New Owners to Keep Uppy's fuelperks! Program

CHESTER, Va. -- In the wake of the acquisition of Uppy's Convenience Stores, customers won't see any big changes in the stores or services, a spokeswoman for Catterton Partners, the Connecticut-based private equity firm that bought a majority stake in the chain, told the Times-Dispatch.

The chain's fuelperks! discount fuel program, which the retailer administers with Martin's Food Markets, is expected to remain in place, according to Martin's Tracy Pawelski. The popular gasoline program was launched two years ago as a partnership with Ukrop's Super Markets.
The sale of Uppy's included its subsidiary Southside Oil, which supplies gasoline to about 110 BP and ExxonMobil gas stations. Southside operations also are expected to continue unchanged, a Catteron spokesperson told the newspaper.

The private equity firm bought Uppy's 44 stores in Virginia and 170 ExxonMobil-branded sites through its Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores operation.

Steven Uphoff, Uppy's founder, president and CEO, did not return the newspaper's phone calls. He will be chief executive of Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores and will retain a substantial financial interest in the new venture, according to the report.

Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores will operate more than 200 convenience store locations in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. It will be the largest ExxonMobil fuel marketer in the United States, Catterton told the Times-Dispatch.

Keeping the operations the same will help Uppy's maintain its place in the market, said David Urban, a professor of marketing and executive associate dean at Virginia Commonwealth University's business school. Uppy's has already built up goodwill with its customers, he said.

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