valero named convenience store decisions chain of the year

San Antonio-based marketer to be honored at an awards reception Oct. 9 in Las Vegas.

Continuing a tradition it began in1990, Convenience Store Decisionsis proud to announce Valero EnergyCorp., as its 2006 Convenience StoreChain of Year.

Valero, which will be honored at aawards reception Oct. 9 in Las Vegas during the National Association ofConvenience Stores (NACS) Trade Showand Exposition, was chosen for a numberof reasons, said Convenience StoreDecisions’ Editor-in-Chief John Lofstock.

For starters, the San Antonio-based oilcompany is a true American success story.A virtual unknown in the downstream petroleum business in 2000, Valero has growninto the largest refiner in the NorthAmerica.

Today, the oil company operates morethan 5,000 retail and branded wholesaleoutlets in the U.S., Canada and theCaribbean under brand names includingValero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock,Ultramar, and Beacon. It markets fuel 42U.S. states, Canada, Latin America and theCaribbean.

“Valero is a model of consistency withan outstanding retail offering and the refining capacity to deliver consumers a goodprice on fuel with no drop off in quality,”Lofstock said. “At a time when many oilcompanies are under fire for high fuelprices, Valero has managed to create someexcitement in the market with new stores,strong in-store programs and a popularcredit card network. With its commitmentto retail excellence, Valero was an easychoice for Chain of the Year.”

Valero also operates 18 refineries witha refining throughput capacity of 3.3 millionbarrels per day and boasts assets of morethan $33 billion. The company generatesmore than $80 billion in annual revenues.

“The purpose of the Chain of the YearAward is to showcase the best of the bestin convenience retailing, and Valero certainly meets that definition,” said ShahlaHebets, publisher of Convenience StoreDecisions.

Valero’s rise to the top began in earnestin 2000 when the company was the winning bidder for Exxon’s Benicia refinery inCalifornia, along with a network of convenience stores and supply contracts in theSan Francisco market. Exxon was forced tosell the assets as terms of its acquisitionof Mobil Oil Co.

But acquiring those assets wasn’t nearly enough; it was a springboard for a muchbigger marketing strategy. Under the watchful eye of now-retired Chief Executive BillGreehey, Valero pushed forward acquiringUltramar Diamond Shamrock in 2001 anda dozen more refineries over the next fiveyears, culminating with the acquisition ofPremcor Inc., in 2005. Along the way, thecompany developed the Valero retail brand,a proprietary credit card network, gift cardsand a commercial network of fleet services.

Throughout the years, Valero hasreceived its share of awards. It is rankedNo. 3 among the nation’s best employerson Fortune Magazine’s listing of the “100Best Companies to Work for”—up from itsNo. 23 ranking in 2005. It also ranked 3rdon Forbes’ 2005 Platinum 400 list ofAmerica’s Best Big Companies.

CSD’s Chain of the Year award annuallyhonors a convenience store or petroleumchain that has established itself as a superior retailer and innovator in its markets ofoperation. The first Chain of the Year awardwas given to Wawa Inc. in 1990. Valero follows 2005 winner 7-Eleven Inc.

Wawa Inc. was CSD’s inaugural Chain of the Year award winner in 1990. CSD has since annually recognized convenience store chains that have stood apart from their peers in terms of customer service, commitment to employees and overall operational excellence. Past winners include:

  • 1990 – Wawa Inc.
  • 1991 – SuperAmerica 1992 – QuikTrip Corp.
  • 1993 – Casey’s General Stores Inc. 1994 – Sheetz Inc.
  • 1995 – Diamond Shamrock Corp. 1996 – Mapco Express 1997 – Speedway Inc.
  • 1998 – Krause Gentle Corp.
  • 1999 – Dairy Mart Inc.
  • 2000 – Amerada Hess Corp.
  • 2001 – Huck’s Food & Fuel 2002 – Petro-Canada 2003 – Exxon Mobi Corp.
  • 2004 – Kwik Trip Inc.
  • 2005 – 7-Eleven Inc.
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