Durango’s venerable gasoline provider Brennan Oil has changed fuel-supplier contracts going to Marathon Petroleum Corp. from Exxon Mobil Corp.
New Marathon signs are already on gas pumps, and Kevin Brennan, co-owner of the 102-year-old, family-owned Brennan Oil Co., said large Marathon canvas signs covering the old Exxon signs in front of the five Brennan stations in Durango will be replaced by permanent signs in about two months.
Brennan’s contract with Exxon was expiring, giving the local firm the ability to switch suppliers. A better loyalty rewards program offered by Marathon was the main reason for choosing the new fuel supplier, Brennan said.
Marathon’s loyalty reward can be downloaded online at makeitcount.com.
“It’s going to benefit the customers and us. It will help us sell more items out of our stores,” Brennan said.
The Marathon “MakeItCount” rewards program will allow food products sold in Brennan’s gas stations’ convenience stores, like chips and candy bars, to be integrated into the rewards mix – allowing consumers to build points not only by buying fuel but also buying selected products from the stores.
Initially, the Marathon loyalty program offers 10 cents off a gallon of gas for a customer’s first month and then 5 cents off after the first month. Brennan said building up points with food purchases in the stores along with gasoline purchases will further lower the price of a gallon of gasoline for loyalty card users.
“You can go into the store and buy something like Twix bars and get points,” he said. “That’s something I never could do with Exxon.”
Currently, gasoline is coming from the same petroleum refinery in Bloomfield, New Mexico, but that might change in the future, Brennan said.
The advertised gasoline price for major petroleum companies will always be several cents higher than the lowest gasoline station’s price in town, and he did not expect the move to Marathon to lower the advertised gas price at Brennan stations.
Marathon stations will still offer ethanol-free gasoline, Brennan said.
Marathon will be only the third company suppling gasoline to Brennan Oil Co. For 22 years, Exxon Mobil was the fuel supplier and before that Texaco, now ChevronTexaco, supplied Brennan.
Brennan Oil Co. was founded in 1918 by Michael Brennan, Kevin’s great-great-grandfather.
“We just recently found out exactly how old we really are,” Brennan said. “We knew my great-great-grandfather started the company around 1920, but we didn’t know for sure. We thought maybe it was in 1921. But about a year-and-half ago, we found an obituary that said he started the company in 1918.”