Kuzminblog

Changing the world for better… at least the world of gas stations)

Is it possible to get the “George Clooney effect” coffee sales at the gas stations?

Let’s talk about the habit of drinking coffee outside the home in Europe, Canada and Russia. Drinking coffee at the gas station, taking a cup of coffee to go on the way to work are the new habits of the modern metropolises inhabitants which change the coffe-drinking traditions in different countries around the world.

Mornings in the establishments of the Canadian coffee chain  in any city of Maple Leaf Country starts in the exact same way. The crowd of visitors sweeps stocks of coffee and pastries in the blink of an eye – the nation is one of the most coffee-addicted in the world, which is confirmed by the impressive figures of consumption and the degree of prevalence of drink among absolutely all categories of citizens in terms of monthly income, place of residence, occupation, etc. .

In 2015, the country has topped the list of 80 countries in terms of coffee consumption, calculated in liters per capita that are bought and cinsumed in catering establishments – mostly in the cafes. In terms of absolute consumption, including the volumes of coffee beverages drunk at home, Canada is the third in the world with 152 liters per person each year. Ahead are only Netherlands and Finland coffee fiends, confirms the authoritative Euromonitor study.

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Italy didn’t make it even to the top-10, which the experts were quick to explain by the continuing decline in economic activity in the country, leading to a decrease in the level of cafes traffic and locat tradition of drinking coffee at home in the Apennine peninsula. And let’s not forget about the overall culture of coffee consumption. 99% of the Italians are espresso consumers, so measured by liters they will never win the title from North Americans who are drinking the coffee by buckets, even in the heyday of italian economy. Let’s be honest to ourselves and to the readers (and even to Americans and Canadians) – for most of North Americans coffee does not play the role of a self-sufficient coffee beverage, they use it to accompany a burger or a cheesecake. As for the Finns and Netherlanders – they also like filter coffee, which by implication means large portions by volume. But still, ratings are having it their own way. Let’s move on.

Tim Hortons – Canadian “coffee pillars”

What makes Canada the absolute leader in the consumption of coffee in the format of visiting cafes, restaurants, gas stations and other places “outside “? Firstly, of course, the long cold winter (just like here in Russia!). Correlation is certainly there – it is also possible to drink hot coffee in the heat, of course, but this is «not for everyone» kind of pleasure, whereas a warm cup (or a large glass) on the way to work does the trick for almost everybody!

Morning coffee consumption scenario is realized on a cold day by every orher Canadian. Paradoxically, in the neighboring United States, in many states where the climate is almost 1 to 1 like in Canada, they drank only like 9th rating’s position volumes – no doubt due to the influence of a large number of large and populated warm southern states. Also you can easily distinguish a Canadian person from an American one by the drinks they order for their breakfast – in most cases the Canadians will take the coffee, while the American most likely will pick some soda.
But the climate is not the only component of the impact on Canadians’ preferences. And here we come to the long-awaited “secondly”.

Secondly, it is the presence of a huge, all-encompassing quality supply of coffee across the whole country. Tim Hortons coffee shops can be found absolutely everywhere in Canada, and business processes in the chain are set so that the same level of quality could be found in the most remote parts of Manitoba, in the capital – Ottawa – and in other major cities.

Canada leads the world not only by the number of indoor hockey rinks per 1000 inhabitants, the ratio of Tim Hortons cafes per person is also impressive – 3692 locations in the country give the ratio of one cafe per 9000 Canadians (the same figure for McDonald’s Canada – 1 per 25,000). This is the highest level of “coverage” of the target audience in the performance for a chain of cafes in the world.

So it wasn’t much of surprise that answering the question, why do you drink coffee at Tim Hortons, many have responded: “We are programmed like this, it is simply in our blood.”

It is hard to disagree, especially if you were able to track Canada’s progress in this regard in recent years – in 2013 the country got only fourth place in the very same rating, was the third in 2014, and, as it has been said, became first in the category “outside coffee consumption” in 2015.

A «capsule attack» or a «vending surrender»?

Overall progress in terms of aggregate consumption, by the way, is linked to the growing popularity of the segment of coffee capsules, which make the process of quality coffee brewing at home even easier. This applies not only to Canada, where, so far, this trend is still very far from being able to seriously threaten the more traditional ways of brewing coffee across the country.

