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Shell Recommits—and Returns—to U.S. Retail

By Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

LAS VEGAS — More than a decade ago, major oil companies largely exited the retail business in the United States, as upstream profits dwarfed downstream retail opportunities. One of those global oil giants—Royal Dutch Shell, The Hague, Netherlands—has since amassed a massive network of 43,000 branded sites in 80 countries, including 14,000 in the United States. These U.S. locations are operated solely by Shell-branded marketers and dealers, but soon, they will be joined by Shell itself.

In an interview with CSP Fuels at the 2018 NACS Show in Las Vegas, Sydney Kimball, vice president of Shell Retail Americas, shared a few ways the company is committing to boost its retail presence …

“We’re focused on having the best customer value proposition of all of the brands or offers in the United States,” said Kimball, who added that Shell has been raising its brand standards and its emphasis on factors that feed into the store experience, including customer service, washroom cleanliness and forecourt appearance.

“Over the last two years, if sites aren’t doing what we’ve indicated they need to do, we’re pushing them out,” Kimball said. “We really haven’t lived our brand standards like this for many years, and we’re coming to a special point over these six months where we’ve given people time to upgrade their image and really show up well, and if they’re not doing that, we’re not going to let them represent the Shell brand anymore.”

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