Iconic Ampol calls Parramatta home: Northmead site the first of many outlets

AUSSIE iconic service station Ampol is back, this time in partnership with supermarket giant Woolworths.

Founded in post-Depression 1936 as Australian Motorists Petrol Company, and through the years and one world war popularly nicknamed Ampol, it recently came back to Western Sydney at Northmead.

The suburb is proudly claiming the first returned Ampol Homebase, certainly among the firsts of the 550 rebranded Ampol Woolworths Metro that will roll out across NSW in the next two years.

Across Australia, there will be 1,900 of them flying the flag for both Ampol fuel and Woolworths’ fresh food in a revitalized world-class business model of a convenience store hatched by the two multinational companies to measure up to the expectations of its customers.

The communities in upmarket Randwick on the north shore and Lane Cove West in the booming northwest side of Sydney have both welcomed Ampol Woolworths Metro last month.

“Our Northmead site brings to life our drive to be world-class in everything we do and celebrate the best of our convenience offering through the Woolworths Metro format and our unparalleled experience with premium fuels through our Amplify range,” an Ampol spokeswoman told Access News.

“The Ampol Woolworths Metro format brings together the best of each brand’s offering high-quality fuel, great customer service, and fresh food.”

The Northmead store’s opening last month showcased everything its customers would expect from an Ampol local fuel store with an added range of fresh foods, and pick-me-up latte, in a Woolworths Metro one can describe as “fresh food for now and food for later.”

When customers fill-up their bowsers at Northmead they won’t miss out on reminiscing Ampol’s recognizable Australian heritage that faded in the petrol business circle scene in 1995 when Caltex bought it.

From retirement, the iconic Aussie name resurfaced in 2013 in Singapore and two years later, Caltex converted its fuel refinery in Kurnell NSW to an import terminal after Chevron relinquished its 50 percent stake to Caltex Australia to now become full owner.

In the annual general meeting of shareholders last May, Ampol finally got its old name back following Caltex’s earlier announced it was bringing the brand back to its Australian home ground.

“Our decision to bring Ampol back reflects the focus we still have today on our heritage of friendly and efficient service, high-quality Australian-made products, and being part of the local community,” said Managing Director and Caltex Australia CEO, Julian Segal, in an earlier announcement of its move.

“Many of our employees and customers still have strong memories of what Ampol stood for in Australia. It’s a brand that our people, partners, and customers can be proud to be part of helping to recreate and revitalize and it remains a perfect fit for the modern company we are today.”

When Ampol left the market in 1995, a litre of unleaded petrol was priced around 60 cents.

That has doubled now but it still seems like yesterday with a name like that, at the bowser at least.

By ELIZABETH FRIAS

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