On the Run (convenience store)

On the Run is a flagship convenience store brand developed by ExxonMobil, used at Exxon and Mobil stations in the United States, BP and Mobil in Australia and at Esso and Mobil stations internationally. Alimentation Couche-Tard acquired the On the Run trademark and franchise network in the U.S. in 2009, and Parkland Fuel did the same in Canada in 2016; ExxonMobil retains full ownership of the brand in the rest of the world.

An Esso-branded service station, with On the Run convenience store, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. This location, owned by Imperial Oil, includes a Tim Hortons drive-thru and an RBC bank machine.

On the Run stores are described as larger and having more products than older-model convenience stores, featuring "fresh snacks, fill-in groceries, health & beauty supplies, plus quick meal options".[1]

The name "On the Run" is used, untranslated, around the world. Locations in the Canadian province of Quebec utilize similar branding as Marché Express; Imperial Oil faced criticism in 2007 when it planned to rebrand the locations as On the Run (beginning with a new location at a Mount Royal Esso station), but threats of boycotts by the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society, as well as sanctions from the Office québécois de la langue française (which enforces legal protections of the French language), caused the company to backtrack on this decision.[2]

DivestmentsEdit

On April 29, 2009, Canadian convenience store company Alimentation Couche-Tard, which operates stores in the United States under the Circle K name, acquired the 450-store On the Run franchise network (the stores themselves remain with local franchisees) plus 43 ExxonMobil-owned and operated stores in the Phoenix, Arizona area.[3] Many of these stores have been converted to Circle K locations, and the On the Run brand is now only primarily seen in Missouri, Louisiana, and Maine.

In August 2011, 7-Eleven announced it was acquiring 51 ExxonMobil-owned and operated On the Run locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area; the convenience stores were re-branded as 7-Eleven, but will still sell Exxon-branded gasoline.[4] Houston-area On The Run locations (81 total) were rebranded either as a Timewise (Landmark Industries) or Star Stop (the retail division of Panjwani Energy LLC) convenience store since 7-Eleven does not operate franchises in the Houston Metro area.[5]

In 2016, Imperial Oil began to divest its retail locations in Canada; various Esso locations in Ontario and Quebec were sold to Couche-Tard (being rebranded as Circle K and Couche-Tard),[6] and 7-Eleven acquired 148 locations in Alberta and British Columbia for $2.8 billion.[7] Parkland Fuel acquired the remaining On the Run/Marché Express franchise network and associated trademarks in Canada, and has since begun to utilize the brand (including a refreshed version of the concept introduced 2018) in conjunction with its own retail brands (such as Pioneer).[8][9]

OperationsEdit

 
On the Run has locations in over 1789 stores in 40 countries.

AustraliaEdit

On The Run (abbreviated as OTR) is an umbrella brand of 24-hour convenience stores coupled with service stations owned and operated by the family-owned Peregrine Corporation. Peregrine founder Fred Shahin opened his first service station in 1984 and the company now owns over 150 sites across South Australia and Victoria.[10] Although the sites were originally branded Mobil, they initially switched to On the Run branding (with minor acknowledgement of selling Mobil fuels", then to OTR branding, with a switch to BP fuels. Many OTR outlets operate alongside other brands such as Subway, Brumby's Bakeries and Oporto.[11] In 2018, the chain received significant criticism from consumers and environmental groups[12][13] for a decision to ban reusable coffee cups, amongst growing concerns of the negative effect of the 1.2 billion disposable cups that end-up in landfill in Australia each year.[14] Also in 2018, On The Run became the inaugural title sponsor of the Supercars Championship event The Bend SuperSprint at the Peregrine-owned The Bend Motorsport Park.[15]

They have also been involved in controversy regarding underpayment of staff, losing several legal challenges. [16][17][18] Employee groups have collated the various information regarding the history and media coverage of the owners of OTR.[19]

IrelandEdit

Ireland has many On the Run stores. Most of them used to have a food company called Nine-One-One in them, but they were ordered by the High Court to withdraw in 32 stores.[citation needed]

United KingdomEdit

Esso's company-operated convenience stores in the UK were run through ROC UK,[20] a subsidiary of Esso Petroleum Company Limited and ExxonMobil. Initially branded Snack & Shop, the stores were gradually converted to the On The Run format after Exxon acquired Mobil. Between 2011 and 2015 Esso/ROC sold off 359 of its company outlets in regional tranches to three large independent operators - Euro Garages, MRH (GB), and Rontec, although it continued to supply them with Esso branded fuel through an independent wholesaler, Greenergy.[21] None of the new owners continued to use On the Run. Euro Garages mainly used third party names, notably Spar and - for food offerings - Greggs, Subway, Burger King and KFC; MRH used a mix of third party names and its own Hursts C-store branding; and Rontec initially mainly used its own Shop'n Drive name, but occasionally Spar and a discount format, Family Shopper.[22] Esso retained ownership of around 200 sites that have Tesco Express stores where the site is leased to Tesco but sells Esso branded fuel.

