Page 1

www.pioneer.ca

Coast to Coast Cyclists blogs about Pioneer Hospitality When cyclist Elizabeth McIlroy and her sister set out one Sunday last May on a training ride for a coast to coast cycling event, they never imagined how grateful they would be to see a Pioneer station through the rain. They were well into their ride from Etobicoke to Niagara when the weather turned rainy, windy and cold. Finding nowhere to stop for another 40 to 50 kilometers, they persevered. “Finally, we saw the signage for the Pioneer Petroleums in Pelham (Hwy. 24) and headed right in,” said Elizabeth who was training for the Sears National Cyclist Elizabeth McIlroy (on right) and Kids Cancer Ride at the time. Two others sister Patty with Bruce Jeffrey at Site 237. cyclists were drying off and warming up inside. “Introductions were made, a photo was taken and we were all treated to the hospitality of Pioneer’s Bruce Jeffrey,” says Elizabeth who included a thank you to Pioneer and photos of Bruce on her blog (2008.snkcr.com/elizabeth/). Elizabeth successfully completed the 19-day, 7600 km Kids Cancer ride in June.

Enviro-friendly Car Wash Soaps Do you know that Pioneer’s car wash soaps are environmentally friendly? “Our soaps are biodegradable and don’t contain phosphates,” says Mike Dietrich, Manager of Car Wash Operations & Facilities Maintenance. Pioneer’s soap provider, Mondo Products, was the first manufacturer of vehicle washing products to carry the EcoLogo certification. EcoLogo products are certified by an independent company to be the most environmentally friendly products on the market. EcoLogo is a program of Environment Canada and is the oldest “green” certification organization in North America.

Spin to Win! Pioneer now has an exciting new promotional tool that can be used at grand openings and site redevelopments to attract new customers and encourages repeat businesses. In fact Pioneer’s new Spin to Win game has been designed in two versions so that it can be used at large public events as well as at Pioneer sites. The game is an adaptation of the traditional crown and anchor wheel where the player “spins” the wheel to win prizes. The physical version of the game is ideal for attracting attention and building brand awareness at large gatherings. It’s currently a popular attraction at Hamilton TigerCats pregame shows and later this year it will appear at Hamilton Bulldog games and at Ontario University Athletics Association events across Ontario. The digital version of the game is compact and easily transported -- perfect for use on-site at Pioneer stations. Prior to a site event featuring Spin to Win, a mail drop is sent to area households to build awareness for the new or redeveloped site and to spark interest in the contest. Both Site 169 in London and Site 167 in Scarborough featured Spin to Win to celebrate their grand reopening. During the promotion, area people are encouraged to visit and “spin” for prizes using the entry code on the mailer. The game, set-up on a laptop “spins” a digital version of the wheel and prints a prize voucher. With lots of prizes from snack items to gift cards, many customers are winners on the spot!

Sample of Spin to Win promo mailer

Retailer Express

Retailer

Fall 2008

ExPress

S P E C I A L F E AT U R E T O T H E N AT I O N A L P O S T

B E ST M A N AG E D

A JOINT VENTURE WITH CANADA’S 50 BEST MANAGED COMPANIES PROGRAM

Titan in a land of industy giants In an industry dominated by corporate giants, independent gas retailer Pioneer Petroleums exemplifies the remarkable achievements attainable by a smaller enterprise that is managed with excellence. Founded in 1956 by Pioneer’s chairman Murray Hogarth with a single gas station, the company now has 150 Pioneer-branded stations. It is one of the largest independent gas retailers in Canada and the largest in Ontario. As if pumping approximately 1.4 billion litres of fuel to customers each year was not impressive enough, Pioneer also operates more than 100 SnackExpress convenience stores with fast-food offerings in partnership with such major names as Tim Hortons, Country Style, Mr. Sub and Williams Coffee Pubs. The Burlington, Ont.-based company — a Best Managed winner since 2000 and a Platinum Club member since 2006 — is also an inspirational role model for the newer kids on the business block, illustrating how a tenacious entrepreneurial spirit can lead a company through tumultuous industry, market and economic changes decade after decade. At 52 years of age — which, in company years, could be considered downright senior — Pioneer continues to have the vitality, ambition, agility and innovation of a young entrepreneurial enterprise backed by a solid, experienced operating approach, thorough market knowledge and loyal and committed people at all levels of the organization. “We have been aggressive at reinvesting a significant percentage of our earnings annually back into the business, to ensure that our sites are competitive from a facility and offering perspective,” says Tim Hogarth, the company’s president and CEO, and son of the founder. “We’re proactive in driving the business forward in what we see is right for the business and right for our customers and the community.” Innovative Pioneer is constantly striving to improve and find creative and better ways to add value to its customers’ experience. Pioneer was the first to open a fully automatic car wash in Canada and among the first to introduce automated pump nozzles, as well as pump island canopies. The company was also the first retailer in Canada to offer private-label automatic banking machines on its premises. Guided by its pursuit of the customer’s happiness, Pioneer regularly conducts qualitative and quantitative research on its customers’ needs and wants and adjusts its business model to seize the opportunities identified by the research trends. That’s why this go-getter

independent has a long history of repeatedly being the first in launching innovative offerings, leading the way in an industry that is dominated by the major oil companies. In the 1990s, Pioneer’s research noted the rushed, increased demands of modern life faced by its customers. So in 1997, it invested heavily in expanding its sites and launched the SnackExpress stores. “Our customers have rewarded us and returned their patronage by being loyal. As a result, Pioneer enjoys some of the highest average site throughputs of any petroleum retail chain in the country,” Mr. Hogarth says. Pioneer has been rewarding its customers since the 1960s with S&M green stamps, followed by Pioneer money and now Pioneer Bonus Bucks, one of the longest-running loyalty programs in the industry. However, that, too, has evolved to reflect the times, and last year the program went paperless, switching successfully to the Electronic Bonus Bucks card. But far from resting on its laurels, Pioneer continues to introduce new services, launching an auto roadside assistance program this fall and looking at adding financial services — including travel and medical insurance — to its list of offerings. Pioneer is also in the midst of planning a revolution to the gas/convenience experience, looking to make changes that will address everything from the challenges of a highly competitive market to the increasingly time-pressured customers’ needs. Pioneer is thinking big and continuing to be a leading petroleum retail innovator in Canada. The company’s dedication to growth through a low-cost, value added customer experience has been pivotal in Pioneer’s ability to successfully compete in an industry where independents have historically operated on extremely narrow profit margins. “The reality is that we purchase our product from the major oil company refiners but, at the same time, we compete with them across the street in the same marketplace, and we do all of that for a thin 5% gross margin,” Mr. Hogarth says. Meticulous efficiency has been key to keeping costs down for the company and consumers. “We have been aggressive in how we streamline the tail end of our network. We’re not so much interested in the number of locations as in ensuring that we have highly efficient and competitive locations,” he says. Through the acquisition of other smaller independent retailers over the years, Pioneer is not just one of the best-man-

www.pioneer.ca

The Retailer ExPress Fall 2008 edition A publication for Pioneer Retailers and Head Office employees. Editor: Geoff Hogarth geoff@pioneer.ca Assistant Editors: Kim Hoang kimh@pioneer.ca Wendy Eveleigh wendy.eveleigh@ pioneer.ca Tel: (905) 639-2060 Fax (905) 639-2490

Additionally, Pioneer acquired Imperial-owned and controlled locations in markets such as Winnipeg, which it continues to operate as Esso stations. “In many ways, we’re a petroleum management com-

