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Arco today gone tomorrow

A great deal of uncertainly now exists over the Arco brand and the discount fueling market in general.

Following BP’s decision to sell its Carson CA Refinery, independent operators are left wondering who will supply them and which brand they will flying on the forecourt.

BP currently supplies over 400 Arco branded Stations in California and 250 Thrifty locations. The sale of the Refinery has ended any chance that Arco would extend their leases on the Thrifty sites, expect to see a brand change there over the next two years.

The outcome for the Arco stations depends on who buys the refinery and what are the chances of a market retreat. Under this scenario independent station operators would have to fend for themselves on the spot market which would destabilize the retail price.

Will we see the end of the low margin high volume traditional Arco model ?

Due to antitrust laws the most likely buyer of the refinery is a company that is not already in California that no one recognizes, a bitter pill indeed for ARCO dealers to swallow.