SAN ANTONIO — VP Racing Fuels' move into retail branding is paying off for its partners, with many VP gas station owners reportedly selling more gallons and earning bigger margins, according to a company release.
"I had no idea there were so many customers looking for race fuel and VP performance products," said Mike Frank, owner of TMT Inc. "Sales are up at every store we branded VP, but what really amazed me was the extremely loyal following of the people looking for VP products. This has opened up an entirely new revenue stream that no other company in the industry has any idea about. What's exciting from a retailer's point-of-view is the combination of high ring and high margin. Plus, the products pretty much sell themselves."
TMT converted nine gas stations in Dallas to the VP brand earlier this year. In terms of sales, Frank said one store has actually doubled its volume, while the smallest sales increase seen is 10 percent at two locations where each had a new QuikTrip store open just down the street.
"Now, my biggest concern is staying on top of the stores' inventory so they don't run out of product," he added.
Doug Coziahr, retail sales manager for Sapp Brothers Inc., has seen similar results. "At a BP site that we purchased in Lincoln, Neb., I saw the opportunity to create more of a destination instead of a typical c-store by branding with VP Racing Fuels," he explained. "We developed large window clings, murals and other materials to market the brand throughout the store, then we brought in five-gallon pails of race fuel and VP-branded apparel."
Prior to partnering with VP, the store sold about 24,000 gallons of fuel a month. That figure doubled within the first few months after the conversion, Coziahr cited.
"The VP products created more profit centers and consequently a higher ROI [return on investment] for the store. Many new customers inquire about local races and pick up a VP shirt or hat and some snacks before they go to the track," he noted.
San Antonio-based VP Racing Fuels is best known as a leader in race fuel technology. As part of its retail branding program, gas stations and convenience stores across the United States provide distribution for VP's other product lines including ethanol-free VP Small Engine Fuels, VP Madditive performance chemicals, and VP/PowerMaster hobby fuels for R/C Racing.