We adapt our skills and spread them to other opportunities pany that has evolved into a convenience retail company,” says Jack Theriault, Pioneer’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing. “We have our own brand but we adapt those same skills that have made us successful

with our brand and spread them to other opportunities like Sunoco and Esso. We’ve successfully been able to take on the management of 135 Sunoco sites over a twomonth period in late 1993, and over the past three years we’ve done the same with 100 Esso dealer-contracted locations, successfully managing them with very few resources.” And so it is no surprise that this well-rounded company, which donates 1% of its earnings each year to charities, has been recognized year after year as one of Canada’s Best Managed companies. “Participating in the program has allowed Pioneer to really focus on and articulate our best practices and focus more on where it is we want to take this business and how we want to grow,” Mr. Hogarth says. “There’s a sense of pride and positive energy that is in-

stilled in everything we do as a result of being associated with the Best Managed program.” “Pioneer Petroleum’s continued success in a difficult market is a testament to its commitment to innovation and emphasizing the importance of satisfying its customers,” says Gordon Fisher, publisher of National Post. “Pioneer is also a fine example of the type of company that is recognized by the Best Managed program: One that continues to evolve and improve while maintaining its core principles.” To find out how the Best Managed program can help your private company, visit www.canadas50best.com. And to get up close and personal with Best Managed companies, stay tuned to this page for upcoming profiles of past winners, their best practices and lessons learned.

A special featured article in the National Post on August 5, 2008.

The true spirit of a Pioneer.

Increase in Bonus Bucks Reward Schedule Testing Underway With the dramatic increase in street prices Pioneer is looking at new ways to offer customers greater value through our loyalty program. A trial of the proposed changes has been running at Windsor area sites throughout the summer. The promotion saw three significant changes to the Bonus Bucks reward schedule: 1. CUSTOMERS EARN MORE! 1 cent per litre on any purchase of Silver grade gas or diesel 2 cents per litre on any purchase of Gold grade gas 3 cents per litre on any purchase of Platinum grade gas 2. EVERY LITRE COUNTS! Rewards are given on every litre rather than according to 10L thresholds per the existing rewards schedule. For example the linear reward schedule would reward $0.18 in Bonus Bucks on an 18 litre purchase of Silver grade instead of $0.10.

Tim Hogarth, left, Pioneer Petroleum’s CEO, and Pioneer founder and chairman Murray Hogarth, say the company’s focus on innovation has provided new business opportunities.

aged companies in the country, it is also one of the most well-rounded ones — knowing how to take advantage not just of new technologies and market opportunities but also excelling in forming alliances and partnerships. “A bold move we committed to in 1993 was altering our ownership structure through a joint venture partnership with Suncor Energy Products Inc.,” Mr. Hogarth says. “There was a lot of consolidation in the refining industry at the time and the joint venture with Suncor gave us access to a secure and quality source of supply, and also enabled us to manage a good percentage of Sunoco’s retail network.” Pioneer also entered into a strategic arrangement with Imperial Oil in 2004, becoming its retail branded distributor for Esso in northeastern Ontario and all of Manitoba.

Every Litre Counts!

3. NO MINIMUM PURCHASE REQUIRED! Since the thresholds have been eliminated, a customer can earn rewards on as little as 1 litre of gas purchased.

© 2008 Pioneer Petroleums. All rights reserved.

Initial results are still under review as we have just added three more pilot sites in London and one in Niagara Falls and a final decision for roll out will be made later this Fall. Feed back from our Windsor pilot shows favourable customer acceptance and satisfaction with the program.

Fall 2008

LED Canopy Lighting – Energy Conservation that Looks Great LED is the newest wave in lighting technology and Pioneer is making the move. All new canopy installations will be done with LED lighting. The energy savings with LED are remarkable and with today’s environmental concerns, we’re all paying more attention to energy use. LED uses 65 – 70% less energy for canopy lighting than current fixtures. Add to that the extended life of an LED fixture – 13 years versus the current 3 to 4 years, and LED lighting represents a drastic reduction in maintenance. Yet, there are still more reasons for choosing LED for new installations. “LED lighting makes it easier to meet increasingly tough municipal lighting guidelines and dark sky regulations,” says Bob Reid, Director of Development and Construction. LED’s sophisticated directional capabilities helps to reduce “spillover” light, a growing concern that the dark sky movement is working to address. “LED is a different style of lighting. It gives a softer more pleasing brightness to the station. The focus becomes the pump itself rather than the entire station,” continues Bob. The safety and security for customers and employees is still there, yet the overall look is far more appealing and the product is more environmentally friendly. LSI Industries, the leader in petroleumrelated lighting, is designing and supplying the canopy lighting for Pioneer’s sites under construction in Winnipeg, Whitby and Ottawa.


www.pioneer.ca

Coast to Coast Cyclists blogs about Pioneer Hospitality When cyclist Elizabeth McIlroy and her sister set out one Sunday last May on a training ride for a coast to coast cycling event, they never imagined how grateful they would be to see a Pioneer station through the rain. They were well into their ride from Etobicoke to Niagara when the weather turned rainy, windy and cold. Finding nowhere to stop for another 40 to 50 kilometers, they persevered. “Finally, we saw the signage for the Pioneer Petroleums in Pelham (Hwy. 24) and headed right in,” said Elizabeth who was training for the Sears National Cyclist Elizabeth McIlroy (on right) and Kids Cancer Ride at the time. Two others sister Patty with Bruce Jeffrey at Site 237. cyclists were drying off and warming up inside. “Introductions were made, a photo was taken and we were all treated to the hospitality of Pioneer’s Bruce Jeffrey,” says Elizabeth who included a thank you to Pioneer and photos of Bruce on her blog (2008.snkcr.com/elizabeth/). Elizabeth successfully completed the 19-day, 7600 km Kids Cancer ride in June.

Enviro-friendly Car Wash Soaps Do you know that Pioneer’s car wash soaps are environmentally friendly? “Our soaps are biodegradable and don’t contain phosphates,” says Mike Dietrich, Manager of Car Wash Operations & Facilities Maintenance. Pioneer’s soap provider, Mondo Products, was the first manufacturer of vehicle washing products to carry the EcoLogo certification. EcoLogo products are certified by an independent company to be the most environmentally friendly products on the market. EcoLogo is a program of Environment Canada and is the oldest “green” certification organization in North America.

Spin to Win! Pioneer now has an exciting new promotional tool that can be used at grand openings and site redevelopments to attract new customers and encourages repeat businesses. In fact Pioneer’s new Spin to Win game has been designed in two versions so that it can be used at large public events as well as at Pioneer sites. The game is an adaptation of the traditional crown and anchor wheel where the player “spins” the wheel to win prizes. The physical version of the game is ideal for attracting attention and building brand awareness at large gatherings. It’s currently a popular attraction at Hamilton TigerCats pregame shows and later this year it will appear at Hamilton Bulldog games and at Ontario University Athletics Association events across Ontario. The digital version of the game is compact and easily transported -- perfect for use on-site at Pioneer stations. Prior to a site event featuring Spin to Win, a mail drop is sent to area households to build awareness for the new or redeveloped site and to spark interest in the contest. Both Site 169 in London and Site 167 in Scarborough featured Spin to Win to celebrate their grand reopening. During the promotion, area people are encouraged to visit and “spin” for prizes using the entry code on the mailer. The game, set-up on a laptop “spins” a digital version of the wheel and prints a prize voucher. With lots of prizes from snack items to gift cards, many customers are winners on the spot!

