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SOUTH PARIS, Maine -- CITGO’s ability to sustain C.N. Brown’s current gasoline volumes and handle growth in the future weighed heavily on the Maine-based company’s recent decision to convert 42 of its locally owned gas stations from the Mobil fuel brand to the CITGO brand, C.N. Brown’s general manager Chick Wilkins told CSNews Online.
On Monday, the companies announced that C.N. Brown would transition the stations, located in Maine and New Hampshire, to the CITGO brand between now and April. The newly rebranded stations will feature CITGO’s new street image, which was introduced at the end of August and features a predominately red triform design on the retail canopy and pumps.
Wilkins said the switch to CITGO came as the company’s supply agreement with ExxonMobil was expiring, and C.N. Brown learned that the oil company was changing its distribution model in the Northeast. "Exxon is not going to provide the gasoline anymore; you would have a franchise relationship and there would be a [franchise] fee," Wilkins explained. "So, we thought it might be time to look around and see what else was out there."
C.N. Brown already owns or services more than 30 CITGO locations in the Northeast, and chose to expand the partnership for several reasons -- particularly, the oil company’s crude supply sources and its refining capacity. Both companies also share New England roots.
"We expect our CITGO partnership to be long-term, and more likely than not, we will be adding more CITGO-branded sites to our portfolio going forward," Wilkins said.
Of the 42 stations being rebranded, 37 are owned and operated by C.N. Brown. The other five are independently owned and operated. All but seven have convenience stores.
Once the conversions are complete, C.N. Brown will have only two Mobil-branded stations left. Both locations are independently operated, and the owners chose to stick with Mobil.
C.N. Brown services more than 80 gasoline stations leased or owned by independent dealers across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. The company also owns and operates 78 Big Apple Food Stores and 31 Red Shield Heating Oil locations.