Report: Chevron Leads Fuel Brands in Pricing Power
ROCKVILLE, Md. — Crude oil prices rising last year benefited fuel brand leaders, big-box retailers and large private-brand retailers alike, according to an OPIS Special Report.
At the top of OPIS’ Brand Power Rankings is Chevron, which saw its pricing power increase last year (up 8.73 cents over the average), along with a small increase in market share.
Behind Chevron is the 76 brand, up 5.37 cents over other brands in its marketing footprint.
Shell, Mobil and Texaco round out the top five.
Top Market Share
Shell’s market share dipped nominally in 2017, but the brand still leads the nation by a large margin, claiming 12.9 percent of the market.
In second place is Exxon with less than half of Shell’s market share at 6.2 percent, followed by Circle K (6 percent), Chevron (5.9 percent), Speedway (5.5 percent) and BP (5.4 percent).
Regional Market Share
Keeping the top national brands on their toes are efficient regional brands, according to the OPIS Brand Power Rankings.
On the East Coast, Mobil, Gulf, Shell, Irving and CITGO comprise the top five brands. However, Wawa and Sheetz provide strong market-share competition in the Mid-Atlantic area.
In the Midwest, Casey’s General Stores holds the top market-share slot at 15 percent. Casey's is followed by Phillips 66 and QuikTrip, which both had 2017 market share above 9.5 percent.
In the Southwest, Shell holds the highest share at just over 14 percent. Two other brands contribute to comprise an impressive one-third of the region's share: Valero (13.16 percent) and Exxon (10 percent).
In the Rockies, Conoco and Maverik are jockeying for the top spot. The former claims 14.58 percent of the market share, while the latter has 14.57 percent — growing its share by 1.5 percent. Shell and Sinclair also claim 10.12 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively.
Lastly, on the West Coast, Chevron and Shell are the clear top brands. Chevron’s West Coast share was 30.95 percent in 2017. Shell’s was 20.53 percent. In third was the 76 brand at 14.85 percent.
Discounters Widen Gap
Big-box retailers have long had a strategy of pricing their gasoline aggressively, counting on low gas prices to attract customers who will then head in-store to shop and spend more money. In 2017, these retailers were more aggressive than ever.
According to OPIS, Costco’s discount-to-street averages widened to more than 21 cents. BJ’s and Sam’s Club were a bit more modest, increasing their discounts by 11 cents a gallon.
East Coast convenience store chain Wawa maintains the highest efficiency rating at 5.08, according to OPIS. Wawa's rating did take a knock, however, due in large part to its Florida expansion, which has seen the company price more aggressively.
QuikTrip moved up in the efficiency ratings at a score of 4.75. Sheetz, one of the largest sellers of E15 in the country, comes in third with a 4.19 rating. RaceTrac (3.86) and Maverik (2.79) complete the top five.
The data for this OPIS Special Report was gleaned from the OPIS Retail Year in Review and 2017 Profit Outlook.