FLEMING PLANNING A RETAIL FUEL PROGRAM

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Fleming Cos., here plans to develop a fuel center program for its retailers. In doing so, the wholesaler joins a growing list of food chains that are pumping gas on their parking lots to enhance one-stop shopping."Supermarket fuel centers represent a rapidly growing business opportunity for Fleming and our customers," said Dennis C. Lucas, Fleming's executive vice president

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Fleming Cos., here plans to develop a fuel center program for its retailers. In doing so, the wholesaler joins a growing list of food chains that are pumping gas on their parking lots to enhance one-stop shopping.

"Supermarket fuel centers represent a rapidly growing business opportunity for Fleming and our customers," said Dennis C. Lucas, Fleming's executive vice president and president, retail, in a company news release.

Cord Christensen, formerly with Albertson's, has been named to the newly created post of director of fuel. He reports to Lucas and will spearhead Fleming's efforts in opening fuel stations at company-owned stores and at independently run locations. Most recently, Christensen was fuel center operations director at Albertson's where, since 1997, the chain opened more than 50 fuel centers and plans 150 additional ones. "He has the unique experience and successful track record necessary to lead the development of Fleming's new fuel center business," said Lucas.

According to a company spokesman, Fleming has made no decision as to the number of planned fuel centers for its 250 company-owned stores as well as some of its 2,500 supermarkets and other customers.

"It is too early for us to forecast the number of centers or discuss program strategy since the fuel center effort has just started," the spokesman told SN. There are presently about 10 Fleming independent retailers that are operating fuel centers on their own, the spokesman added.