketers to manage their supply of fuel and maintain independence, he added.

    "We think that's a winning combination," Goodhouse said in the release.

    Licensees can buy the lowest cost product, improving profitability and ensuring long-term success, Clark stated in the release. In addition, the marketers who need supply assistance will rely on Clark's alliances with national or regional suppliers for a secure source.

    "We can take the Clark Brand anywhere … and with speed," said Goodhouse. "We are able to make decisions and act quickly and our customer service is unparallel."

    Clark Brands licenses the Clark gasoline brand and the Four Corners Coffee Brand to independent petroleum markets and retailers. Clark Brands has 500 locations throughout 12 states, which include its recent agreements in Tennessee and Texas. Clark banners fly in Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

    In related news, CITGO has announced as a result of the fuel supply reduction, its corporate staff will need to be "reorganized," reported Eluniversal.com.

    "Corporate changes will come that are necessary to mirror reorganization." said Felix Rodriguez, president and CEO of CITGO, in a letter written to its employees.

    "The company intends to manage such changes in a way to provide all possible solutions to the employees that may be affected. For the few employees whose jobs have been hit, such solutions may include transfer to different jobs, other locations or both," he added.

    According to the report on Eluniversal.com, the decision to stop providing fuel to the 1,800 locations in the U.S. came from a loss of $207 million USD in the first half of 2006, when CITGO was forced to purchase finished gasoline to supply its U.S. retail network. To avoid such future losses, the company did not renew supply agreements with gas stations throughout the Midwest.

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