Convenience stores in service stations have suffered a profound metamorphosis from its origin (as a complement to the sale of fuel) to the current situation, in which a complete reorganization of the model and assortment has been carried out “towards new formats, adapting our offer, improving the points of sale, in order to make them more attractive to the consumer and serve them in their day-to-day lives, ”said David Cervantes, director of Non Oil at Galp Energía in the framework of the IX Alimarket Great Consumption Meeting. And the efforts seem to be paying off. Suffice it to say that, based on data provided by the consulting firm Nielsen and related to the TAM ended last October, this segment generated 1.4% of the total turnover of the large consumption (peninsula + Balearic Islands), after registering an advance of 7 , 7% versus 2.8% overall. Positive trajectory in which the distribution has had a lot to do since, as Gema del Castillo assures, Client Development Director of Nielsen, “the entrance of the distributors in this channel helped to accelerate its transformation and we have had several years of growth close to 10% ”. And all this because, each of these stores covers “a different mission”, so, while in some areas it may be “successful to offer an assortment similar to that of a neighborhood super, others need one totally focused on impulse and with a powerful offer of ‘on-site’ or ready-to-eat eating solutions, ”says Del Castillo.
Based on the data collected by Alimarket Gran Consumo, as of October 31, 2019, the organized distribution led more than 800 self-services in this type of facilities, for the 690 that operated at the end of 2018. In these ten months, this medium estimates that the openings have been around 200, while the closures have barely reached twenty. It should be noted here that, in the number of releases, not only new premises are included, but also those that have been franchised with a chain. Taking again as a reference to Nielsen, today, of the 9,974 gas stations that comprise its study universe in our country, 80% have a store (about 8,000), but supermarket companies only agglutinate about 800 (as we have commented ), so the margin of growth is very wide.
DIA leves the sector
As part of its global commitment to gain positions in the convenience market, at the beginning of 2018 DIA – jointly with BP-, launched a pilot project to be installed in several gas stations of the oil company in Madrid, with the ‘Shop’ anagram. However, in March 2019, both entities terminated this agreement, which had 12 active stores (four with the anagram and the rest supplied by the listed group) although, at that time, DIA stressed that its project in Service stations were still “alive” thanks to the ‘Every Day’ franchises. But the arrival of a new owner and management team to the chain has meant a change of course and, now, has decided to eliminate ‘Every Day’ and leave this market. However, the disappearance of the latter teaches is not as immediate as that of ‘Shop’, because some of the contracts signed with franchisees do not expire until 2020. It is because of this fact that they remain operative around thirty of ‘ Every day ‘at gas stations, very similar data to 2018.
For its part, BP maintains its agreement with Dinosol Supermarkets for the installation of ‘Dinoshop’ centers in part of its Canarian gas stations. Currently, there are 29 operating establishments.
‘Supercor Stop&Go’ will exceed 300 points of sale
In September 2017, El Corte Inglés and Repsol signed a “strategic” agreement thanks to which they planned to create “the largest network of proximity and convenience stores in Spain”, to the extent that the Madrid group could extend its brand ‘Supercor Stop & Go ‘at around 3,500 gas stations’ Repsol’, ‘Campsa’ and ‘Petronor’ of the energy company in our country, both own and franchised. In parallel, El Corte Inglés became the Repsol purchasing center, offering more than 35,000 food, gourmet, beverage and bazaar references, as well as 60,000 non-food items (leisure, accessories, etc.).
Just twelve months later, both companies made this first announcement and presented an expansion plan that includes the commissioning of a thousand ‘Supercor Stop & Go’ in the next three years. At the end of 2018, a total of 113 operated that, in mid-2019 (last known data), rose to more than 200, with 2019 planned to conclude with 350. If this plan were fulfilled, the English Court would become the most Opening of the year, although he would continue to occupy the second position of the classification
And it is that, at the top, Carrefour continues, which manages 399 ‘Carrefour Express’, having released 42 this year, based on data from Alimarket. In fact, France’s commitment to this line of business is such that the quarantine of convenience stores that have seen the light, account for more than half (specifically 58.3%) of the total openings materialized by the French to date, established in 72.
After Carrefour and Supercor, Galician Gadisa occupies the third position by number of stores. This year has added 13 ‘Claudio Express’ (1,850 m2). It currently controls 72, including the first one at street level in A Coruña (200 m2), launched in June.
New commercial models arrive
The growth opportunities offered by service stations (with a potential market of almost 9,000 locations) have become a focus of attraction for distribution, which, in some cases, has led to these sites their younger bets. This is the case of Auchan Retail which, at the end of 2018, premiered its proximity teaching ‘My Alcampo’, at a service station in Valdepeñas (Ciudad Real). A few months later, in March, Eroski replicated his urban convenience model ‘Rapid’, in Gernika (Bizkaia), to which, later, two more were added in Pamplona and Logroño, all of them in gas stations ‘Avia’. In line, the Basque has told Alimarket that, although “for the moment” there is no agreement between the two companies, they do not discard it for the future. In any case, the three open stores offer more than 1,500 references of food, beverages, drugstore, perfumery and own oven.
For its part, the energy company Galp premiered, together with GM Food Iberica, a new interior and exterior image in its commercial units. As a result, what the company calls ‘foodconvencience’ has emerged, which, according to David Cervantes, brings together “the best of momentum, the supermarket and coffee shops in the same concept”. His pilot test began last summer, in Valdemoro (Madrid), with the teaching ‘Suma Express’. Looking ahead, the plans focus on renovating, mainly, the facilities in urban centers with the objective that, in the long term, about one hundred of its almost 300 current outlets will operate under this franchise format.