Sample of Spin to Win promo mailer

Retailer Express

Retailer

Fall 2008

ExPress

S P E C I A L F E AT U R E T O T H E N AT I O N A L P O S T

B E ST M A N AG E D

A JOINT VENTURE WITH CANADA’S 50 BEST MANAGED COMPANIES PROGRAM

Titan in a land of industy giants In an industry dominated by corporate giants, independent gas retailer Pioneer Petroleums exemplifies the remarkable achievements attainable by a smaller enterprise that is managed with excellence. Founded in 1956 by Pioneer’s chairman Murray Hogarth with a single gas station, the company now has 150 Pioneer-branded stations. It is one of the largest independent gas retailers in Canada and the largest in Ontario. As if pumping approximately 1.4 billion litres of fuel to customers each year was not impressive enough, Pioneer also operates more than 100 SnackExpress convenience stores with fast-food offerings in partnership with such major names as Tim Hortons, Country Style, Mr. Sub and Williams Coffee Pubs. The Burlington, Ont.-based company — a Best Managed winner since 2000 and a Platinum Club member since 2006 — is also an inspirational role model for the newer kids on the business block, illustrating how a tenacious entrepreneurial spirit can lead a company through tumultuous industry, market and economic changes decade after decade. At 52 years of age — which, in company years, could be considered downright senior — Pioneer continues to have the vitality, ambition, agility and innovation of a young entrepreneurial enterprise backed by a solid, experienced operating approach, thorough market knowledge and loyal and committed people at all levels of the organization. “We have been aggressive at reinvesting a significant percentage of our earnings annually back into the business, to ensure that our sites are competitive from a facility and offering perspective,” says Tim Hogarth, the company’s president and CEO, and son of the founder. “We’re proactive in driving the business forward in what we see is right for the business and right for our customers and the community.” Innovative Pioneer is constantly striving to improve and find creative and better ways to add value to its customers’ experience. Pioneer was the first to open a fully automatic car wash in Canada and among the first to introduce automated pump nozzles, as well as pump island canopies. The company was also the first retailer in Canada to offer private-label automatic banking machines on its premises. Guided by its pursuit of the customer’s happiness, Pioneer regularly conducts qualitative and quantitative research on its customers’ needs and wants and adjusts its business model to seize the opportunities identified by the research trends. That’s why this go-getter

independent has a long history of repeatedly being the first in launching innovative offerings, leading the way in an industry that is dominated by the major oil companies. In the 1990s, Pioneer’s research noted the rushed, increased demands of modern life faced by its customers. So in 1997, it invested heavily in expanding its sites and launched the SnackExpress stores. “Our customers have rewarded us and returned their patronage by being loyal. As a result, Pioneer enjoys some of the highest average site throughputs of any petroleum retail chain in the country,” Mr. Hogarth says. Pioneer has been rewarding its customers since the 1960s with S&M green stamps, followed by Pioneer money and now Pioneer Bonus Bucks, one of the longest-running loyalty programs in the industry. However, that, too, has evolved to reflect the times, and last year the program went paperless, switching successfully to the Electronic Bonus Bucks card. But far from resting on its laurels, Pioneer continues to introduce new services, launching an auto roadside assistance program this fall and looking at adding financial services — including travel and medical insurance — to its list of offerings. Pioneer is also in the midst of planning a revolution to the gas/convenience experience, looking to make changes that will address everything from the challenges of a highly competitive market to the increasingly time-pressured customers’ needs. Pioneer is thinking big and continuing to be a leading petroleum retail innovator in Canada. The company’s dedication to growth through a low-cost, value added customer experience has been pivotal in Pioneer’s ability to successfully compete in an industry where independents have historically operated on extremely narrow profit margins. “The reality is that we purchase our product from the major oil company refiners but, at the same time, we compete with them across the street in the same marketplace, and we do all of that for a thin 5% gross margin,” Mr. Hogarth says. Meticulous efficiency has been key to keeping costs down for the company and consumers. “We have been aggressive in how we streamline the tail end of our network. We’re not so much interested in the number of locations as in ensuring that we have highly efficient and competitive locations,” he says. Through the acquisition of other smaller independent retailers over the years, Pioneer is not just one of the best-man-

www.pioneer.ca

The Retailer ExPress Fall 2008 edition A publication for Pioneer Retailers and Head Office employees. Editor: Geoff Hogarth geoff@pioneer.ca Assistant Editors: Kim Hoang kimh@pioneer.ca Wendy Eveleigh wendy.eveleigh@ pioneer.ca Tel: (905) 639-2060 Fax (905) 639-2490

Additionally, Pioneer acquired Imperial-owned and controlled locations in markets such as Winnipeg, which it continues to operate as Esso stations. “In many ways, we’re a petroleum management com-

We adapt our skills and spread them to other opportunities pany that has evolved into a convenience retail company,” says Jack Theriault, Pioneer’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing. “We have our own brand but we adapt those same skills that have made us successful

with our brand and spread them to other opportunities like Sunoco and Esso. We’ve successfully been able to take on the management of 135 Sunoco sites over a twomonth period in late 1993, and over the past three years we’ve done the same with 100 Esso dealer-contracted locations, successfully managing them with very few resources.” And so it is no surprise that this well-rounded company, which donates 1% of its earnings each year to charities, has been recognized year after year as one of Canada’s Best Managed companies. “Participating in the program has allowed Pioneer to really focus on and articulate our best practices and focus more on where it is we want to take this business and how we want to grow,” Mr. Hogarth says. “There’s a sense of pride and positive energy that is in-

stilled in everything we do as a result of being associated with the Best Managed program.” “Pioneer Petroleum’s continued success in a difficult market is a testament to its commitment to innovation and emphasizing the importance of satisfying its customers,” says Gordon Fisher, publisher of National Post. “Pioneer is also a fine example of the type of company that is recognized by the Best Managed program: One that continues to evolve and improve while maintaining its core principles.” To find out how the Best Managed program can help your private company, visit www.canadas50best.com. And to get up close and personal with Best Managed companies, stay tuned to this page for upcoming profiles of past winners, their best practices and lessons learned.

A special featured article in the National Post on August 5, 2008.

The true spirit of a Pioneer.

Increase in Bonus Bucks Reward Schedule Testing Underway With the dramatic increase in street prices Pioneer is looking at new ways to offer customers greater value through our loyalty program. A trial of the proposed changes has been running at Windsor area sites throughout the summer. The promotion saw three significant changes to the Bonus Bucks reward schedule: 1. CUSTOMERS EARN MORE! 1 cent per litre on any purchase of Silver grade gas or diesel 2 cents per litre on any purchase of Gold grade gas 3 cents per litre on any purchase of Platinum grade gas 2. EVERY LITRE COUNTS! Rewards are given on every litre rather than according to 10L thresholds per the existing rewards schedule. For example the linear reward schedule would reward $0.18 in Bonus Bucks on an 18 litre purchase of Silver grade instead of $0.10.

Tim Hogarth, left, Pioneer Petroleum’s CEO, and Pioneer founder and chairman Murray Hogarth, say the company’s focus on innovation has provided new business opportunities.

aged companies in the country, it is also one of the most well-rounded ones — knowing how to take advantage not just of new technologies and market opportunities but also excelling in forming alliances and partnerships. “A bold move we committed to in 1993 was altering our ownership structure through a joint venture partnership with Suncor Energy Products Inc.,” Mr. Hogarth says. “There was a lot of consolidation in the refining industry at the time and the joint venture with Suncor gave us access to a secure and quality source of supply, and also enabled us to manage a good percentage of Sunoco’s retail network.” Pioneer also entered into a strategic arrangement with Imperial Oil in 2004, becoming its retail branded distributor for Esso in northeastern Ontario and all of Manitoba.

Every Litre Counts!

3. NO MINIMUM PURCHASE REQUIRED! Since the thresholds have been eliminated, a customer can earn rewards on as little as 1 litre of gas purchased.

© 2008 Pioneer Petroleums. All rights reserved.

Initial results are still under review as we have just added three more pilot sites in London and one in Niagara Falls and a final decision for roll out will be made later this Fall. Feed back from our Windsor pilot shows favourable customer acceptance and satisfaction with the program.

