By Joe Petrowski

The convenience store retail gasoline business grew last year against the overall difficult trend for general retail, This represented the 16th straight year of growth. The industry now represents 3.1% of US GDP and with the US economy still expanding, and that bodes well for our industry. With 2.5 million direct employees and another 10 million workers in associated industries the convenience-retail gasoline business, along with the 180,000 people who visit a store at least once a week, the industry is a political force to be reckoned with. The average c-store station has $71,000 of pre-tax profit per year. The industry had an exceptional fuel margin year of 23.4 cents/gallon. As a result, the industry is drawing interest and capital from many sectors including private equity. That’s all pretty great news.

What is sobering?

  • Credit Card fees are equal to pre-tax profits.
  • The average store is selling $30,000/week inside with $7,000 coming from food.
  • The average fuel gallons per week is up to 19,000 gallons.

So, the bar to excellence continues to get higher.


Joe Petrowski has had a long career in international commodity trading, energy and retail management and public policy development. He currently serves as Director of Fuels for Yesway, where he oversees all operations of the fuels team, including pricing, procurement, and management of the firm’s fleet services program. In 2005, he was named President and CEO of Gulf Oil LP and elected to the Gulf Oil LP Board of Directors. In October of 2008, he was named CEO of the now combined Gulf Oil and Cumberland Farms, whose annual revenues exceed $11 billion and that now operates in 27 states. In September 2013, Petrowski stepped down as CEO of The Cumberland Gulf Group. He is Managing Director of Mercantor Partners, a private equity firm investing in convenience and energy distribution, and a member of the Gulf Board.