VIOC Targets Virginia for Growth


Valvoline Instant Oil Change on Monday announced plans to expand its quick lube franchise into the Richmond, Va., market in 2012, its first entry into a new franchise market in several years.

The company said it could open 15 to 20 new franchise quick lubes over the next few years in the Richmond and Norfolk area.

The region has a large, diverse retail economy, and boasts the most retail square footage per capita in Virginia and the United States, said Tony Puckett, Valvoline Instant Oil Change President. This is an exciting time for Valvoline as we chart our course for growth in the years ahead, and we believe Richmond could play a key role in that strategy.

We see Virginia as a great opportunity for us, Gary Rhodes, spokesman for Valvoline parent company Ashland, told Lube Report.We currently have seven stores [in Virginia] and feel that the Richmond and Norfolk markets will afford the chance to increase our presence in growing markets.

Rhodes noted that both Richmond and Norfolk are in the list of top 100 Designated Market Areas and fit the demographic profile of VOICs most successful stores. Both have a relatively high average household spend index and vehicle population, he said.

Like its other locations, the new stores would offer Valvolines NextGen motor oil products made with 50 percent recycled oil. We’ve found NextGen to have universal appeal among environmentally sensitive consumers, Rhodes said. There is no reason to believe the Richmond or Norfolk markets would be any different.

Lexington, Ky.-based Valvoline Instant Oil Change currently has 823 stores (260 company operated and 563 franchise operated) across the United States. The quick-lube chain said its franchise sales leaders have begun reaching out to local business owners and potential franchisees in the Richmond area to introduce the chain and share its growth outlook.

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