State of the fuel and convenience retail industry
Today, the fuel and convenience retail industry faces a critical inflection point. Two main factors are accelerating industry disruption: the onset of COVID-19 driving a substantial decrease in demand, and an increase in oil supply, triggering a significant drop in oil prices.
Consumer habits are shifting from in-store to virtual purchases. New competitors are emerging. Store consolidation is squeezing margins. And with improved fuel efficiency, the advent of electric vehicles, and an increase in ride-sharing, demand for motor fuel has been on the decline.
Fuel and convenience retailers will need to account for the additional overhead that comes with owning or operating a c-store in both the near-term and long-term. Ultimately, strategies need to be implemented to limit operational issues, keep employees and consumers safe, and position their businesses for the next wave of change.
4 key areas for fuel and convenience retail to focus on now and next
What can fuel and convenience retailers do now—and next—to address critical, immediate people-needs of their business?
Navigating with solutions for consumers and employees
How do fuel and convenience retailers transition through these challenging times to ensure their company thrives into the future?
Fuel and convenience retailers must act now to address the far-reaching implications of COVID-19 and the oil market impacts to preserve the business and ultimately enable growth.
- Prioritize which initiatives will create a positive consumer experience and become part of daily life.
- Determine which consumer behaviors will stick is a combination of the industry disruptors that accelerated new behaviors, like focusing on sanitation/safety, and how positive the experience was for the consumer during the crisis.
- Consider how to improve the consumer experience for those behaviors that did have a high impact (like delivery services and contactless fueling) to increase the likelihood that they’ll become a permanent behavior and drive consumer loyalty.