Whitetail Crossing cuts ties with Phillips 66

By Tim Wohlers

Whitetail Crossing has decided to stop purchasing fuel from Houston-based supplier Phillips 66, after years of paying a surcharge to sell the company’s name-brand gasoline. 
Like others in the industry, the station has opted to start selling unbranded fuel instead. 
“We’re not the first,” said Curtis Lavender, an engineer working in the Ho-Chunk Department of Business.  “Anyone that lives in a smaller town will notice that their local gas station – if it’s not already – is probably going to become unbranded.” 
Lavender said that it no longer makes sense to pay extra for what is essentially the same product, especially at a time when consumers are more concerned about the price of gas than the source. 
He said the switch would result in savings for both the business and its patrons. 
“You’re playing a penny game,” Lavender said.  “And by paying that extra money to Phillips 66, that’s money that we can’t pass on to our customers.” 
Since cutting ties with the multinational company, Whitetail has been trying to establish its own brand.  All five of its store locations have received new LED road signs that make the business’s name and logo appear brighter, and are more noticeable to passing drivers. 
The planner said they also serve as a great advertising tool. 
“They’re designed to catch the attention of people that are passing by,” Lavender said, “and to give them messages about specials at the convenience store as well as promotions taking place.” 
In addition to the signage, each of the stores has received entirely new gas pumps with advertising capabilities.  No longer bearing the name of Whitetail’s former supplier, they have taken on a more modern look that the company hopes customers might notice and appreciate. 
According to Lavender, the replacements were long overdue. 
“The gas pumps were in a state of disrepair,” Lavender said.  “We found ourselves going in and repairing things that we were going to have to replace soon anyway.” 
The business has been looking at ways to increase in-store sales as well.  Representatives noted that the convenience stores have been missing out on profits from markets they never took part in – such as alcoholic beverages. 
Therefore, they have been exploring ways to tap the market. 
“There’s a plan for beer caves at a couple of locations,” Lavender said.  “The idea would be to begin to offer popular beer at the Whitetail Crossing.” 
The move would make the convenience store more competitive with other area businesses like Kwik Trip.  Nekoosa has already began testing the theory, selling various brands of domestic beer by the case. 
Employees reported that sales have fared considerably well since all the changes took place.