At Pumptalk, we have engaged our readers on broad issues related to our business like gasoline pricing, conservation and safety. We have been determined and deliberate to avoid talking about new product offers, or marketing activities that many people in our company are working on every day. Having said that, over the last year we have seen quite a bit of change in our retail business, and we have been getting a growing number of questions about what’s happening. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to answer some of those questions directly for you.
What’s happening to Sunoco? If you are in or around Ontario, you have probably noticed that a number of Sunoco branded retail stations are being converted to Petro-Canada. We are in the process of converting those Sunoco retail sites that will continue to be owned by Suncor to the Petro-Canada brand.
This was an important decision for us as we are proud of the work that has been done by our employees over many many years to create, grow and promote the Sunoco brand. At the same time, it is also important to provide our retail and wholesale customers with a consistent experience across the country.
For the countless customers who have been loyal to Sunoco for many years, you will be pleased to know that many of the same products you have come to expect from us will still be available once those sites are converted to Petro-Canada. That is one of the greatest benefits of our merger: that we have been able to draw the very best from both organizations in creating the new Suncor.
For example, one of the most popular products in the Sunoco network has been Ultra 94 gasoline. At every one of our converted Petro-Canada retail stations that was previously a Sunoco branded station, Ultra 94 will continue to be available. In fact, we are expanding the availability of Ultra 94 into the legacy Petro-Canada network in Ontario as well, so that same product will be available to you at even more locations.
What about my Sunoco Performance Points? Loyalty programs such as Petro-Points or Sunoco Performance Points are an important part of our business, and have become an increasingly important part of the plastic that people carry in their wallets. We know that. We will honour all Sunoco Performance Points you have earned and can continue to collect and redeem throughout the conversion process.
For some communities, it is possible that the only Sunoco station in your area may have already converted to Petro-Canada. Recognizing this, you will be able to convert your Sunoco Performance Points to Petro-Points later this fall at a preferred rate of two-for-one. (ie. if you have accumulated 5,000 Sunoco Performance Points, when you convert them to Petro-Points, you will receive 10,000 Petro-Points which will then be redeemable at any participating Petro-Canada location.)
I know that a number of my colleagues are working to ensure that conversion process is available and takes place in a seamless manner. As we get closer to the fall, they will be sending more information directly to Performance Points members and making that same information available on the Sunoco.ca website, so keep checking back there for new information. (In fact, if you are a Performance Points member, you might want to visit that site to make sure all your contact information is up to date so that you will receive information about the conversion as quickly as possible).
Why are some Sunoco and Petro-Canada sites changing to other brands? In addition to the work we are doing to convert Sunoco stations to Petro-Canada, some stations from both parts of our retail network (Sunoco and Petro-Canada) are converting to other brands. When the merger of Suncor and Petro-Canada took place last August, part of the Consent Agreement reached with Canada’s Competition Bureau required the new Suncor to sell 104 retail stations in Ontario – a mix of both Petro-Canada and Sunoco. As part of that process Husky Energy, for example, purchased 98 of those 104 stations, so they too are in process of re-branding the sites they will be purchasing from us.
For now, that covers off some of the most common questions we’ve been getting. We do have FAQ pages set up both on the Petro-Canada and Sunoco retail websites, so you can keep an eye on those as well for further updates. You’ll find direct links to those pages here: Sunoco and Petro-Canada.