Fall 2008

LED Canopy Lighting – Energy Conservation that Looks Great LED is the newest wave in lighting technology and Pioneer is making the move. All new canopy installations will be done with LED lighting. The energy savings with LED are remarkable and with today’s environmental concerns, we’re all paying more attention to energy use. LED uses 65 – 70% less energy for canopy lighting than current fixtures. Add to that the extended life of an LED fixture – 13 years versus the current 3 to 4 years, and LED lighting represents a drastic reduction in maintenance. Yet, there are still more reasons for choosing LED for new installations. “LED lighting makes it easier to meet increasingly tough municipal lighting guidelines and dark sky regulations,” says Bob Reid, Director of Development and Construction. LED’s sophisticated directional capabilities helps to reduce “spillover” light, a growing concern that the dark sky movement is working to address. “LED is a different style of lighting. It gives a softer more pleasing brightness to the station. The focus becomes the pump itself rather than the entire station,” continues Bob. The safety and security for customers and employees is still there, yet the overall look is far more appealing and the product is more environmentally friendly. LSI Industries, the leader in petroleumrelated lighting, is designing and supplying the canopy lighting for Pioneer’s sites under construction in Winnipeg, Whitby and Ottawa.


Retailer Express

Fall 2008

Pioneer Gets Kids Out During Family Fishing Weekend

Identifying and Deterring Drive-offs at Sites 234 & 21 After a rash of drive-offs in late summer 2007, Site 234, 16th Street East in Owen Sound has not had any true drive-offs so far this year. Site operator Rod Holmes used surveillance photos posted on his front door to capture a culprit and deter others from driving off. Frustrated by a drive-off by a vehicle without a plate, Rod asked police if he could post photos of the man and his vehicle to see if his customers could identify him. Police advised that posting photos was okay but not to make any reference as to why the person was being sought. Rod’s colour photos, with the caption “Do you know this man?” lead to the identification of the man who was charged and later convicted of theft. Although it took several months to catch the man, that lengthy delay may have worked to the site’s advantage. During that period, Rod continued to display the photos, even adding a man who had stolen a bundle of hockey cards for all to see. “Even once we knew their names, we left the signs up,” says Rod. “In all they were up for several months and we haven’t had a true drive-off since.” Fred Brown at Site 21, Wayne Gretzky Drive in Brantford also used this technique after being hit by a drive-off, also without plates. In this case Fred sent the photos to local Pioneer sites via email and a customer on the other side of town identified the man. The information was passed on to police and the man confessed. “These are great tools,” says Fred of the technology. “I can share the information with other agents in the network right away.” At the Brantford site the busy afternoon shift is the highest risk period for drive-offs. “People looking for the opportunity will always look our way before jumping in their vehicle to see if we’re watching,” says Fred. The quickest way to diffuse a drive-off is to make eye contact with each and every customer,” he maintains. “It’s not a perfect system, but you are making them aware that you are watching.” Usually that is all it takes to prevent the occurrence. Fred reviews surveillance tapes of every drive-off with staff to see the exact moment it might have been prevented. “Every drive-off is a training tool,” says Fred.

www.pioneer.ca

Pembina and Edderton in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Pioneer Acquires Nine Winnipeg Sites Pioneer Petroleums, recently acquired nine Esso-owned properties in Winnipeg and plans are underway to boost the image and presence of these sites in the marketplace. Pioneer is the Retail Branded Distributor (RBD) for approximately 70 dealer owned Esso stations in Manitoba. Pioneer will upgrade the existing convenience offering by introducing the Esso On the Run program at six of these locations. Tim Hortons will be added at five of the sites, three in drive thru formats and two as selfserve walk-ups. “With these changes we’ll be able to substantially raise the profile of the Esso brand in the Winnipeg market,” says Jack Theriault, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Congratulations to Site 38 on Rymal Road in Hamilton for selling an “Ontario Instant Millions” winning ticket.

Twenty year-old John Yacou became a millionaire on August 18th. He plans to share his windfall with his family here in Canada as well as send some money to relatives in Iraq. Pioneer’s Julia Dickenson was interviewed for local television coverage. It should be noted that $1000 dollars is also awarded to the retailer who issued the winning ticket.

For the fourth year Pioneer Petroleums along with Bob Izumi’s Real Fishing Show and Laidlaw Transport have sponsored a fishing day for kids on Lake L’Amable, South of Bancroft. Herb Schulte (on right), is shown above with some of the children The event is for and event organizer Dean Nadon. young boys and girls who otherwise wouldn’t get to participate during Ontario’s Family Fishing Weekend when a fishing license is not required. This year 45 children fished for rock bass but a total of 60 children, aged 4 – 12, participated in the full-day event, which includes a fish dinner and grab bags for the kids. “Pioneer makes sure every kid goes home with something,” says long-term associate Herb Schulte who has been with Pioneer for 41 years.

New Micro-Fibre Uniform Shirts Pioneer Welcomes New Director of Merchandising After a lengthy search, Pioneer was pleased to welcome Anthony Di Maulo in May as the new Director of Merchandising. Anthony comes to Pioneer with a wealth of experience, most recently as Procurement Director Private Label – National Merchandising at Sobeys Inc. “Anthony comes across as high energy, ambitious, focused and accomplished merchandising executive, who will no doubt be a strong new asset to the team” says Tim Hogarth, President and CEO of Pioneer Petroleums. “It became necessary to have an individual who could focus entirely on directing and managing the merchandising activities full time. And also Anthony will be in charge of our new XRO (Expanded Retail Offer)/Snack Express store design,” adds Dave MacFarlane who is relinquishing his marketing and merchandising responsibilities to return to the VP Real Estate and Development role in order to capitalize on current opportunities for growing Pioneer. “Anthony brings new energy and a different perspective that puts him in a good position to challenge some of our conventions,” says Dave. Anthony’s experience also includes a decade with Canadian Tire Corporation in their Retail and Petroleum divisions. Welcome aboard Anthony!

OFAH Membership Gets Boost from Pioneer Fish and wildlife weren’t the only winners in the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters membership drive that kicked off last winter and continued into the spring. Every new OFAH member registering during the Pioneer-sponsored membership drive received a $25 Pioneer Gift Card encouraging new or repeat patronage for Pioneer stations across the province. New members were also entered into a draw to win the Grand Prize – $1000 in Pioneer gift cards or one of five $100 Pioneer gift cards. Grand Prize winner Russel Jubenville (right) picking up his prize from Mike Spolarich, District Manager for SW Ontario, at Site 232 in Tecumseh, Ontario.

“This promotion was one of our most successful direct mail campaigns in years,” says the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters’ Robert Pye. “It was a great success for Pioneer and a great success for the OFAH.” The OFAH, one of Canada’s leading environmental organizations, helps save and improve precious woodland and wetland habitat, conserve fish and wildlife species, and promote outdoor education.

You asked for a lighter-weight uniform shirt and we went one better. Pioneer’s new uniform shirt is made of micro-fibre. Not only is micro-fibre light-weight but it whisks moisture away from the body keeping you more comfortable while you work. “Approximately 500 shirts are already in use in the field,” says Dan Edwards, Pioneer Warehouse Manager. “These shirts were brought in sooner than we would normally implement a change, so stations are being given a longer period to change over,” says Dan. Sites will have until May 2009 to implement the new shirt program. Pioneer recently put out-dated inventory to good use by donating $20,000 in surplus, logoless spring jackets to the St. Simon’s Shelter in downtown Toronto. “Upon intake many of the people we see don’t have socks or underwear never mind a seasonal jacket,” explains Bob Duff, the shelter’s Executive Director. “ Having an adequate jacket to go to an interview with can make the difference between being turned away or landing a job. This gift helps people in ways that you can’t imagine,” insists Duff. “They’re beautiful jackets and extremely beneficial.”