Yes, capsules cost more and are less environmentally friendly in terms of packaging than the traditional coffee, but sales of this format become a factor of market development, which is hard to ignore. The trend is already being called “George Clooney effect”, refering to the Hollywood star becaming the face of the promotional company for Nespresso capsules. In the segment also actively operate such brands as Tassimo and Dolce Gusto, as well as a huge number of lesser-known players. In the UK, for example, capsules seriously threaten the positions of coffee beans and finished blends with the growth in sales of 29.5% over the last year. The total volume of sales in retail – £137.5 million which is more than 17% of the total coffee market of the United Kingdom. During the same year, the coffee sales in more traditional formats grew by only 2.5% to £167 million. It is not even “following on the heels of ” but “being neck-and-neck”.

Starbucks was first paid the attention to the trend and very soon starts at the local market its capsules in the most popular retail chain Tesco branded as Signature Espresso offering three variations of taste – Kenyan, Guatemalan and Columbian.
Smaller brands do not lag behind, betting on capsules loaded with high-quality blends of the best beans and premium roasting. Mutual benefit – Tesco is now the only major chain in the country which does not have Nespresso format capsules of its own private label brand, Starbucks has its own capsule coffee machine Verismo, which, however, has not yet been enjoying much of success.

Already 17% of Britons brew coffee at home using a capsule machine (in the vast majority it is Nespresso, Tassimo or Dolce Gusto), another 19% are ready to make a purchase of such a device when an opportunity will offer itself. At the same time, the price of the coffee capsules is not so low to speak of it as a factor of choice in favor of this technology. On the average, in the British retail a “capsule” cup of coffee costs 31 pence. In comparison, for example, with soluble coffee, it’s t cosmically expensive – a cup of instant-mix costs about 2 pence. Classic “grain” in this regard is the “golden mean”, as in the classical scheme of brewing by Superautomatic espresso machine in a coffee shop it’s about half the price of the capsules. Of course, I’m talking about the cost of the drink, rather than its “shelf” price.

Therefore, the choice of catering leaders clearly leans in favor of grain coffee machines. With the current price of capsules their place is in the home devices, which the request for the coffee does not exceed 10-12 coffee cups a day.

Canada is evolving in this direction, home coffee consumption is growing, even though it’s happening not as fast as in the cafe. Plus 3% over the past few years. It’s not so bad, and capsules play a significant role here, at least taking consumers who previously brewed using drip coffee machines.

Moreover, in Canada they first began supplying the capsules in a fully biodegradable shells – thanks to the Loblaw company. That trend will be picked up by the rest soon, and then it is expected that environmentally conscious citizens (millenials mostly) will become a highly influential market factor. (Their share in total consumption is growing rapidly by 5% to 6% per year).

They also will be stimulated by the latest results of research on potential harm/benefits to the health – the beverage was acquitted of carcinogenicity at the level of World Health Organization. Moreover, drinking up to 4 cups a day significantly reduces the risk of many types of cancer (provided that you do not drink your coffee at the temperature of the Sun’s surface).

This is where things get really interesting. Tim Hortons had previously announced coming to the UK market, but so far outside the US northern states and Canada the chain can not boast any global success, though it is in the Middle East, but there is a specificity – cafes operate at military bases, diplomatic missions, etc. In the United Kingdom there is Costa Coffee, just make it move from its niche, as well as there’s the above-mentioned trend towards home brewing using the capsules.

The company does not give up its british invasion plans, and then we may very well see the Tim Hortons capsules, maybe even for its own capsule coffee machine (which will mean the “war” with Starbucks), or else the Canadians will compete with Costa Express and its super-intelligent vending devices Marlow (although this scenario belongs completely to the realm of fantasy). In any case, company will have to do something, and the possible ways to capture the share in the UK market aren’t that numerous.

