After two decades of contracting out its parking lot gas stations, Wal-Mart is now going to be operating the fueling stations themselves.
Going forward, the Arkansas-based retailing giant will be building and operating its own gas stations, reports the Wall Street Journal. Murphy USA, Wal-Mart’s former partner in the business, will continue to operate the approximately 1,000 gas station already built around Wal-Mart (WMT) stores.
While tumbling gas prices have hurt oil companies, the Journal notes that gas station operators haven’t felt the same squeeze. If anything, lower gas prices make it more likely that drivers will pop into the station for candy and sodas, which have much higher profit margins than gasoline.
This decision is seen as a move from Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon to find as many sources of profit as possible. Wal-Mart is losing retail share to Amazon (AMZN) and other online retailers, and operating its own gas stations could help to replace some of that lost revenue.