Thanks to All for Tobacco Dark Wall Efforts Pioneer’s implementation of the government mandated Tobacco Dark Wall went off seamlessly on May 31st thanks to everyone in the field. “Without the District Managers and Retailers, it simply wouldn’t have been possible to meet the requirements by May 31st,” says Mike Dietrich, Manager of Carwash Operations and Facilities Maintenance. “I definitely want to put a huge thank you out to them and to Dan Edwards in the warehouse for all their work.” Since the legislation mandates that only one flap be opened at a time for brief periods, this area offers a great opportunity as marketing space. “It’s a more attractive and usable surface for Bonus Bucks messaging and vendor features,” says Anthony Di Maulo, Director of Merchandising. POP display solutions for the back wall systems are being developed and should launch at sites later this fall. Although it is too soon to know the full impact of the new dark wall legislation at Pioneer sites, early results suggest that tobacco sales have not been significantly impacted by the change.

Printing Goes GREEN at Head Office Pioneer Petroleums is now using the greenest technology available for head office printing. Selected for its nearly waste-free printing process and toxin-free ink stick, the Xerox Phaser 8860 is our best choice for environmentally friendly printing. This new printer generates 90% less waste than a typical colour laser product. How does it achieve this? First, it transfers nearly 100% of the ink to the paper unlike conventional printers which leave residual material behind in a waste container after every printing. Secondly, it uses safe, toxinfree solid ink sticks rather than cartridges. The ink stick cannibalizes itself so there is nothing left to throw away when it is finished – no bulky cartridges remain.

The bottom line?

For every 100,000 printed pages, a solid ink printer generates approximately 5 lbs. of landfill waste compared to approximately 157 lbs. for a typical colour laser.


Retailer Express

Fall 2008

Pioneer Gets Kids Out During Family Fishing Weekend

Identifying and Deterring Drive-offs at Sites 234 & 21 After a rash of drive-offs in late summer 2007, Site 234, 16th Street East in Owen Sound has not had any true drive-offs so far this year. Site operator Rod Holmes used surveillance photos posted on his front door to capture a culprit and deter others from driving off. Frustrated by a drive-off by a vehicle without a plate, Rod asked police if he could post photos of the man and his vehicle to see if his customers could identify him. Police advised that posting photos was okay but not to make any reference as to why the person was being sought. Rod’s colour photos, with the caption “Do you know this man?” lead to the identification of the man who was charged and later convicted of theft. Although it took several months to catch the man, that lengthy delay may have worked to the site’s advantage. During that period, Rod continued to display the photos, even adding a man who had stolen a bundle of hockey cards for all to see. “Even once we knew their names, we left the signs up,” says Rod. “In all they were up for several months and we haven’t had a true drive-off since.” Fred Brown at Site 21, Wayne Gretzky Drive in Brantford also used this technique after being hit by a drive-off, also without plates. In this case Fred sent the photos to local Pioneer sites via email and a customer on the other side of town identified the man. The information was passed on to police and the man confessed. “These are great tools,” says Fred of the technology. “I can share the information with other agents in the network right away.” At the Brantford site the busy afternoon shift is the highest risk period for drive-offs. “People looking for the opportunity will always look our way before jumping in their vehicle to see if we’re watching,” says Fred. The quickest way to diffuse a drive-off is to make eye contact with each and every customer,” he maintains. “It’s not a perfect system, but you are making them aware that you are watching.” Usually that is all it takes to prevent the occurrence. Fred reviews surveillance tapes of every drive-off with staff to see the exact moment it might have been prevented. “Every drive-off is a training tool,” says Fred.

www.pioneer.ca

Pembina and Edderton in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Pioneer Acquires Nine Winnipeg Sites Pioneer Petroleums, recently acquired nine Esso-owned properties in Winnipeg and plans are underway to boost the image and presence of these sites in the marketplace. Pioneer is the Retail Branded Distributor (RBD) for approximately 70 dealer owned Esso stations in Manitoba. Pioneer will upgrade the existing convenience offering by introducing the Esso On the Run program at six of these locations. Tim Hortons will be added at five of the sites, three in drive thru formats and two as selfserve walk-ups. “With these changes we’ll be able to substantially raise the profile of the Esso brand in the Winnipeg market,” says Jack Theriault, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Congratulations to Site 38 on Rymal Road in Hamilton for selling an “Ontario Instant Millions” winning ticket.

Twenty year-old John Yacou became a millionaire on August 18th. He plans to share his windfall with his family here in Canada as well as send some money to relatives in Iraq. Pioneer’s Julia Dickenson was interviewed for local television coverage. It should be noted that $1000 dollars is also awarded to the retailer who issued the winning ticket.

For the fourth year Pioneer Petroleums along with Bob Izumi’s Real Fishing Show and Laidlaw Transport have sponsored a fishing day for kids on Lake L’Amable, South of Bancroft. Herb Schulte (on right), is shown above with some of the children The event is for and event organizer Dean Nadon. young boys and girls who otherwise wouldn’t get to participate during Ontario’s Family Fishing Weekend when a fishing license is not required. This year 45 children fished for rock bass but a total of 60 children, aged 4 – 12, participated in the full-day event, which includes a fish dinner and grab bags for the kids. “Pioneer makes sure every kid goes home with something,” says long-term associate Herb Schulte who has been with Pioneer for 41 years.

New Micro-Fibre Uniform Shirts Pioneer Welcomes New Director of Merchandising After a lengthy search, Pioneer was pleased to welcome Anthony Di Maulo in May as the new Director of Merchandising. Anthony comes to Pioneer with a wealth of experience, most recently as Procurement Director Private Label – National Merchandising at Sobeys Inc. “Anthony comes across as high energy, ambitious, focused and accomplished merchandising executive, who will no doubt be a strong new asset to the team” says Tim Hogarth, President and CEO of Pioneer Petroleums. “It became necessary to have an individual who could focus entirely on directing and managing the merchandising activities full time. And also Anthony will be in charge of our new XRO (Expanded Retail Offer)/Snack Express store design,” adds Dave MacFarlane who is relinquishing his marketing and merchandising responsibilities to return to the VP Real Estate and Development role in order to capitalize on current opportunities for growing Pioneer. “Anthony brings new energy and a different perspective that puts him in a good position to challenge some of our conventions,” says Dave. Anthony’s experience also includes a decade with Canadian Tire Corporation in their Retail and Petroleum divisions. Welcome aboard Anthony!

OFAH Membership Gets Boost from Pioneer Fish and wildlife weren’t the only winners in the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters membership drive that kicked off last winter and continued into the spring. Every new OFAH member registering during the Pioneer-sponsored membership drive received a $25 Pioneer Gift Card encouraging new or repeat patronage for Pioneer stations across the province. New members were also entered into a draw to win the Grand Prize – $1000 in Pioneer gift cards or one of five $100 Pioneer gift cards. Grand Prize winner Russel Jubenville (right) picking up his prize from Mike Spolarich, District Manager for SW Ontario, at Site 232 in Tecumseh, Ontario.

“This promotion was one of our most successful direct mail campaigns in years,” says the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters’ Robert Pye. “It was a great success for Pioneer and a great success for the OFAH.” The OFAH, one of Canada’s leading environmental organizations, helps save and improve precious woodland and wetland habitat, conserve fish and wildlife species, and promote outdoor education.