And what is even more important, even when thinking about expansion into the UK market one should not forget about a possible counter attack which can happen at any moment: Costa Coffe actively develops in Canada, especially with its ambitious and revolutionary Costa Express project, which I believe is good enough in its current state for the Russian market of coffee drinks sales at the gas stations. In fact, this determined my recent decision to invite Costa Express for joint business in Russia. Meanwhile the Costa Express is not in a hurry to conquer the Russian market, as well as RusHOLTS not in a hurry to try its coffee-making efficiency in the British Isles.

At the same time, studying the phenomenal success of Tim Hortons in Canada, I often think about the coffee business development projects in North America, where the gas station segment of coffee solutions is stuck at the level of 80-ies of the last century and today it is a free-market niche, which is not being taken in a speedy manner not by Starbucks, nor by Costa Express and Tim Hortons.

The threat of “capsule expansion” for the coffee business of modern gas stations is not something worth speaking – neither in Europe nor in Russia, nor in the United States and Canada. Capsule coffee making technology has been and remains the lot of domestic consumption market. «Outside the home» coffee market remains the domain of professional coffee equipment, coffee beans for automatic coffee machines and natural milk, i.e. it belongs to the model, used by almost all the fast-food market leaders.

Fully functional Internet of Things for gas stations is ready to take off

The Russian market of IoT solutions has a pronounced contrast compared to Europe and the United States in terms of ensuring connectivity of networks for M2M-technology devices. Its potential is regarded as a very high one. Therefore, analytical firm J’son & Partners Consulting in its research on the results of 2016 for the market of distributed systems and telemetry, remote monitoring and control services paid some special attention to the Russian Internet of Things market. Non-fuel businesses of filling stations may become the exemplary ones for the whole IoT industry, because the industry has a request for major changes to be made. It’s one thing when startups are looking for new items, and quite another one when such a request comes from the leaders of Vertically Integrated Oil Companies (VIOC).

What exactly J’son & Partners Consulting analysts evaluated?
Both the level of penetration and scale of systems that were examined in the study in the were assessed by the amount of wired and wireless devices in the segment of machine-to-machine (M2M), which are automatically (or with minimal human involvement) produce and transmit data collected by telemetry systems, and execute commands of these systems. Devices with built-in data processing functionality were not taken into account. The main objective of the study was to evaluate the prospects of transformation of distributed telemetry systems in the light of Internet of Things (IoT) future development.

One of the main conclusions drawn by the analysts – in Russia there is no fully developed IoT-systems, because 99% of the devices that are used in distributed telemetry systems are not connected to the industry IoT-platforms. Instead they are working on proprietary software and hardware products with a very limited functionality. These solutions are, in fact, the systems of “machine-to-man” (M2H) class. Thus, the number of connected devices identified in the study is simply the number of devices used for distributed telemetry and remote management and control systems that could potentially be transformed into IoT-systems.

Another feature of the market today is its very deep fragmentation: there is no single, unified market of telemetry solutions in Russia. It do not exist as such. In fact, customers are dealing with a set of virtually unrelated markets, which determine their profile on the basis of combined number of customers from various industries.

The main categories here are:
• Market of vehicles’ tracking systems and services, including so-called “smart insurance”
• Market of protective consoles and video surveillance security systems based on them. It is the only major segment of the market which is directly linked to the “smart home” segment.
• Emerging markets of systems and services for the commercial metering of consumed utilities’ resources (electricity, water, heating, gas) by companies and households. This segment can also be used in “smart home” projects.
• Market of payment systems: ATMs, POS-terminals, cash registers with WAN-connection, mobile payment modules.

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Why I invite Costa Express in Russia or «Welcome and No Trespassing»

“Without my friends there’s a little bit of me, but with a lot of friends there’s plenty of myself” – lines from a soviet children’s song perfectly describes the essential meaning of co-operation in any business. You can be the author of most innovative solutions, to develop breakthrough technologies, but it’s only going to be possible to bring it to a state of “finished product” by going through a complex chain of cooperation with a number of business partners.

And this is true even for applied business initiatives of the microscopic, compared to the market standards, formats. Opening a small shop selling two or three positions of coffee beverages and about the same range of pastries (i.e. we’re talking about literally micro scale of business, not even SMBs), immediately causes the owners of such an enterprise to the need to acquire the suppliers of coffee machines, cups, coffee beans or ready-to-use blends , semi-finished products for baking, microwave oven – and so on and so forth.

