Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunoco's new strategy: Serve beer, not diesel

Shut the refineries, and roll out the bottles

Sunoco's new strategy: Serve beer, not diesel

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Philadelphia ex-oil-refinining-giant Sunoco's decision to shut its Eagle Point, Marcus Hook and (probably) South Philly refineries will leave western New York State and Pennsylvania short of diesel fuel and may drive up fuel prices across the Northeast, writes my colleague Andrew Maykuth here, citing federal data.

But the brains at Sunoco are unswerving in their dedication to retailing. The chain's A-Plus stores in several states, including western New York, are adding fancy beers to their list of retail products, through the Craft Beer Exchange program introduced last summer. More here and here and here.

Andy tells me Sunoco has had a tough time rolling out the barrels, or bottles, in its native Pennsylvania, where beer distribution remains a state-licensed oligopoly.

So hail Gov. Tom Corbett's Harrisburg state government, which seems unable or unwilling to assist Pennsylvania workers, contractors and consumers by helping ensure continued production of basic commodities by century-old basic industries, but remains willing to protect Pennsylvanians and our big beer distributors from the specter of too much competition.

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About this blog

PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at http://www.philly.com/PhillyDeals and his Inquirer columns at http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/joseph-distefano/. Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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