You asked for a lighter-weight uniform shirt and we went one better. Pioneer’s new uniform shirt is made of micro-fibre. Not only is micro-fibre light-weight but it whisks moisture away from the body keeping you more comfortable while you work. “Approximately 500 shirts are already in use in the field,” says Dan Edwards, Pioneer Warehouse Manager. “These shirts were brought in sooner than we would normally implement a change, so stations are being given a longer period to change over,” says Dan. Sites will have until May 2009 to implement the new shirt program. Pioneer recently put out-dated inventory to good use by donating $20,000 in surplus, logoless spring jackets to the St. Simon’s Shelter in downtown Toronto. “Upon intake many of the people we see don’t have socks or underwear never mind a seasonal jacket,” explains Bob Duff, the shelter’s Executive Director. “ Having an adequate jacket to go to an interview with can make the difference between being turned away or landing a job. This gift helps people in ways that you can’t imagine,” insists Duff. “They’re beautiful jackets and extremely beneficial.”

Thanks to All for Tobacco Dark Wall Efforts Pioneer’s implementation of the government mandated Tobacco Dark Wall went off seamlessly on May 31st thanks to everyone in the field. “Without the District Managers and Retailers, it simply wouldn’t have been possible to meet the requirements by May 31st,” says Mike Dietrich, Manager of Carwash Operations and Facilities Maintenance. “I definitely want to put a huge thank you out to them and to Dan Edwards in the warehouse for all their work.” Since the legislation mandates that only one flap be opened at a time for brief periods, this area offers a great opportunity as marketing space. “It’s a more attractive and usable surface for Bonus Bucks messaging and vendor features,” says Anthony Di Maulo, Director of Merchandising. POP display solutions for the back wall systems are being developed and should launch at sites later this fall. Although it is too soon to know the full impact of the new dark wall legislation at Pioneer sites, early results suggest that tobacco sales have not been significantly impacted by the change.

Printing Goes GREEN at Head Office Pioneer Petroleums is now using the greenest technology available for head office printing. Selected for its nearly waste-free printing process and toxin-free ink stick, the Xerox Phaser 8860 is our best choice for environmentally friendly printing. This new printer generates 90% less waste than a typical colour laser product. How does it achieve this? First, it transfers nearly 100% of the ink to the paper unlike conventional printers which leave residual material behind in a waste container after every printing. Secondly, it uses safe, toxinfree solid ink sticks rather than cartridges. The ink stick cannibalizes itself so there is nothing left to throw away when it is finished – no bulky cartridges remain.

The bottom line?

For every 100,000 printed pages, a solid ink printer generates approximately 5 lbs. of landfill waste compared to approximately 157 lbs. for a typical colour laser.


Retailer Express

Fall 2008

Pioneer Gets Kids Out During Family Fishing Weekend

Identifying and Deterring Drive-offs at Sites 234 & 21 After a rash of drive-offs in late summer 2007, Site 234, 16th Street East in Owen Sound has not had any true drive-offs so far this year. Site operator Rod Holmes used surveillance photos posted on his front door to capture a culprit and deter others from driving off. Frustrated by a drive-off by a vehicle without a plate, Rod asked police if he could post photos of the man and his vehicle to see if his customers could identify him. Police advised that posting photos was okay but not to make any reference as to why the person was being sought. Rod’s colour photos, with the caption “Do you know this man?” lead to the identification of the man who was charged and later convicted of theft. Although it took several months to catch the man, that lengthy delay may have worked to the site’s advantage. During that period, Rod continued to display the photos, even adding a man who had stolen a bundle of hockey cards for all to see. “Even once we knew their names, we left the signs up,” says Rod. “In all they were up for several months and we haven’t had a true drive-off since.” Fred Brown at Site 21, Wayne Gretzky Drive in Brantford also used this technique after being hit by a drive-off, also without plates. In this case Fred sent the photos to local Pioneer sites via email and a customer on the other side of town identified the man. The information was passed on to police and the man confessed. “These are great tools,” says Fred of the technology. “I can share the information with other agents in the network right away.” At the Brantford site the busy afternoon shift is the highest risk period for drive-offs. “People looking for the opportunity will always look our way before jumping in their vehicle to see if we’re watching,” says Fred. The quickest way to diffuse a drive-off is to make eye contact with each and every customer,” he maintains. “It’s not a perfect system, but you are making them aware that you are watching.” Usually that is all it takes to prevent the occurrence. Fred reviews surveillance tapes of every drive-off with staff to see the exact moment it might have been prevented. “Every drive-off is a training tool,” says Fred.

www.pioneer.ca

Pembina and Edderton in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Pioneer Acquires Nine Winnipeg Sites Pioneer Petroleums, recently acquired nine Esso-owned properties in Winnipeg and plans are underway to boost the image and presence of these sites in the marketplace. Pioneer is the Retail Branded Distributor (RBD) for approximately 70 dealer owned Esso stations in Manitoba. Pioneer will upgrade the existing convenience offering by introducing the Esso On the Run program at six of these locations. Tim Hortons will be added at five of the sites, three in drive thru formats and two as selfserve walk-ups. “With these changes we’ll be able to substantially raise the profile of the Esso brand in the Winnipeg market,” says Jack Theriault, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Congratulations to Site 38 on Rymal Road in Hamilton for selling an “Ontario Instant Millions” winning ticket.

Twenty year-old John Yacou became a millionaire on August 18th. He plans to share his windfall with his family here in Canada as well as send some money to relatives in Iraq. Pioneer’s Julia Dickenson was interviewed for local television coverage. It should be noted that $1000 dollars is also awarded to the retailer who issued the winning ticket.

For the fourth year Pioneer Petroleums along with Bob Izumi’s Real Fishing Show and Laidlaw Transport have sponsored a fishing day for kids on Lake L’Amable, South of Bancroft. Herb Schulte (on right), is shown above with some of the children The event is for and event organizer Dean Nadon. young boys and girls who otherwise wouldn’t get to participate during Ontario’s Family Fishing Weekend when a fishing license is not required. This year 45 children fished for rock bass but a total of 60 children, aged 4 – 12, participated in the full-day event, which includes a fish dinner and grab bags for the kids. “Pioneer makes sure every kid goes home with something,” says long-term associate Herb Schulte who has been with Pioneer for 41 years.

New Micro-Fibre Uniform Shirts Pioneer Welcomes New Director of Merchandising After a lengthy search, Pioneer was pleased to welcome Anthony Di Maulo in May as the new Director of Merchandising. Anthony comes to Pioneer with a wealth of experience, most recently as Procurement Director Private Label – National Merchandising at Sobeys Inc. “Anthony comes across as high energy, ambitious, focused and accomplished merchandising executive, who will no doubt be a strong new asset to the team” says Tim Hogarth, President and CEO of Pioneer Petroleums. “It became necessary to have an individual who could focus entirely on directing and managing the merchandising activities full time. And also Anthony will be in charge of our new XRO (Expanded Retail Offer)/Snack Express store design,” adds Dave MacFarlane who is relinquishing his marketing and merchandising responsibilities to return to the VP Real Estate and Development role in order to capitalize on current opportunities for growing Pioneer. “Anthony brings new energy and a different perspective that puts him in a good position to challenge some of our conventions,” says Dave. Anthony’s experience also includes a decade with Canadian Tire Corporation in their Retail and Petroleum divisions. Welcome aboard Anthony!

OFAH Membership Gets Boost from Pioneer Fish and wildlife weren’t the only winners in the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters membership drive that kicked off last winter and continued into the spring. Every new OFAH member registering during the Pioneer-sponsored membership drive received a $25 Pioneer Gift Card encouraging new or repeat patronage for Pioneer stations across the province. New members were also entered into a draw to win the Grand Prize – $1000 in Pioneer gift cards or one of five $100 Pioneer gift cards. Grand Prize winner Russel Jubenville (right) picking up his prize from Mike Spolarich, District Manager for SW Ontario, at Site 232 in Tecumseh, Ontario.

