NEW YORK -- Although it has only been a public company for less than seven months, Murphy USA Inc. has already enjoyed plenty of success and will continue to thrive thanks to a three-step plan, the company stated during its first analyst day earlier this week.
Mindy West, Murphy USA's executive vice president and chief financial officer, shared the company's success stories during the event, which took place at the New York Stock Exchange.
"We opened 39 stations last year and also established the pipeline of additional sites, with expectations to construct up to 70 new sites this year," West said during the conference, which was covered by six Wall Street analysts. "We continue to diversify our merchandise mix, expanding our non-tobacco sales by 9.8 percent and our non-tobacco margin dollar by 7 percent."
West added that Murphy USA established a 10-cent-discount-per-gallon promotion with qualifying beverage purchases at its 1,203 convenience stores. "And that is a program we expect to continue and expand in 2014," noted West.
Laying out the blueprint for future success during the analyst conference was President and CEO Andrew Clyde. He offered a three-part strategy for the future that will see the retailer grow organically; diversify its merchandise mix despite operating some smaller stores averaging approximately 1,200 square feet; and remain committed and engaged in the fuel category.
To achieve its first goal, El Dorado, Ark.-based Murphy USA, which has many locations in or near Walmart parking lots, will continue its unique relationship with the big-box retailer, stressed Clyde.
"Our [strategy is to] continue to build out the 200 Walmart sites in our core markets," he said.
Regarding diversifying the merchandise mix, Clyde relayed that Murphy USA will "not be as dependent on tobacco and the headwinds in the space."
To maintain a robust fuels offering, Murphy USA will continue to provide discount programs with Walmart to drive overall traffic.
"Let's be clear," said Clyde. "Ninety-nine percent of our customers are Walmart's customers. We are there to provide low-cost fuel and other items to those customers as part of the overall value proposition. So in a competitive world where Murphy USA stores offer gasoline and have programs, we need to be consistent with all programs."