FUEL AND FOOD-TO-GO
‘LOSING RELEVANCE’ TO UK
A new report, has highlighted a consistent decline
in the relevance of fuel and food-to-go to a forecourt
store over the past five years in the UK.
In contrast, HIM’s Winning In Forecourts 2018
report also found that the top up and treat missions
have consistently grown.
The report, which is the result of more than
2,000 forecourt shopper interviews across 10 different
fascias, found that since 2013 the volume
of shoppers highlighting fuel as their main reason
for visiting a forecourt has declined from 33 per
cent to 15 per cent. This drop has seen it fall from
the largest forecourt mission to fourth. Over the
same period the food-to-go mission has fallen
from 22 per cent to 19 per cent.
Both of these missions have been losing share
to the top up and treat missions, the report revealed.
Top up has grown significantly, from 12 per
cent to 21 per cent, and is now the largest mission
in the forecourt channel. Treat remains the smallest
mission, but has seen its share double from 7
per cent to 14 er cent since 2013.
Val Kirillovs, research and insights director at
HIM, a company specialising in shopper research,
said: “Forecourts haven’t been able to rely on
purely fuel to drive footfall for some time, however
food-to go has long been considered as key to
forecourt retailers and a huge area of focus. While
both missions are important, the main reason that
shoppers are visiting is changing.”
He added: “It is vital that retailers understand
their individual shoppers and adapt to their needs.
Retailers need to place greater focus on range and
merchandising in order to inspire shoppers. Stocking
key top up lines and using in store theatre to
drive the treat mission are key to success.”
Irish retailer Top Oil bought by Canadian giant
In Belgium, Shell has announced that its
Network Fuel Card can now be used at the
service stations of DATS 24 and Lukoil.
Fuel seller Olerex has introduced a new cash
withdrawal service at all of its 82 manned
service stations across Estonia.
DCC Energy, which stands behind Shell
stations in Denmark, is now launching a nationwide
upgrade of Shell V-Power gasoline,
which increases the octane from 99 to 100.
UK motorists have been told they could
face fuel price rises if a £15 billion merger
between supermarket giants Sainsbury’s
and Asda goes ahead.
H2 Mobility Deutschland, Shell and Air Liquide
have jointly opened the first hydrogen
(H2) refuelling station in the Kassel district
of Germany. With the refuelling station at
Shell SVG Autohof Lohfelden, the partners
are taking a further step towards a comprehensive
H2 supply network in Germany.
Eni SPA and Snam4Mobility have signed a
contract for 20 new CNG refuelling stations
in Italy. An earlier contract between the
companies for 14 such facilities, will see
stations start to open early next year.
Applegreen is to acquire a majority stake
in UK motorway service area operator Welcome
Break for €362m. The Welcome Break
portfolio consists of 24 motorway service
areas, two trunk road service areas and 29
hotels across 35 locations.
Canadian multinational Irving Oil has agreed to
buy the company behind Irish fuel business Top
Oil for an undisclosed fee.
Top Oil has petrol station and aviation fuel
businesses and is also a supplier of home heating
oil. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval
from the Republic’s competition and consumer
Irving acquired Ireland’s only oil refiner, located
in Whitegate in Cork, in 2016. At the time, the
company said the deal would “ultimately enable
Irving Oil to further expand its business across the
Irving chairman Arthur Irving said: “This is a
great day for our company. We are proud to be
doing business in Ireland and are looking forward
to working with everyone at Top Oil.”
Irving said the Top Oil brand would be maintained,
as would the existing workforce. Top Oil
has a terminal at Dublin Port, 20 inland oil depots
and 200 dealer and company-owned forecourts.
The petrol station business is particularly competitive
in Ireland with Top Oil up against firms like
Applegreen, US giant, Valero which owns Texaco,
Maxol, and Canadian business Couche Tard, which
owns Circle K.
Applegreen and Circle K have spoken about
plans to diversify their offering with more of a
focus on food, which tends to have higher margins
than fuel. Top Oil will also face a challenge as society
seeks to shift away from oil towards cleaner
sources of fuel.
NEWS IN BRIEF
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