“This promotion was one of our most successful direct mail campaigns in years,” says the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters’ Robert Pye. “It was a great success for Pioneer and a great success for the OFAH.” The OFAH, one of Canada’s leading environmental organizations, helps save and improve precious woodland and wetland habitat, conserve fish and wildlife species, and promote outdoor education.

You asked for a lighter-weight uniform shirt and we went one better. Pioneer’s new uniform shirt is made of micro-fibre. Not only is micro-fibre light-weight but it whisks moisture away from the body keeping you more comfortable while you work. “Approximately 500 shirts are already in use in the field,” says Dan Edwards, Pioneer Warehouse Manager. “These shirts were brought in sooner than we would normally implement a change, so stations are being given a longer period to change over,” says Dan. Sites will have until May 2009 to implement the new shirt program. Pioneer recently put out-dated inventory to good use by donating $20,000 in surplus, logoless spring jackets to the St. Simon’s Shelter in downtown Toronto. “Upon intake many of the people we see don’t have socks or underwear never mind a seasonal jacket,” explains Bob Duff, the shelter’s Executive Director. “ Having an adequate jacket to go to an interview with can make the difference between being turned away or landing a job. This gift helps people in ways that you can’t imagine,” insists Duff. “They’re beautiful jackets and extremely beneficial.”

Thanks to All for Tobacco Dark Wall Efforts Pioneer’s implementation of the government mandated Tobacco Dark Wall went off seamlessly on May 31st thanks to everyone in the field. “Without the District Managers and Retailers, it simply wouldn’t have been possible to meet the requirements by May 31st,” says Mike Dietrich, Manager of Carwash Operations and Facilities Maintenance. “I definitely want to put a huge thank you out to them and to Dan Edwards in the warehouse for all their work.” Since the legislation mandates that only one flap be opened at a time for brief periods, this area offers a great opportunity as marketing space. “It’s a more attractive and usable surface for Bonus Bucks messaging and vendor features,” says Anthony Di Maulo, Director of Merchandising. POP display solutions for the back wall systems are being developed and should launch at sites later this fall. Although it is too soon to know the full impact of the new dark wall legislation at Pioneer sites, early results suggest that tobacco sales have not been significantly impacted by the change.

Printing Goes GREEN at Head Office Pioneer Petroleums is now using the greenest technology available for head office printing. Selected for its nearly waste-free printing process and toxin-free ink stick, the Xerox Phaser 8860 is our best choice for environmentally friendly printing. This new printer generates 90% less waste than a typical colour laser product. How does it achieve this? First, it transfers nearly 100% of the ink to the paper unlike conventional printers which leave residual material behind in a waste container after every printing. Secondly, it uses safe, toxinfree solid ink sticks rather than cartridges. The ink stick cannibalizes itself so there is nothing left to throw away when it is finished – no bulky cartridges remain.

The bottom line?

For every 100,000 printed pages, a solid ink printer generates approximately 5 lbs. of landfill waste compared to approximately 157 lbs. for a typical colour laser.


www.pioneer.ca

Coast to Coast Cyclists blogs about Pioneer Hospitality When cyclist Elizabeth McIlroy and her sister set out one Sunday last May on a training ride for a coast to coast cycling event, they never imagined how grateful they would be to see a Pioneer station through the rain. They were well into their ride from Etobicoke to Niagara when the weather turned rainy, windy and cold. Finding nowhere to stop for another 40 to 50 kilometers, they persevered. “Finally, we saw the signage for the Pioneer Petroleums in Pelham (Hwy. 24) and headed right in,” said Elizabeth who was training for the Sears National Cyclist Elizabeth McIlroy (on right) and Kids Cancer Ride at the time. Two others sister Patty with Bruce Jeffrey at Site 237. cyclists were drying off and warming up inside. “Introductions were made, a photo was taken and we were all treated to the hospitality of Pioneer’s Bruce Jeffrey,” says Elizabeth who included a thank you to Pioneer and photos of Bruce on her blog (2008.snkcr.com/elizabeth/). Elizabeth successfully completed the 19-day, 7600 km Kids Cancer ride in June.

Enviro-friendly Car Wash Soaps Do you know that Pioneer’s car wash soaps are environmentally friendly? “Our soaps are biodegradable and don’t contain phosphates,” says Mike Dietrich, Manager of Car Wash Operations & Facilities Maintenance. Pioneer’s soap provider, Mondo Products, was the first manufacturer of vehicle washing products to carry the EcoLogo certification. EcoLogo products are certified by an independent company to be the most environmentally friendly products on the market. EcoLogo is a program of Environment Canada and is the oldest “green” certification organization in North America.

Spin to Win! Pioneer now has an exciting new promotional tool that can be used at grand openings and site redevelopments to attract new customers and encourages repeat businesses. In fact Pioneer’s new Spin to Win game has been designed in two versions so that it can be used at large public events as well as at Pioneer sites. The game is an adaptation of the traditional crown and anchor wheel where the player “spins” the wheel to win prizes. The physical version of the game is ideal for attracting attention and building brand awareness at large gatherings. It’s currently a popular attraction at Hamilton TigerCats pregame shows and later this year it will appear at Hamilton Bulldog games and at Ontario University Athletics Association events across Ontario. The digital version of the game is compact and easily transported -- perfect for use on-site at Pioneer stations. Prior to a site event featuring Spin to Win, a mail drop is sent to area households to build awareness for the new or redeveloped site and to spark interest in the contest. Both Site 169 in London and Site 167 in Scarborough featured Spin to Win to celebrate their grand reopening. During the promotion, area people are encouraged to visit and “spin” for prizes using the entry code on the mailer. The game, set-up on a laptop “spins” a digital version of the wheel and prints a prize voucher. With lots of prizes from snack items to gift cards, many customers are winners on the spot!

Sample of Spin to Win promo mailer

Retailer Express

Retailer

Fall 2008

ExPress

S P E C I A L F E AT U R E T O T H E N AT I O N A L P O S T

B E ST M A N AG E D

A JOINT VENTURE WITH CANADA’S 50 BEST MANAGED COMPANIES PROGRAM

Titan in a land of industy giants In an industry dominated by corporate giants, independent gas retailer Pioneer Petroleums exemplifies the remarkable achievements attainable by a smaller enterprise that is managed with excellence. Founded in 1956 by Pioneer’s chairman Murray Hogarth with a single gas station, the company now has 150 Pioneer-branded stations. It is one of the largest independent gas retailers in Canada and the largest in Ontario. As if pumping approximately 1.4 billion litres of fuel to customers each year was not impressive enough, Pioneer also operates more than 100 SnackExpress convenience stores with fast-food offerings in partnership with such major names as Tim Hortons, Country Style, Mr. Sub and Williams Coffee Pubs. The Burlington, Ont.-based company — a Best Managed winner since 2000 and a Platinum Club member since 2006 — is also an inspirational role model for the newer kids on the business block, illustrating how a tenacious entrepreneurial spirit can lead a company through tumultuous industry, market and economic changes decade after decade. At 52 years of age — which, in company years, could be considered downright senior — Pioneer continues to have the vitality, ambition, agility and innovation of a young entrepreneurial enterprise backed by a solid, experienced operating approach, thorough market knowledge and loyal and committed people at all levels of the organization. “We have been aggressive at reinvesting a significant percentage of our earnings annually back into the business, to ensure that our sites are competitive from a facility and offering perspective,” says Tim Hogarth, the company’s president and CEO, and son of the founder. “We’re proactive in driving the business forward in what we see is right for the business and right for our customers and the community.” Innovative Pioneer is constantly striving to improve and find creative and better ways to add value to its customers’ experience. Pioneer was the first to open a fully automatic car wash in Canada and among the first to introduce automated pump nozzles, as well as pump island canopies. The company was also the first retailer in Canada to offer private-label automatic banking machines on its premises. Guided by its pursuit of the customer’s happiness, Pioneer regularly conducts qualitative and quantitative research on its customers’ needs and wants and adjusts its business model to seize the opportunities identified by the research trends. That’s why this go-getter

