155 ampm Sites Up for Grabs

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155 ampm Sites Up for Grabs

NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- As part of the company's continued plan to sell off its retail properties over a two-year period, BP West Coast Products LLC will sell 155 ampm-branded retail sites on the U.S. West Coast through NRC Realty Advisors, the real estate firm stated.

Of the 155 sites, 153 are available for franchise, while two are available as ARCO dealer sites with fuel agreements only, according to NRC. The properties are located in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.

"This decision was driven by customer research -- customers telling us the ampm offer is what they want," Fiona MacLeod, BP's president of convenience retail in the U.S. and Latin America, told Convenience Store News in an interview in December 2007. "We didn't just sit in our office and say, 'Hey, it'd be great to make the stores all ampm.'"

She added: "We also realized that running two separate c-store brands can sometimes be a distraction and there is significant value in knowing your customers and serving them through a single national brand."

The typical ampm store features an expanded fountain, coffee and food offer, significant cooler space and a roomy checkout counter area. On the menu: "baked, grilled and chilled edibles," such as 1/2-pound cheeseburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs and a range of bakery items, all merchandised at self-serve stations. The stores sell ampm-branded coffee (the same brew as Wild Bean Cafe-branded coffee) and 24 fountain drinks with a choice of cubed or "crunch" ice. For more details of BP's strategy to make its retail locations entirely ampm-branded, see the Jan. 14, 2008, issue of Convenience Store News.

The company's work to include minority franchisees in its network continues with this sale. "As much as possible, we want ampm stores to be owned and operated by people who live in the communities we serve," said MacLeod.

"The ampm franchise is very strong," MacLeod said. "The ampm franchise was the only convenience store owned by an integrated oil and gas company to make 'Entrepreneur''s 2008 Franchise 500, where its West of Rockies operations ranked 35th, and the 'Franchise Times'' Top 200, where its West of Rockies operations ranked 39th."

NRC will accept offers submitted by April 17, 2008, for the 155 sites. Interested parties are required to attend a complimentary seminar in Southern California, Northern California or Seattle, where representatives from BP and NRC will provide essential information related to ampm franchising, ARCO fuel supply and the NRC offering process.

Registration and a completed franchise application are required for attendance. For more information, contact NRC at (800) 747-3342, ext. 804, and the franchise application can be downloaded at www.nrc.com/bp.

In other BP news, the company's ARCO division will pay $187 million to finance the cleanup of the Clark Fork River, a Montana trout stream, as part of a settlement by the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Reuters reported.

The cleanup effort, along a 120-mile stretch of the Clark Fork and other areas of southwestern Montana, will restore the area that was contaminated by decades of mining and other activity upstream, the report stated.

"The environmental benefits will go directly to local landowners with improved soil, and extend to all Montanans through cleaner water and improved fisheries," Robbie Roberts, regional administrator for the EPA, told Reuters.

The state of Montana, a party to the settlement, will conduct the cleanup, according to the report.