Pilot C-stores Form New Affiliation With Shell Gas

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pilot Corp. is adding Shell gasoline to the forecourt at 29 area convenience stores.

James A. Haslam II, Pilot chairman and founder, told the Knoxville New Sentinel the new offer will be available starting this month. In addition, the new affiliation will allow Pilot customers to take part in Shell's Fuel Rewards and grocery rewards programs.

This gives Pilot customers more loyalty points options, he said.

"We are excited about this because the Pilot stores will continue to be operated by the same good people in the same friendly manner, and Shell is well known for the high quality of its fuel and the pride they have in their products," Haslam said.

According to the newspaper, Pilot has been working for several years to make the arrangement with Shell. Pilot has 38 convenience stores in eastern Tennessee and will be offering Shell fuel in all but nine, which will continue to offer Pilot branded fuels.

All Pilot stores will continue to accept Pilot Fleet Cards and Pilot MyRewards cards for in-store retail promotions. However, while Kroger rewards cards are accepted at some Shell locations in middle Tennessee, only the Shell and Pilot rewards cards will be accepted at the Knoxville-area Pilot stores.

Under the arrangement, Pilot will maintain ownership and management of all its convenience stores, and all the stores will undergo an update, Haslam said.

Specifically, the c-stores will all get new Pilot branding and logos. The locations will sell different grades of Shell unleaded gas and the fuel islands will be branded with the Shell logo.

According to Haslam, the first store to begin selling Shell gasoline is at 1257 Parkway, Sevierville, Tenn., but all 29 stores will be selling the gasoline by the end of the year.

"We are also doing a lot of remodeling at these stores, making them look better and re-merchandising them on the inside to sell more food and grocery products," he said.

Based in Knoxville, Pilot Corp. is one arm of the Haslam family's business enterprises. It operates 38 convenience stores in eastern Tennessee.

Haslam's son, Jimmy Haslam, runs Pilot Flying J. Also based in Knoxville, it has more than 650 retail locations.

Shell Oil Co., which is an affiliate of the global energy and petrochemical company Royal Dutch Shell plc, operates in more than 70 countries. In the United States, it operates in all 50 and has a network of 6,100 branded gasoline stations in the Western U.S. and 8,300 branded stations in the Southeast.

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