It’s a new year, and as they say, ‘Out with the old, and in with the new,’ which is exactly what Hocker’s and G&E have done, with a revamped Hocker’s Gold Card and gasoline now coming from Liberty Gas.
“We’re starting the new year off with a whole new gas program,” said Gerry Hocker. “Liberty liked our locations and were excited to be in the area. We found them through our gas supplier. Liberty Gas is the one that presented the most to us and at the best prices. They wanted to be in the area. They wanted to be competitive.”
Hocker said that, with Liberty, they will be able to choose the best price from three refineries — Delaware City, Baltimore and Salisbury — whereas, when they were with Gulf Gas, the stores were locked into pulling from only Delaware City.
“They have the flexibility to pull from three different refineries, so we can shop the best gas prices for that day. Now we are right in line with everyone. Immediately, once Liberty came in, we saw our cost of gas go down. Gulf had us pinched there for a little while, but once the contract expired we were quick to get rid of them,” Hocker said, noting the Gulf contract expired Dec. 31, 2012.
“There were times when Gulf was delivering gas to our stores and charging us more than some of our competitors were selling gas for. It’s just another example of the corporate guys trying to squeeze out the little guy.”
With more choice in refineries, Hocker said, the stores will now be competitive with their gas prices, compared to other gas stations in the area.
“Now, with Liberty gas being our gas supplier, it’s very competitive,” he said. “We’ll be right in line with everyone. Now our customers that shop here, whether they earn a dime or 20 cents, up to as much as they want, we would like to think that our customers will no longer have to complain about gas prices because, if they shop here and buy their gas here, they are going to pay less for gas than anywhere else, without having to waste time driving to another location.”
Along with the new gas supplier comes a new gas rewards program. Customers will be able to continue to earn gas points and gain extra savings in gas.
“To better serve our customers, we entered into an agreement with a totally different company that runs a very good program. Customers who are on that program absolutely love the program. Apparently, they don’t have any issues with the process and how it works,” said Hocker. “To help our customers, we knew we had to make a change. That’s one of the advantages of being an independent retailer.”
Unlike other gas programs in the area, Hocker said that gas points don’t just come from the number of dollars customers spend in the store, as extra points can be earned by purchasing select items each week.
“What we do, unlike our competition: we have many items throughout the store that have automatic gas points associated with them. It doesn’t have a particular value, or net penny, it’s just a matter of buying that particular item.”
Hocker said they hope to make the transition to the new Gold Card program, which started on Jan. 10, as easy as possible for their customers.
“The cashiers have the new Gold Card at the register. They are collecting the customer’s old card and putting the card number of the new one right on their Gold Card. Everyone who had the Gold Card with black writing has to turn that into us, and they will receive a new Gold Card with red writing.”
“We were having some issues that were beyond our control, which was a disadvantage,” said Hocker, of the stores’ former gas provider and gas cards. “Some of our customers were having some difficultly with their cards, and we knew we had to make an adjustment.”
Although there was a 10-day lapse in when customers could earn gas points while shopping at the Hocker’s locations, Hocker said the stores are offering a coupon to Gold Card members, and if those customers spend $25 by Feb. 10, they will earn 20 cents per gallon off of gas purchased at either of the store’s two locations.
“Normally, they would have to spend $200 to get that 20 cents off. We’re asking them to only spend $25 to offset that week and a half,” said Hocker. “People can use their gas points on site. We don’t ask our customers to waste their time or their gas to go drive to another location to go get their gas. We offer gas at both of our locations so that people can come, shop here, save here, earn points here and get their gas here.”
Hocker added that those who are interested in saving money and getting the best produce and gas in the area should swing by Hocker’s and G&E.
“If they are complaining about paying the higher gas prices everybody is paying, just shop at Hocker’s and G &E and earn gas points, and you’ll be paying less than everybody else. And tell your friends!”
Hocker’s Super Center is located at 34960 Atlantic Avenue, at Roxana Road (Route 17) in Clarksville and can be reached by calling (302) 537-1788. G&E is located at 30244 Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View and can be reached by calling (302) 539-5255.