MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- Eastern Tennessee convenience store chain KenJo Markets plans to draw more customers to its stores with fuel discounts at the pump, reported The Knoxville News Sentinel. The Maryville-based company recently partnered with Drop Tank to offer fuel discounts at KenJo's 35 c-stores.
The program enables small, local businesses to purchase and offer fuel rewards to their customers, who then redeem them at a KenJo store.
"Cents per gallon off is a highly perceived value," Wes Carruthers, president of KenJo Markets, told the newspaper. "From a rewards standpoint, the grocers figured this out a long time ago, that it is a very high, perceived value to customers.
Drop Tank provides the technology and fuel discount cards, or codes, used at KenJo stores. Customers can then swipe a Drop Tank card to get 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents or $1 off per gallon of gasoline at a KenJo store. Merchants The can order and customize the prepaid cards with a company logo through the Drop Tank website.
"What this does is allow a small, third-party business the ability to be able to offer the same type rewards to customers with no upfront technology investment," said Carruthers.
Carruthers said KenJo is the area redemption network for the cards and has an exclusivity agreement with Drop Tank in Knox, Blount, Loudon and Sevier counties.
He said Chicago-based Drop Tank is trying to build a nationwide network. Since they are not affiliated with one oil company, Drop Tank will be able to create a redemption network "across brands, across the United States," he added.
Downey Oil Co. began in 1977 with its first market in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The company has since expanded to 35 locations located throughout eastern Tennessee. KenJo Markets features Marathon, Shell, Exxon, Mobil and CITGO gasoline products; convenience store merchandise includes beer, cigarettes, dairy products, candy and soft drinks. Each location also carries deli food items such as sandwiches, hot dogs and the chain's specialty, The Super Grandaddy Sandwich. Many of the locations are co-branded with fast-food restaurants, including Hardee's, Buddy's Bar-b-q, Blimpie Subs & Salads and TCBY Treats.