In the last ten years, fuel has remained a relatively resilient vertical in the gas and oil market and forecourts have seen incremental growth in the convenience space, by moving into non-fuel related arenas.
According to Dov Girnun, CEO of alternative lender Merchant Capital, innovative fuel retailers have managed to unlock more value from their properties and building networks and are attracting customers in clever ways. Of course, the fuel industry has not been immune to the pandemic, particularly in the first half of 2020 when globally the industry was down by 50%. Fortunately, though, the market has turned since mobility has resumed.
Here, Girnun shares his insights on what fuel retailers need to be aware of as they navigate the current volatile market. He also offers advice on how fuel retailers can continue to grow their businesses in a changing world.
Each country will see these to varying degrees. "Further to this, consumers are changing their behaviour and there will be a shift as more people work from home, continue to migrate to online shopping, and move away from supermarkets towards convenience retail," says Girnun. Fortunately, these declines can be offset by upping the non-fuel retail market with global forecourts, increasing the market from $22bn in 2019 to $30bn in 2030. "This holds enormous value and will mitigate risk in a changing market," says Girnun.
Girnun says that fuel retailers have a responsibility and necessity to redefine their customer experience. "By becoming more aware of the ways in which these spaces have become digitised, personalised and far more seamless, fuel retailers will gain valuable insight into new ways they can adapt to the changing market.
"As this customer experience is being redefined, fuel retailers need to find new ways of creating value. This may be done by looking at existing services and product lines on offer and pivoting where necessary. By embracing technology to streamline systems and services as well as elevating the customer journey, the fuel retailer will really be able to make their mark in a changing world," concludes Girnun.