Generally speaking, each individual element of the entire infrastructure of the object can be obtained separately, from a separate supplier. Nobody forbids you from doing so – go ahead, “hedging the risks”, “putting eggs in different baskets”, call it what you want, as long as it works out in this form for the company you’ve been run. If it works – thank God then, if it fails to do so – not to worry, there will be time to optimize your business without much damage, taking into account the scale of your operations.

But when it comes to huge chains or huge international companies and their landmark initiatives for expansion into new geographical realities, the situation is somewhat different. It is true that the rule of “little help from my friends” remains the same, except that the «quality-quantity» ratio of worthy friends turns out to be of a smaller magnitude. Usually there are one or two or three of them, not more – just like in real life.

Big business speaks its own language, and to find a worthy companion in the new region of the planet Earth is always extremely difficult for anybody. Knowing this firsthand from our own experience, we are well aware of what challenges face the advanced companies in terms of technological aspects of their business – such as Costa Express.

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Costa Coffee: supply chain as a growth factor

When traditional logistic models and the organization of the supply chain have jeopardized the dynamic growth of the company, the owners of Costa Coffee went all-in. The company completely changed the leadership, adopted a new strategy for the organization of supply, hired a new logistics operator, and also introduced a new enterprise software to provide a new level of benefit from the telemetry component of its system. We believe that the final result speaks for itself.

Author’s note
When I was preparing this article, i was surprised by how similar problems had to be solved in RusHOLTS around the same time. An illustration of the similarity could be invention of the rad by Marconi and Popov. The problem is in the air and solution comes to those who are looking for it. Only RusHOLTS had to be tis own “new” logistics operator because of the lack of worthy proposals. No “regional partners”, no services outsourcing – only our own trained and well-managed structures that guarantee the high quality of work.

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Developed by RusHOLTS experts ADR system, smart monitoring of coffee machines and analytics on customer request, a customer service of our own and the creation of the Monitoring Centre – are the details that make up the effectiveness of the coffee business.

Given Russian distances, poor road quality and penetration of the Internet in the regions, our experience of conquering Russian realities by telemetry is no less rich and interesting. And as you can see, quite in the style of the world’s leading coffee industry players!

Moving at a high-speed and operating 24 hours a day, the world has become dependent on coffee to maintain this pace of work. Do we run into the coffee shop or brew a cup of invigorating drink on our own in the office, staying overtime in the university library or in the hospital cafe, on the road or on vacation, we always look forward to the same level of quality of the drink, the familiar taste and adequate cost.

Costa Express brand was created by one of the largest operators in the HoReCa and owner of Costa Coffee – Whitbread Group in 2011, in order to promote self-service coffee, both as the company’s growth platform for the future work in general and as a the whole coffee industry in particular. We’ve already written about this in more detail.

The good performance of the first year of operation confirmed the reality of the ambitious plans of Costa Express to increase the number of machines at least to 3000 to the end of 2016.

Life without a supply chain manager

In the first months after the launch in 2011, the company’s business was in many respects like a blown horse. The existing fleet of coffee machines was transferred from under the Coffee Nation brand under the brand of Costa Express and some new partners have joined their servicing. The company worked to the point of exhaustion and under tremendous pressure to quickly get impressive dynamics of growth and justify the investment * of Whitbread. (* Approx. volume of project investment amounted to £ 60 million).

By April 2012, the company realized that in order to achieve the planned growth it will have to make some changes in the organization of the supply chain. At the time of making this decision, the company did not even have the position of supply chain manager. Traditional for the industry logistics and purchasing operations were distributed among employees of the financial unit and the engineering department.

At the first stage the staff of the company’s new business unit identified three fundamental functions of the supply chain, on which the business Costa Coffee should be based.

1. Management of ingredients replenishment for coffee making at the sales point
2. Providing sales points with spare parts for coffee machines.
3. Effective management of the delivery process of new Costa Express machines and their preparation for installation on the sales points.

The most critical for the entire business proved to be the first point, which will be discussed further.

