More Retailers U-Hauling

Gas stations, convenience stores in five states add moving services, products

U-Hail (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

DOTHAN, Ala. -- Selma St. Market in Dothan, Ala., is among several convenience store and gas station business that have expanded their services by offering U-Haul rental equipment.

"People are always moving in and out," Selma St. Market manager Sammy Lazazwa said. "Now they don't have to drive far to get a truck."

He added, "U-Haul has brought in a lot of new customers to our gas station. We see lots of new faces every day. They come in to rent a truck and they leave with our stuff as well."

Fremont, Calif.-based Simply Gasoline recently added U-Haul products and services to its gas station business.

Arun Kumar, owner of Simply Gasoline, said, "I heard from others that it was a great opportunity to increase business, and people are very happy with the services we are providing to them."

Palm Harbor Exxon in Palm Harbor, Fla., recently added U-Haul products and services to the gas station services it has been offering customers since 1995.

Ephrem Yachouh, owner of Palm Harbor Exxon, said his location in the city is the main reason he chose U-Haul as a business partner. "It's a great location right off the highway," he said. "I have loyal customers who like the great services I provide. We are located right off of US I-19, so that helps out as well."

Northfield Marathon, in Northfield, Ohio, also recently added U-Haul products and services to its gas station services.

And the owners of Quick Mart 2, in Morgantown, N.C., welcomed U-Haul to their gas station, which has been in business for eight years.

Ravi Patel was looking for a way to increase his profit margin, so he reached out to U-Haul for some help.

"I was looking for a profitable business that would increase my profits," said Patel. "A lot of customers ask about reservations now, so this business is starting to help out both ways."

All of these locations now offer its customers a variety of moving equipment and supplies including trucks and trailers, after-hours drop-off, rental items, towing equipment and boxes and packing supplies.

Phoenix-based U-Haul was founded by a Navy veteran who grew up during the Depression. Since 1945, U-Haul has served the do-it-yourself mover with a network of more than 16,300 locations in all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. It maintains a rental fleet with approximately 104,000 trucks, 80,000 trailers and 36,000 towing devices. It offers more than 406,000 rooms and 36 million square feet of storage space at nearly 1,100 owned and managed facilities throughout North America. U-Haul is a leading installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry. The company also supplies alternative-fuel for vehicles and backyard barbecues as one of the nation's largest retailers of propane.