'No Plans to Close Any Stores,' Hess Says
The Woodbridge-based oil business refutes claim retail locations will shut in near future.
While Hess Corporation announced Monday to its shareholders it would be divesting its retail locations – all 1,360 of them – the company Tuesday says not so fast.
The announcement was made in an effort to restructure the company and improve its balance sheet, the company said, but a Hess spokesperson says "it's business as usual at all of our Hess retail stores."
The move would affect 1,350 gas stations - many owned by Hess itself - that operate in 18 states on the Eastern Seaboard. The gas stations serve as many as 1.3 million customers a day, according to a report in Supermarket News.
"Our long-standing commitment to competitive prices and high quality customer service to our customers will not change," said the spokesperson. "The Hess brand is a strong and valuable brand that will live long into the future. And yes fans, the Hess toy truck program, which has been a tradition for 48 years, will continue."
While a press release accompanying the news said that the retail locations' closures, along with other moves to improve the company's bottom line, would be instituted by 2014, the company refuted the claim Tuesday.
"We have absolutely no plans to close any stores," he said.
Changes began in January, when Hess announced it would be permanently shutting its oil refineries, including the one located in the Port Reading section of Woodbridge. Hess said it was leaving the gasoline refining business because of weak demand and the cost of complying with E.P.A. regulations.
The refinery was closed at the end of February.
The Hess retail marketing division and company headquarters is located in the Hess corporate headquarters building on Route 9 in Woodbridge. The firm has said that the structure, an iconic landmark in the township, will remain open despite the divestiture of its various enterprises.
The nearest Hess station is on Myrtle Avenue in Boonton.