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    STARZ Buying Club Celebrates a Year of Savings

    Shell-branded retail outlets enjoy savings and efficiencies from program.

    HOUSTON -- Shell Oil Products US announced that the STARZ Buying Club, a convenience merchandising and marketing program designed to create value-added, cost-saving programs for Shell branded retailers and wholesalers, is celebrating its one-year anniversary. During that time, almost 1,500 retail locations have joined the STARZ Buying Club. Royal Buying Group, which manages the STARZ Buying Club, is responsible for developing vendor marketing programs, administering rebates and directing vendor promotions.

    According to James Rudolph, a Shell-branded operator with Rudolph Management, the STARZ buying club provides his business with value on a daily basis. “We have a chain of 19 convenience stores that are well-serviced by a STARZ Buying Club representative who is detail-oriented and always on the lookout for ways to maximize my savings. I've labeled him our 'Savings Cop,'” he said.

    The STARZ Buying Club is one of the components available through the 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. The site acts as a one-stop resource or virtual office headquarters, and the STARZ Buying Club is offered as a tool to help individuals enjoy savings and buying power typically available to large buying networks through specially designed merchandising programs and promotional offers.

    "STARZ Buying Club members are receiving programs and rebate opportunities that aren't available to other convenience store operators. The volatility of the convenience store industry combined with the stores' need to increase margins has resulted in a strong demand for our services," said Michael Zielinski, president and CEO of Royal Buying Group, Inc. "Our ability to communicate directly with Shell retailers and wholesalers makes it easy and efficient for our vendor partners to reach a valuable audience."

    The STARZ Buying Club will be offering valuable introductory programs for 2005 and retailers that join by the end of the year will receive guaranteed participation in all 2005 programs and contracts.

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