Today, at the ALON/7-Eleven convenience store at 98th Street and University Avenue in south Lubbock, representatives of Dallas-based Alon Brands officially unveiled the new ALON branding which will replace the Fina branding at all of their locations.

After a ribbon cutting sponsored by the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce (pictured, above), KFYO News talked with Jonathan Ketchum, Senior Vice President- Retail for Alon Brands. Ketchum explained why the ALON brand is replacing Fina, "Well, one of the reasons was that we had negotiated a 12 year extension when ALON bought these stores (7-Elevens), and that relationship was coming to an end. Fina wanted to exit the United States, and we wanted to signal a change. We were changing inside (the 7-Elevens), so we thought what better way than to signal that change outside.  So, some of it was because of expediency and some of it was just for a new look in the community."

Ryan Suttles is the Regional Manager of ALON's 7-Eleven stores and he's exciting about the 7-Elevens being remodeled across the region, "What you'll see is basically a very organized, clean, crisp, detailed, well laid out appearance. We also wanted to drive our food and beverage business and bring the public more options when it comes to the food and beverage portion of our business."

Ketchum also discussed the future of Alon Brands ALON/7-Eleven outlets, "By severing the relationship with Fina, we have now removed any geographic restrictions. So, we're able to now grow nationwide if we wanted, where we were previously constrained to eight states. Our plan is to grow. We would like to fill in the holes that we have in West Texas and New Mexico first, but we'll now be moving to adjacent areas."

Finally, KFYO News asked Ketchum about Lubbock's importance for Alon Brands. "It's very very important. Jeff Morris who is chairman of ALON is a Texas Tech graduate.  I've been coming to Lubbock for 30 years, and we have made it into a growth potential area because of the economy and Texas Tech University."

Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin and David Putnam with the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce also spoke at the Ribbon Cutting.

Alon Brands is the largest licensee of 7-Eleven stores in North America.