A Grand Ole Selloff

BP offers Nashville sites to jobbers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Add Nashville, Tenn., to the list of metropolitan markets in which BP has exited the retail business. After completely exiting the Salt Lake City market a couple years ago and currently exiting the Denver market, as announced in June, the Big Oil company is now selling off its 25 sites in Nashville.

The difference with this sell-off is that the BP flag will continue to fly in Nashville as BP plans to continue to supply branded gasoline to the sites, much as it now does in the Detroit market, BP spokesperson Scott Dean told CSP Daily [image-nocss] News.

We're always looking at our portfolio of retail assets, and we're always evaluating the different channels of trade that are available to us, Dean said. We made the decision that our customers [in Nashville] will best be served via the jobber channel.

The company is marketing the assets of its service stations/convenience stores first to its jobbers, who, in most cases, would own and operate the stores and buy Amoco-brand fuel from BP. If any stores are not purchased by the jobbers, they'll be made available to a wider audience.

BP started requesting bids earlier this year. None of the stations has been sold yet, but confidentiality agreements have been entered into on many of the sites, Dean said. Dean also corrected a Nashville local newspaper story that said 51 stores would be sold, noting that BP operates only 25 stores in the market. Of the 25 sites, BP owns the land for 20 of them and holds leases on the remaining five. Dean said the sale of those five will entail lease-take-over agreements.

Dean also noted that two-thirds of BP's 14,000 retail sites are operated by jobbers.