Hess Corp. announced in a letter to shareholders that it plans to exit its retail gasoline and convenience store operations, a move that could erase the iconic green and white Hess Station signs from the Long Island landscape.
The move will affect 1,350 gas stations - many owned by Hess itself - that operate in 18 states on the Eastern Seaboard. The gas stations serve as many as 1.3 million customers a day, according to a report in Supermarket News.
Hess did not say when they would begin either closing or selling off their gas stations, although a statement accompanying the news said that the gas station closures, along with other moves to improve the company's bottom line, would begin between now and 2014.
Hess has a local location on 2240 Wantagh Ave. in Wantagh.
The move may come as bittersweet to Long Islanders who often praise the chain's practice of not charging a different price for gas whether a customers pays with cash or credit card.
At the same time, the chain had played a huge role in the days following Hurricane Sandy, when a gas crisis led to fuel shortages and long lines at pumps. Hess published reports through the days telling residents which stations had gas and which ones were out.
Hess said the divesting of the company's gas station arm is part of a multi-year effort to transform itself into an oil 'exploration and production' firm.
As for the famous toy trucks, Hess said those aren't going anywhere.
"Following today’s news, we want our fans to know that the Hess toy truck, which has been a tradition for 48 years, will continue," Hess wrote on its Facebook page dedicated to the toys.
With reporting by Deborah Bell and David Reich-Hale.