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Delicious coffee with the minimum human involvement. Costa Express – white starts and wins

Vending as a sales technique is good – but only when it comes to newspapers, chocolates and chips, as well as personal care products. He who presses the button is the one who got the goods. Just pushed it – and continued their own way. Coffee beverages vending business now comes with minimum human involvement.

Coffee vending tend to vary in terms of product quality from “Lord, what is this ???” to “Well, okay.” Why is that? Because making of coffee – is a complex process with a thousand of nuances. No exceptions. The only thing that differs very much from a good “vending coffee» to a vending of a bad coffee” – is a chain Costa Coffee called Costa Express Company.

Costa Express Coffee – is an unexpected example of the coffee business in terms of a combination of indicators varying from “country of origin”. How this company was able to appear in the UK, a country of a totalitarian tea cult – it is a mystery. Nevertheless, it was there in 1971 when this brand appeared, which not only takes a confident second place in the World after Starbucks but represents today the very notion of “premium coffee vending” that tend to vary in terms of product quality, from “Lord, what is ???” to “Well, okay.” Why is that? Because making the coffee is a complex process with a thousand nuances. Virtually no exceptions. The only thing that is very distracting from the association with «vending coffee –is a vending of a bad coffee” – is a chain called  in Costa Coffee.

Different business segments have a “turnkey project” of their own

The company covers a variety of segments and locations: vending machines Costa Coffee are available at railway stations and bookstores, in Marriott hotels, Odeon cinemas, retail chains such as Waitrose, Debenhams and Tesco, and even in Pizza Hut pizzerias and Beefeater pubs. Of course, service stations Moto and RoadChef also were not left behind.

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Project Marlow – сoffee GOELRO* plan

In 2011, Costa Coffee, the second largest chain of coffee shops, decided to expand its portfolio and hit the vending area.

The movement in the new direction began with the acquisition of the Coffee Nation chain – thus Costa Express brand was born. Costa decided not to lose time and quickly started to transform the quality of vending coffee to new heights.
The main tool for the breakthrough was going to be a new approach to the implementation of the vending machine itself to make it an example of all that people usually invest in the concept of “innovation”.

Brewing high-quality coffee “from-grain-to-the-cup” via the vending machine – it’s a constant challenge. At some stage it was even a challenge to the very common sense. Getting a consistently high level of quality in the long run was not allowed by the specific historical moment’s technology.

Meanwhile, people got used to the quality level of coffee as “brewed by barista” and such a request could not be canceled. Costa had to ensure quick brewing of high-quality coffee, considering the relevant requirements as to its temperature and as to the level of freshness of milk that is added in some particularly popular drinks. And of course not to forget about such “trifles” as hygienic and sanitary requirements, economic feasibility and reliability of the machine in terms of different operating conditions, that goes without saying.

It’s just how they joked once in the late 90s KVN stand-up playing with Russian word for “the lungs” which is synonymous to the adjective “easy” – “Now that’s the task coming from the bronchial tubes! – Yes, of course, it’s not one of the lungs!”.
Well, what else can it be but not easy? The owners of the company aimed to the conquest of international markets. Making it with a trivial device that’s present in any business center or shopping mall from Lisbon to Vladivostok is impossible – how you will be different from what is already present in the local markets?
Thus “Project Marlow” was born aiming at a complete revision of the whole coffee vending in the direction of “intelligent supervending”, how the company puts it.

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The “Marlow Project” team

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People are buying coffee not because of its price

The price for a cup of coffee can be set at any level? That’s a trick question! Because right away one is tempted to distract the attention to other topics. What kind of coffee will you be able to sell cheaply? Remember, we are talking about the delicious coffee!
Coffee market experts usually get confused when answering this question, because they know that the price of a cup of coffee ingredients is 20-25 rubles at the most. Espresso or Americano do not require the use of milk so their cost is even lower. Selling a mass product with retail margin of 1000% – is a good business, which is being guarded by its “locals” in a very tough manner. Coffee makers position on this one – a “good cup of coffee can’t cost more than 50 rubles“.
I understand that it will be followed by an ironic question: “But you do not offer coffee for 50 rubles at gas stations!”. Gas stations’ cafes and shops offer impulse demand goods, so their price is not exactly built on the principle of the discounter. But just think about why the stations are so often to tempt you with «free coffee» offerings?