EgyptEdit

In Egypt, On the Run convenience stores are located at Mobil stations in Cairo, Giza and Alexandria. They are open 24 hours, 7 days a week.[23]

ControversiesEdit

Redevelopment of an On The Run Store dumped 2,000 tonnes (2,200 short tons) of contaminated carcinogenic[24] soil in the Adelaide Hills. For this sustained breach of law, fines of $28,000 were levied against the operators of On The Run and associated business, Nasmin Pty Ltd.[25]

In 2018 the OTR brand of the company received significant criticism from consumers and environmental groups[26][27] for a decision to ban reusable coffee cups, amongst growing concerns of the negative effect of the 1.2 billion disposable cups that end-up in landfill in Australia each year.[28]

Wage Theft AllegationsEdit

A class action on behalf of 1,050 On The Run workers was lodged with the Australian Federal Court on 13 May 2020. The company was accused of failing to pay overtime, underpaying staff and misusing its traineeship program as a method to reduce workers' pay, dating back to 2014 and involving all stores in South Australia.[29] OTR allegedly used eight different wage minimisation tactics that enabled gross underpayment of its staff. In March 2020, the Federal Court had upheld a separate decision by South Australia's Employment Tribunal to award A$2,342 to an OTR employee who had been underpaid.[30]

In 2020 there was opposition by local residents to a planned OTR outlet on Kensington Road in Kensington Park,[31] and to the expansion of the Peregrine headquarters building in Kensington to a height of seven storeys with a helipad on top of the building.[32][33]

In August 2020 Peregrine was ordered by the South Australian Employment Tribunal to pay A$65,000 to an employee after being found to have deliberately underpaid him over the period of a about a year in 2016, at an OTR at Fulham.[34]

AwardsEdit

In 2003, On the Run was named Chain of the Year by Convenience Store Decisions (CSD) magazine. In 2007, the chain was again recognized by CSD with the Best in Class Foodservice Award for its line of proprietary gourmet breakfast sandwiches under the On the Run Cafe brand name. [35]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.esso.ca/Canada-English/Products/Fuels/PS_F_ConvenienceStores.asp
  2. ^ "Quebec Esso reverses name-change plan". CBC News. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  3. ^ "Couche-Tard Acquires ExxonMobil Franchised On the Run Stores". Convenience Store News. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009.
  4. ^ "7-Eleven® Signs Agreement with ExxonMobil To Acquire 51 North Texas Locations". PR Newswire.
  5. ^ "ExxonMobil Closes Deal to Sell Nearly 300 CORS Stores".
  6. ^ "Imperial Oil to sell Esso stations for $2.8B". CBC News. Canadian Press. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "Esso stations to sprout 7-Eleven stores thanks to $2.8-billion gas bar megadeal". Calgary Herald. March 9, 2016. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "Ben's Pioneer Gas opens new premises". The Chesterville Record. March 1, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  9. ^ Dudley, Stewart. "What's in a name?". Canadian Fuels Association. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  10. ^ "About Us". Peregrine Corporation. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  11. ^ "What's In Store". Peregrine Corporation. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  12. ^ "On the Run service station bans reusable coffee cups". www.9news.com.au. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  13. ^ "Major SA coffee seller bans reusable cups — including its own". ABC News. June 5, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  14. ^ "7-Eleven installs recycling bins for takeaway coffee cups". www.9news.com.au. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  15. ^ Howard, Tom (June 26, 2018). "The Bend reveals Supercars event sponsor". Speedcafe. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  16. ^ https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/servo-forced-to-pay-65k-to-exploited-worker-who-didnt-get-toilet-breaks/news-story/6cf0f3a17431219cd965e3bfc38dda52
  17. ^ https://ontherunvictims.com/f/systemic-and-deliberate
  18. ^ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-03/on-the-run-convenience-store-under-scrutiny-for-trainee-loophole/6908684
  19. ^ https://ontherunvictims.com
  20. ^ http://www.exxonmobil.com/UK-English/HRoc/HR_Roc_Homepage.asp
  21. ^ Forecourt Trader, 15 January 2015
  22. ^ "Rontec Roadside retail". Rontec. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  23. ^ https://fuels.mobil.com.eg/our-stores
  24. ^ Brookes, P.; Duncan, Margaret E. (November 5, 1971). "Carcinogenic Hydrocarbons and Human Cells in Culture". Nature. 234 (5323): 40–43. doi:10.1038/234040a0. PMID 4942883. S2CID 4275420. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  25. ^ Fewster, Sean (April 26, 2016). "Judge rules on OTR illegal dumping". The Advertiser. Adelaide. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  26. ^ Thompson, Sean (June 5, 2018). "On the Run service station bans reusable coffee cups". www.9news.com.au. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  27. ^ "Major SA coffee seller bans reusable cups — including its own". ABC News. Australia. June 5, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  28. ^ Raskall, Allan (March 26, 2018). "7-Eleven installs recycling bins for takeaway coffee cups". www.9news.com.au. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  29. ^ https://ontherunvictims.com/
  30. ^ "OTR workers bring Federal Class Action Suit". ABC News. Australia. May 13, 2020. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  31. ^ "Peregrine Mixed Use Major Development – Submissions have now closed". SA Planning Portal. April 16, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  32. ^ Cameron, Ben (July 18, 2019). "Council could seek to ban Peregrine chopper landings". Adelaide Now. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  33. ^ Sutton, Malcolm (March 12, 2020). "Helipad proposal near suburban Norwood is 'development by stealth', residents say". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  34. ^ Nielsen, Ben (August 18, 2020). "Convenience store chain OTR to pay $65,000 over 'deliberate exploitation' of worker". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  35. ^ http://www.cstoredecisions.com/chains/exxon-mobil-corp/#_

External linksEdit