Change is in the air in North Carolina and South Carolina, where several stations that once supplied Phillips 66 fuel products are now sporting black brands. The reason for this is the petroleum supplier’s sudden removal from the two states, pulling out the last of its stations on August 3, according to the Charleston Post and
Spartanburg, S.C.-based Li’l Cricket, a long-time Phillips 66 retailer, had little warning about the brand being pulled from the state and was forced to change its fuel branding at the drop of the hat.
It was completely beyond our control,” Terry Lehman, chief operating officer for Li’l Cricket told the newspaper. “They cut it off.”
Li’l Cricket was one of Phillps 66 biggest customers with 51 stores selling the product. The chain intends to rebrand 12 outlets under the Marathon name.
Some stores were already branded under the Valero name and will stay with the San Antonio-based oil company. Other stores, including 14 in metro Charleston, eventually will sell gas under the Li’l Cricket name without a brand designation, according to the newspaper.
“Obviously, we’re not real happy with the change,” said Lehman, who added that the chain absorbs the cost of remodeling signs and making other changes to remove the Phillips 66 name.