While the major oil companies are withdrawing from retail operations, their brands remain. In fact, half of retail outlets sell fuel under the brand of one of the 15 largest refiner-suppliers. Virtually all of these branded locations are operated by independent entrepreneurs who have signed a supply contract with a particular refiner/distributor to sell a specific brand of fuel, but these retailers do not share in the profit/loss of their suppliers.
Of the 156,065 fueling stations in the country, approximately 31% have a major oil company brand, and another 19% carry the brand of another refining company. The remaining 50 percent sell “unbranded” fuel. These stations often are owned by companies that have established their own fuel brand (i.e., QuikTrip, Wawa, 7-Eleven) and purchase fuels either on the open market or via unbranded contracts with a refiner/distributor.