business news in context, analysis with attitude

Interesting piece from Bloomberg about how "Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., the publicly listed Philippine arm of Shell Plc, plans to have retail shops and restaurants in a third of its gasoline refilling stations by 2025 as its seeks to boost revenues beyond fuel.

"That could drive non-fuel retail earnings to grow at least 15% a year and build an income stream that provides a quarter of sales, CEO Lorelie Quiambao Osial said in a Bloomberg interview. Shell wants 550 of its 1,300 to 1,400 stations in the Philippines in 2025 to have retail offerings that range from convenience stores to restaurants and shops like Jollibee, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Adidas."

“We are transforming what you’d normally call petro retail stations into mobility destinations,” said Osial. “Before it’s motorists-driven. Now, it’s something for the passengers to enjoy as well.”

KC's View:

To be clear, this is not as connected to the electric vehicle revolution as one might think.  In the Philippines, they're actually counting on rising personal income and increased petroleum demand to improve what's called a “low motorization rate."

But let's put that aside for a moment, and consider the notion of redefining traditional formats - like "gas station" - as something new and innovative - like "mobility destination."

This is the kind of thing that a lot of retailers in the c-store space are going to have to consider.  They're used to the idea that people pump their gas in a few minutes, and have had to orient their retail offerings to that quick in-and-out.  But if people have to recharge their car batteries, it is going to require more time … but the current definition of convenience retailing will have to change.  They're going to need more compelling offerings that will allow/encourage customers to maximize their time, not waste it.