After looking at the books, Vikram Singh got a sample of how Costco has impacted his gas station. And it has led to rebranding.
"When Costco came in [selling gasoline], there was a price war," he told KTW. "Esso couldn't match it. That's why we lost a lot of customers at that time."
Costco changed the game when it began selling petrol in Kamloops in recent years, forcing local retailers to lower their prices in order to stay competitive. Singh has co-owned the Esso at 228 Tranquille Rd. for almost a year and has business records dating back the last five. He said he noticed a steep decline in sales in the last three years and attributed that to a more expensive product.
"Robo Esso was always five cents higher than the town," Singh said.
Those passing through the Tranquille Market will notice Singh's former Esso station now boasts a Canco sign. The new brand -- a B.C.-owned company with its head office in Kelowna -- sells cheaper gasoline, allowing Singh to pass on savings to the customer and be more competitive.
The online gasoline price tracking website Gas Buddy reveals that years after coming into the market, Costco is the cheapest place in town to fill up. When KTW checked the numbers yesterday, Costco was five cents cheaper than the next lowest stations. It was sitting at $1.07.9 per litre. Singh's price changes have already come into effect. It, along with the Super Save in Dallas, was the next lowest place to gas up, at $1.12.9. Fifteen other stations were half a cent behind, at $1.13.4.
"That's why we changed our brand," Singh said. "People can save some money and we can get more business."