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    Shell's STARZ Buying Club Reaches 1,000 Members

    Service provides marketing programs, rebate administration, promotion management.

    HOUSTON -- Shell Oil Products US's STARZ Buying Club has exceeded a membership level of 1,000 members -- an accomplishment the company calls an important milestone in less than 10 months of operation. The STARZ Buying Club is a complete convenience merchandising program operated by Royal Buying Group to assist Shell-branded channel partners in the United States vendor marketing programs, rebate administration and vendor promotion management.

    The STARZ Buying Club, launched in December 2003, is one of the components available through STARZ (Shell Trading and Retail Zone), a proprietary Web portal that provides Shell-branded retailers and wholesalers with site operations and convenience retailing tools and information.

    According to Chuck Ryan, manager of convenience retailing for Shell Oil Products US, STARZ is a retailer's virtual headquarters. "STARZ is a comprehensive one-stop resource," said Ryan. "And the STARZ Buying Club is a tool that helps our retailers and wholesalers maximize vendor related merchandising programs, promotions and special opportunities."

    "The strength of the Shell brand, the consistent support of our strategic vendor partners and the overall value of our programs have allowed this buying club to grow faster then any other group of its kind," stated Michael Zielinski, president and CEO of Royal Buying Group Inc. "And, as we start rolling out our 2005 promotional plans, we are confident our members will receive the best programs from the best vendors."

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