CHICAGO -- Amoco is reappearing in Chicago after a nearly 20-year hiatus as BP continues to reintroduce the iconic brand to select U.S. markets.
Six Amoco branded sites have opened in the Chicago area this year, while 10 more are slated to open in the next few months, the Chicago Tribune reported. The first Amoco sites are in the city of Chicago and the suburbs of Glenview and Aurora.
In October 2017, BP announced it would reintroduce and offer Amoco as a second brand for its marketers who wanted to continue to grow with the major oil but had site conflicts. This is about two decades after BP retired Amoco and chose to adopt BP as its national fuel brand. The 105-year-old fuel brand last appeared around 2000, after reaching more than 9,000 sites. As it was retiring Amoco, BP also pared back its network of dealers, including former Amoco-branded sites that had lower volumes.
As part of the reintroduction, BP has updated the Amoco logo and forecourt imaging and is offering a new Amoco “to go” retail image for marketers who do not already have their own store brand. Amoco sites offer all three grades of gasoline with BP’s Invigorate additive and BP loyalty programs.
There are currently 36 Amoco-branded sites open, including the six in Chicago and the rest primarily in New York, where the brand was first reintroduced in fall 2017. This number is likely to reach around 70 by the end of 2018. Rick Altizer, senior vice president of sales and marketing for BP, told the Tribune that the Chicago market alone could have 100 Amoco sites open within several years.
The United States has approximately 6,400 BP-branded sites. For BP, reintroducing Amoco made sense for its marketers and consumers.
“It makes more sense to the consumer to have an Amoco across the street from a BP than have a BP across the street from a BP,” Altizer said.
With Amoco, BP can supply more sites in urban areas such as Chicago and New York, the Tribune story said. Fellow oil major ExxonMobil also has a multibrand strategy for some markets, with Exxon and Mobil stations located nearby each other.
Most of the new Amoco sites will be rebranded from competitors’ brands. Current BP sites will not be able to rebrand to Amoco. “One of the guardrails we have is we’re not going to convert existing BPs over to Amoco,” Altizer said.
Amoco gas stations are also making a return to the Detroit market. A station in Royal Oak, Mich., became the first Amoco station in southeastern Michigan to open in about two decades after it was rebranded this summer, reported Crain’s Detroit Business.
"Detroit was a big market for (Amoco) in the '60s, '70s, '80s and even into the '90s," BP spokesperson Michael Abendhoff told Crain’s.
BP expects to open at least two more before the end of the year, with more to follow next year.
Diversifying the names in a cluster of gas stations is a move to increase reach. "As we started thinking about, 'How do you grow in a very saturated, mature market?'" Abendhoff said. "Do we create a new brand, or do we take a brand with some history?"
They chose the latter, and the result is a return of Amoco.
Abendhoff said rebranding generally costs $30,000 to $40,000 per station, but the investment varies widely depending on the size and type of redesign.
Photograph courtesy of BP