Alon Finally Set to Rebrand in El Paso

Permitting issues have delayed changeover to new image for 80 stations

EL PASO, Texas -- Alon Brands Inc.'s rebranding of its Fina gas stations to the new "Alon" brand in El Paso, Texas, should have been underway already, but the company has been stymied by the city of El Paso's sign permitting process, Kyle McKeen, Alon Brands CEO, told El Paso Inc.

The company has already rebranded its stores in Big Spring, Odessa, Midland and Lubbock, Texas (see Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage).

McKeen still hopes to hold the ribbon cutting there this month. "It has been our hardest market for permitting," he told the newspaper. "It is not something we foresaw, because we saw it as a simple change. When we get through that, though, we are good to go."

More than 80 gas stations and convenience stores in El Paso that now carry the Fina name will get a new brand and a new look, starting at the end of this month.

Dallas-based Alon Brands will invest about $4 million in its El Paso properties, McKeen said. He called El Paso "an excellent convenience market."

"If you look at El Paso compared to other markets, we have a lot of pedestrian traffic here," he said. "People still shop in their neighborhoods, which is great, and we work really hard to support that."

Renovations will include remodeling the bathrooms, replacing flooring and upgrading the ceilings, according to McKeen. Outside, the look of fuel dispensers and the canopies will be upgraded.

The company's largest concentration of stores is in El Paso, where Alon employs more than 500 people and pays $10 million in payroll each year, said McKeen. The company also plans to open new locations in Northwest El Paso and around Fort Bliss, according to McKeen.

Alon Brands--the retail and branded marketing subsidiary of Alon USA Energy Inc., includes retail arms Southwest Convenience Stores LLC and Skinny's LLC, as well as Alon Marketing and SCS Beverage Inc. Alon Brands is the largest 7-Eleven licensee in North America, marketing motor fuel products at more than 600 distributor-serviced locations in the Southwest. The company's products also are sold at more than 300 additional company-owned locations in Texas and New Mexico.

Alon USA Energy, Dallas, is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the United States. The company owns four crude oil refineries in Texas, California, Louisiana and Oregon, with an aggregate crude oil throughput capacity of approximately 250,000 barrels per day.