Co-op members in Terrace will once again be able to collect points on convenience store purchases, gas and propane as the Husky station at 4760 Lakelse Ave. re-brands as a Co-op Gas Bar.
Now that Husky has converted to the Co-op look, members with $10 investment shares will be able to accumulate toward annual rebates on purchases. Husky rewards and gift cards will no longer be accepted.
The switch comes after Vanderhoof-based Four Rivers Co-op has bought 10 corporate-owned gas stations in northern B.C. along with the fuelling contracts for an additional six Husky dealer-owned franchises.
Three corporate Husky gas bars in Prince George, two in Williams Lake and single gas bars in 100 Mile House, Quesnel, Burns Lake and Kitimat are also re-branding as Co-op outlets starting this month.
The acquisition is part of a larger deal that saw Co-op parent company, Federation Co-operative, acquire 171 Husky outlets in Ontario and Western Canada from Cenovus Energy, which amalgamated with Husky in 2021.
Allan Bieganski, general manager at Four Rivers Co-op told The Terrace Standard in October 2022 that conversions from Husky to Co-op will happen throughout the early part of 2023, with plans to convert one site a week.
But that won’t necessarily translate to lower gas prices, as Bieganski didn’t express any plans to undercut the competition.
“We don’t have any strategy to be the lowest or the highest we just want to make sure that we’re competitive and offering fair value for the money,” said Bieganski.
“Terrace is the one community where there seems to be prices all over versus every other community, where they always seem to be at the same price.”
Co-op plans to keep all the current Husky employees.
Four Rivers’ return rates for purchases vary year-to-year depending on profitability, but last year’s allocation rate for petroleum fuels was 4.35 per cent compared to 5 per cent for oil and lubricants.
Convenience store items were at 3.15 per cent with fertilizer at 1.25 per cent return.
Four Rivers recovered from 2020 pandemic losses, up to $258.9 million in 2021, Bieganski noted in October, 2022, and returns for members should grow along with revenues that he expects to approach $320 million.
“With adding these profitable locations to our mix, it should keep our Co-op with strong healthy profits.
“We believe it’s a good long-term strategic move.”
There have been questions about the impacts on business of an increase in electric vehicles and charging stations, but Bieganski said that was accounted for in their feasibility model and demand forecasts.
“There’s still going to be good long-term demand for gas and diesel for the next 40 years. These stations will pay for themselves and the Co-op will get our return back on our investment,” he said.
“With opening up these new Co-op sites we know we’re going to sell a lot more memberships so we expect to grow significantly.”
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