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STARZ Signs Up 100th Vendor

HOUSTON -- Lance Snacks Inc. has become the 100th vendor to participate in the Shell Oil Products' STARZ (Shell Trading And Retail Zone) Vendor Directory, a Web-based convenience retailing and site operations resource.

STARZ provides participating vendors with an economical and efficient platform to reach key decision-makers that represent over 15,500 locations in the Shell retail network. Vendors are finding the web-portal to be a useful tool for communicating programs and new products.

Sid Cheatham, vice president of sales development for Lance Snacks, believes STARZ offers advantages from which his company can benefit. He said, “I can get my brand and new product messages out to the entire Shell network of operators in one place. That is extremely cost effective for us.” Regarding sales growth, he added, “We are planning to grow our business significantly through expansion into new markets, all of which are reached by the STARZ program."

Prior to STARZ, it was difficult for vendors to reach and sell to Shell's vast, yet fragmented, network of independent owners and operators. STARZ helps facilitate communication between vendors and Shell's retailers and wholesalers.

According to Nancy Prior, the STARZ C-Store coordinator for Shell Oil Products in the United States, “STARZ gives vendors like Lance Snacks access to our network like they never had before. And it gives our retailers and wholesalers a place where they can identify the special Shell opportunities vendors have developed. It's a 'win-win' situation for everyone.”

The STARZ Vendor Directory is divided into 16 categories to make it easier for retailers and wholesalers to locate the vendors they need. Other vendors participating in STARZ include Proctor & Gamble, Kraft, NAPA and AT Systems.

Shell designed STARZ to help its operators address retail-specific issues and identify opportunities related to convenience retailing and site management. In addition to the vendor directory, the portal consists of separate sections for daily news, industry data and reports, best practices, training, Shell brand marketing and promotions, and merchandising.

The site also provides access to the STARZ Buying Club, which helps Shell retailers and wholesalers take full advantage of national vendor programs and opportunities otherwise not readily available to independent operators. Currently, more than 1,900 Shell stations participate in the club, with a goal of surpassing 3,000 by the end of 2005.

STARZ has been in operation for less than 17 months and has seen usage among retailers and wholesalers increase for five consecutive quarters.

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