Luke Oil Planning More N.W. Indiana Growth

Expects to add at least six locations in 2013

HOBART, Ind. -- Luke Oil is pursuing an "aggressive" growth strategy in 2013, the Hobart, Ind.-based company has announced. In addition to growth in its wholesale, transport and car wash divisions, Luke Oil anticipates adding at least six new retail convenience store sites in 2013, it said.

Through this expansion, Luke will be adding retail sites in Hobart, Crown Point, Highland, East Chicago, Lafayette and other communities in northwestern Indiana in the greater Chicago market, throughout 2013.

"This expansion allows us to introduce new people to the opportunities and experiences within our stores," said Tom Collins II, vice president of Luke Oil.

Usually located in high-traffic and urban locations, the typical Luke Oil location is a 4,000-square-foot freestanding c-store with eight multi-pump dispensers in the forecourt and a 120-foot tunnel car wash, on about an acre and a half of land, according to CSPedia.

Each new retail site employs between eight and10 employees, with pay starting above minimum wage, according to the company, which said that the expansion will create more than 40 employment opportunities in the northwestern Indiana job market. It is holding a job fair on Feb. 22.

"We are excited about our growth plans and the ability to continue to provide career opportunities to those in Northwest Indiana who have remained loyal to us throughout the years," Tom Collins II said.

Luke Oil is one of the northwestern Indiana region's fastest growing family-owned and operated convenience store chains. Founded in 1967 by Ralph Luke, it is a third-generation family-owned and operated business.

The company currently owns and operates approximately 25 locations, with approximately 120 operated by dealers and jobbers. It is a petroleum wholesaler selling throughout Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. It owns and operates a fleet of transport trucks, known as Luke Transport, in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.

Fuel brands include BP, CITGO, Clark, Marathon, Mobil, Phillips 66 and Shell, as well as its own GoLo brand.

During the last decade, the company has been diversifying, establishing sister companies in real estate and construction. Other enterprises include a chain of 10 car washes and a chain of 10 liquor stores.