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    Flying J Expands Retail Strategy

    Travel center chain to develop co-branded sites with Equilon and Motiva that focus on gas sales.

    HOUSTON

    Equilon Enterprises LLC and Motiva Enterprises LLC, which refine and market Shell- and Texaco-branded gasoline, have signed an agreement with Flying J Inc., to begin developing a network of co-branded travel centers.

    The partnership is a shift away from Flying J's current operating strategy. The company, which operates more than 150 travel centers in 39 states across the country, has grown to become one of the largest retail distributors of diesel fuel in North America.

    The new co-branded sites will feature an increased emphasis on the gasoline and RV customers. Plans are to utilize the Shell gasoline brand in conjunction with the widely recognized Flying J offering and brands for the trucker.

    Five existing Flying J travel plazas were rebranded last month with Shell signage and graphics to offer Shell gasoline and accept both Shell and Texaco credit cards. The companies plan to begin opening additional co-branded travel plazas over the next few weeks.

    "These travel plazas are not conventional truck stops in any sense of the word," said Chuck Shepherd, general manager of business development for Equilon and Motiva. "Shell-branded Flying J travel plazas are intended to serve all motorists, whether they are driving cars, SUVs, RVs, or trucks. The partnership with Flying J will leverage the Shell brand and provide customers with greater access to our products and other essential needs while traveling."

    Flying J's custom-built travel plazas are generally located on spacious, easy-to-access sites along interstate highways. In addition to diesel fuel and gasoline, the sites feature convenience stores, full-service restaurants, food courts and travel services.

    "We believe truckers, vacationers and families will find this co-brand concept appealing. This partnership supports our strategic initiative to grow our business and offers us a significant opportunity to increase our branded gasoline sales," Shepherd said.

    Headquartered in Houston, Equilon refines and markets Shell- and Texaco-branded products in 32 Western and Midwestern states. Motiva, also based in Houston, refines and markets Shell- and Texaco-branded products in 26 East and Gulf Coast states and Washington, D.C.

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