independent has a long history of repeatedly being the first in launching innovative offerings, leading the way in an industry that is dominated by the major oil companies. In the 1990s, Pioneer’s research noted the rushed, increased demands of modern life faced by its customers. So in 1997, it invested heavily in expanding its sites and launched the SnackExpress stores. “Our customers have rewarded us and returned their patronage by being loyal. As a result, Pioneer enjoys some of the highest average site throughputs of any petroleum retail chain in the country,” Mr. Hogarth says. Pioneer has been rewarding its customers since the 1960s with S&M green stamps, followed by Pioneer money and now Pioneer Bonus Bucks, one of the longest-running loyalty programs in the industry. However, that, too, has evolved to reflect the times, and last year the program went paperless, switching successfully to the Electronic Bonus Bucks card. But far from resting on its laurels, Pioneer continues to introduce new services, launching an auto roadside assistance program this fall and looking at adding financial services — including travel and medical insurance — to its list of offerings. Pioneer is also in the midst of planning a revolution to the gas/convenience experience, looking to make changes that will address everything from the challenges of a highly competitive market to the increasingly time-pressured customers’ needs. Pioneer is thinking big and continuing to be a leading petroleum retail innovator in Canada. The company’s dedication to growth through a low-cost, value added customer experience has been pivotal in Pioneer’s ability to successfully compete in an industry where independents have historically operated on extremely narrow profit margins. “The reality is that we purchase our product from the major oil company refiners but, at the same time, we compete with them across the street in the same marketplace, and we do all of that for a thin 5% gross margin,” Mr. Hogarth says. Meticulous efficiency has been key to keeping costs down for the company and consumers. “We have been aggressive in how we streamline the tail end of our network. We’re not so much interested in the number of locations as in ensuring that we have highly efficient and competitive locations,” he says. Through the acquisition of other smaller independent retailers over the years, Pioneer is not just one of the best-man-

www.pioneer.ca

The Retailer ExPress Fall 2008 edition A publication for Pioneer Retailers and Head Office employees. Editor: Geoff Hogarth geoff@pioneer.ca Assistant Editors: Kim Hoang kimh@pioneer.ca Wendy Eveleigh wendy.eveleigh@ pioneer.ca Tel: (905) 639-2060 Fax (905) 639-2490

Additionally, Pioneer acquired Imperial-owned and controlled locations in markets such as Winnipeg, which it continues to operate as Esso stations. “In many ways, we’re a petroleum management com-

We adapt our skills and spread them to other opportunities pany that has evolved into a convenience retail company,” says Jack Theriault, Pioneer’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing. “We have our own brand but we adapt those same skills that have made us successful

with our brand and spread them to other opportunities like Sunoco and Esso. We’ve successfully been able to take on the management of 135 Sunoco sites over a twomonth period in late 1993, and over the past three years we’ve done the same with 100 Esso dealer-contracted locations, successfully managing them with very few resources.” And so it is no surprise that this well-rounded company, which donates 1% of its earnings each year to charities, has been recognized year after year as one of Canada’s Best Managed companies. “Participating in the program has allowed Pioneer to really focus on and articulate our best practices and focus more on where it is we want to take this business and how we want to grow,” Mr. Hogarth says. “There’s a sense of pride and positive energy that is in-

stilled in everything we do as a result of being associated with the Best Managed program.” “Pioneer Petroleum’s continued success in a difficult market is a testament to its commitment to innovation and emphasizing the importance of satisfying its customers,” says Gordon Fisher, publisher of National Post. “Pioneer is also a fine example of the type of company that is recognized by the Best Managed program: One that continues to evolve and improve while maintaining its core principles.” To find out how the Best Managed program can help your private company, visit www.canadas50best.com. And to get up close and personal with Best Managed companies, stay tuned to this page for upcoming profiles of past winners, their best practices and lessons learned.

A special featured article in the National Post on August 5, 2008.

The true spirit of a Pioneer.

Increase in Bonus Bucks Reward Schedule Testing Underway With the dramatic increase in street prices Pioneer is looking at new ways to offer customers greater value through our loyalty program. A trial of the proposed changes has been running at Windsor area sites throughout the summer. The promotion saw three significant changes to the Bonus Bucks reward schedule: 1. CUSTOMERS EARN MORE! 1 cent per litre on any purchase of Silver grade gas or diesel 2 cents per litre on any purchase of Gold grade gas 3 cents per litre on any purchase of Platinum grade gas 2. EVERY LITRE COUNTS! Rewards are given on every litre rather than according to 10L thresholds per the existing rewards schedule. For example the linear reward schedule would reward $0.18 in Bonus Bucks on an 18 litre purchase of Silver grade instead of $0.10.

Tim Hogarth, left, Pioneer Petroleum’s CEO, and Pioneer founder and chairman Murray Hogarth, say the company’s focus on innovation has provided new business opportunities.

aged companies in the country, it is also one of the most well-rounded ones — knowing how to take advantage not just of new technologies and market opportunities but also excelling in forming alliances and partnerships. “A bold move we committed to in 1993 was altering our ownership structure through a joint venture partnership with Suncor Energy Products Inc.,” Mr. Hogarth says. “There was a lot of consolidation in the refining industry at the time and the joint venture with Suncor gave us access to a secure and quality source of supply, and also enabled us to manage a good percentage of Sunoco’s retail network.” Pioneer also entered into a strategic arrangement with Imperial Oil in 2004, becoming its retail branded distributor for Esso in northeastern Ontario and all of Manitoba.

Every Litre Counts!

3. NO MINIMUM PURCHASE REQUIRED! Since the thresholds have been eliminated, a customer can earn rewards on as little as 1 litre of gas purchased.

© 2008 Pioneer Petroleums. All rights reserved.

Initial results are still under review as we have just added three more pilot sites in London and one in Niagara Falls and a final decision for roll out will be made later this Fall. Feed back from our Windsor pilot shows favourable customer acceptance and satisfaction with the program.

Fall 2008

LED Canopy Lighting – Energy Conservation that Looks Great LED is the newest wave in lighting technology and Pioneer is making the move. All new canopy installations will be done with LED lighting. The energy savings with LED are remarkable and with today’s environmental concerns, we’re all paying more attention to energy use. LED uses 65 – 70% less energy for canopy lighting than current fixtures. Add to that the extended life of an LED fixture – 13 years versus the current 3 to 4 years, and LED lighting represents a drastic reduction in maintenance. Yet, there are still more reasons for choosing LED for new installations. “LED lighting makes it easier to meet increasingly tough municipal lighting guidelines and dark sky regulations,” says Bob Reid, Director of Development and Construction. LED’s sophisticated directional capabilities helps to reduce “spillover” light, a growing concern that the dark sky movement is working to address. “LED is a different style of lighting. It gives a softer more pleasing brightness to the station. The focus becomes the pump itself rather than the entire station,” continues Bob. The safety and security for customers and employees is still there, yet the overall look is far more appealing and the product is more environmentally friendly. LSI Industries, the leader in petroleumrelated lighting, is designing and supplying the canopy lighting for Pioneer’s sites under construction in Winnipeg, Whitby and Ottawa.

7_Pioneer_ExPress_Nov08  

Fall 2008 Increase in Bonus Bucks Reward Schedule Testing Underway With the dramatic increase in street prices Pioneer is looking at new way...

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