Independent gas bar goes Mobil
By Sue Tiffin
Published Aug. 17, 2017
Drivers will see some changes at the former Independent gas station in the next few months.
The Gas Bar, outside of Todd’s Independent on County Road 21, was one of 213 Loblaw-owned stations sold across Canada in a $540 million deal to Brookfield Business Partners and its partners that was finalized on July 17. The retail gas bars are located alongside Real Canadian Superstores, No Frills and Independent grocers.
Staff at the Haliburton pumps will stay the same under local owner Christine MacAusland, but the station will be renamed to Mobil @ Loblaws, with rebranding of signs, pumps and the attached convenience store taking place later in the year.
Joe Calderone, president and CEO of BG Fuels, a division of Brookfield Asset Management, said the new ownership is going well, with four sites in Canada – stations in Grimsby and Milton in Ontario, in Winnipeg, Manitoba and in Airdrie, Alberta – currently becoming the first Mobil gas stations in the country.
“It was very important to us that we make sure the customers wouldn’t be disturbed by the transition so we spent a lot of time and effort making sure that we don’t have any big hiccups as we go from Loblaw to BG Fuels,“ he said.
Rebranding will occur at other sites beginning in October.
Gasoline will be switched from Loblaw unbranded gasoline to Imperial Oil’s Synergy gasoline. Imperial Oil Limited is the Canadian subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp.
“Synergy gasolines are higher quality because they have better detergent additives for cleaning your engine and they even have the claims that they can produce a slight improvement in fuel economy,” said Calderone, who noted the gasoline is currently on offer at Esso Stations. “We plan on pricing competitively in the market and offering our customers the continued good value that they get today.”
Despite the selling of the stations by Loblaw, the grocery store’s loyalty program will continue to be on offer at the gas station, with PC Points cardholders receiving points with gas purchases, which can be used toward groceries.
Using Mobil payment technology, drivers will also be able to pay for their gas purchases through their phones from their car in the future, as early as the first half of next year, according to Calderone.
“You don’t have to fuss with a credit card at the pump, you can sit in your car and do your payments where it’s warm,” he said. “It’s not so much of an issue when it’s days like this, but when we get into the blowing winds of February, people can get cold out at the pumps, so we’re going to offer customers that service and we’re looking forward to it."
“In Brookfield we have a strategic partner with an experienced management team and a strong business track record,” said Sarah Davis, president, Loblaw Companies Limited, in a press release from April 2017. “They are committed to preserving and growing the elements of the business that matter most to our customers – high quality fuel service and convenience along with PC Plus loyalty benefits. This is a positive outcome for our customers, our gas station operators, and our company.”
MacAusland said the station would continue to “offer the best quality of service,” and that she hoped to add more part-time staff to her roster.