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LPG Spotlight: Modern Gas

January 24, 2020 By    

Mark Holloway faced a business decision for his family’s second-generation propane operation around 2010: Stick with the status quo or revamp the company.

Photo courtesy of Modern Gas

Photo courtesy of Modern Gas

“I use the analogy that you’re either swimming upstream, treading water or going downstream,” says Holloway, the owner of Georgia-based Modern Gas. “We weren’t going downstream. But I thought if we were going to keep this thing going for another 10 or 15 years, we really got to get after it.”

So, Holloway and Wendy Slater, the senior vice president at Modern Gas, got after it.

After selling off a cylinder exchange program, Holloway and Slater invested in a new 10,000-sq.-ft. facility in Leesburg, Georgia, that, as Holloway explains, was a way for the longstanding propane company to reinvent itself and remain competitive in the evolving energy market.

Holloway and Slater worked to shift the company’s focus from traditional residential propane sales to retail and appliances. The new facility doubled what the company had at its previous location and, as Slater explains, created a true shopping destination and experience that facilitates a propane-positive conversation.

“We are bringing people into the showroom to talk about propane in a retail setting,” Holloway says. “Even though someone may be coming in to buy a Yeti cup, we might be able to get something around propane started and to tell them what we have going on with propane.”

As real estate goes, location is key. Before making the move to its current Leesburg location, customers had to make a special trip to the company’s downtown business district location. That location meant when the workday was done, so were the customers. The company’s goal for the new location was to create a welcoming destination for the community.

“I see so many influential people in the showroom just shopping,” he says. “They might be shopping for a set of gas logs, something for a grill or something else, but they were thinking about gas. Before, they felt like they were going to their utility company to pay a bill.”

When it comes to propane-powered appliances, Slater says, Modern Gas has a hand in all of it. The company prides itself on its full range of home appliances that also includes spa and outdoor equipment.

“Anything you can put in your kitchen or laundry room, we’ve got it,” she says. “[The showroom] allows us to expand what we have to offer and helps us to increase gallon sales.”

A major advantage is Modern Gas’ ability to offer a turnkey operation to its customers. From setting the tank to selling the appliance and supplying the fuel, Modern Gas is a one-stop shop that aims to satisfy all of the customer’s needs.

“That’s what sets us apart,” Slater says. “A homeowner can come in here and finish out their fireplace, kitchen and laundry room with us, and then it’s done. Now we hopefully have a lifetime propane customer.”

Holloway sees providing turnkey services as the means to a better future for the industry and something other propane marketers should consider.

“I feel like if everyone in the industry did what we are trying to accomplish, gallons would increase instead of decreasing,” he says. “The days of relying on setting and filling tanks are gone.”


MODERN GAS

FOUNDERS // Dan and Judy Holloway
OWNER // Mark Holloway
YEAR FOUNDED // 1954
HEADQUARTERS // Leesburg, Georgia
BOBTAILS // 5
EMPLOYEES // 36

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