Fuelling SPAR’s growth: The changing nature of petrol forecourt stores

December 31, 2019 IN THE CATEGORY: Feature articles

The days of petrol forecourts simply being a place where one fills up the car are long gone. Convenience stores are now a fundamental part of the full forecourt package and more and more SPAR retailers worldwide are recognising the possibilities offered by this channel.

In the UK, SPAR continues to be the largest forecourt retailer in the market with over 1,000 sites. Tapping into the knowledge shared from this SPAR Partner and the growing market share of this channel, are countries like Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Oman, Thailand and South Africa, with SPAR Partners in these markets increasingly rolling out fully branded forecourt stores in a drive to expand their retail portfolios.

There has also been increased emphasis on forecourt retailing in the Netherlands with the opening of 100 new SPAR Express forecourt stores in 2018. This aggressive store expansion strategy has delivered strong results for the SPAR Partner and plans are in place to continue rolling out stores along the country’s highways and provincial roads this year.

Driving the growth in this sector in recent years has been a shift to forecourt sites being seen as full-service destination stores rather than just emergency top-up locations. Comprehensive fresh ranges are becoming increasingly important, creating great opportunities for forecourt retailers to offer a more rounded shopping experience that attracts a cross-section of consumers, not just those on-the-go or filling up their vehicles.

While the growth potential is positive, there are also some challenges that lie ahead with plans in some markets to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040. As such, forecourt retailers will need to shift their focus to fulfil different shopper missions and offer more compelling reasons for people to visit their stores, even when not sourcing fuel.

Read more in our Contact International magazine.

Source: SPAR International

About SPAR International

SPAR International unites and operates in partnership with independent retailers by working together to share global scale and expertise to enhance the competitiveness of its retail partners worldwide and build the SPAR brand internationally.

SPAR International is the world’s largest food retail voluntary chain with over 13,112 stores worldwide and global retail sales of €35.8 billion in 2018. The 2018 International SPAR Annual Report is available here.

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