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Nobody gets surprised by a sign on a cafe’s facade: «Business lunch + coffee for 50 rubles», that’s for sure.
But in addition to the gas stations and Moscow’s city center there are still many places where the coffee business can develop and there are good examples of discounter’s format. For example, in 2015, St. Petersburg COFiCO (Coffee Fix Company) was launched that sells everything at the same price – 50 rubles. By year’s end, the chain owners were going to have 50 outlets in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Now according to their page on VKontakte, from June 1, 2016 there are three coffee shops where everything goes “for 59 rubles“.
In 2016 the time has come for a large-scale experiment. Finally an «enfan-terrible» company emerged which is going to work in a “hard discounter” mode, selling coffee for 50 rubles. Israeli Cofix reports that it found a partner to open 1000 outlets in Russia. The first phase stipulates opening of three Cofix own cafe, the second – 300 franchising outlets in Moscow, the third – additional 700 throughout the country.

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“The human factor” and “The little man” at the gas station

Colleagues have repeatedly reproached me for the sentence: “My hobby – to come up with tools that reduce harm of the human factor”. Like, you do not like people, Alexander …
Alas, it is impossible to love all the people in a crowd, but when I argue about the “dangers of human factor”, it does not mean that I blame every gas station operator, or an entire category of staff for the negligence. In the great multitude of people there are always responsible and proactive employees, and there are those who will not do as much as lift a finger. There are those who are trying to comply with all instructions, and there are devil-may-cares, and there are also some “jacks of all trades” who could get inside of everything without having any need or reason to do so.

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The gas station operator is a kind of “pillar” of the station’s business on whom lots of things depend, and on the other hand you can’t exactly say that this is a prestigious profession. This is the broadest category of staff at the gas stations, their work is a long series of simple repetitive operations, so these positions are takenby the people with minimal training. They have a modest salary, which is the cause of a large staff turnover, graduates of prestigious universities do not apply for this kind of job. In addition, ordinary employees of gas station have to work with the flow of customers – an additional stress factor. So being a filling station operator implies hard work, and any additional responsibilities you can think of – whether it’s making coffee or cleaning toilets –don’t add any reasons to be optimistic.

In what cases control can actually motivate the employees?

Drawing the conclusions – the “human factor” has a lot of prerequisites to ensure that ordinary staff will execute the assigned job in a poor manner. Methodical and mass checks of the operation of each station are not possible because of the distance. Bias control by “mystery shoppers” employed from thе street reduces staff’scustomer-oriented approachby several times. The seller cannot smile sincerely only because of the fear of penalty. So we need to have the control, but a reasonable and, most importantly, an objective one. Here modern IT solutions for remote monitoring come to the aid providing a truly objective monitoring of the implementation of the prescribed regulations.

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Fuel for drivers. Why G-Drive does everything right

Savvy marketing does not always help, but it certainly never hurts. The universal rule that brings to life an infinite number of brands, promotion campaigns and rebrandings of virtually anything around us. It works in the fuel segment, too – the most striking example of it is the G-Drive: a brand under which merged a premium fuel for cars and an energy drink. Any fan of “Zenith”, as well as any active Internet user was faced with a G-Drive advertising campaign: the famous Hulk during training sessions performs exorbitant power tricks – tears the ball apart, or does the same to the net, then makes his colleagues looks like extras in game situations.

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It’s all done in a spectacular way, with humor and enthusiasm. I think many were under the impression of these excellent viral clips and discovered G-Drive energy drink, having tried it at least “just for fun”. And it is very representative: at the basis of an integrated approach to the promotion lies absolutely correct idea, or rather a few ideas.

First one – the driver and the car as a whole – if you feed your “iron horse” with fuel, which increases its performance, leading it to the next level, you yourself need to be fit as its “rider” which has to tame the roaring engine and reckless wheels during the long journey. Therefore, everything is simple and logical: filled your iron horse with some super fuel? Fill yourself with the same super-fuel, otherwise it’s a dissonance.

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Life after oil. The transformation of the gas station

«Life After Oil» is one of the most quoted events held during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “For our country the oil is everything, it is 25% of GDP. So to imagine the structure of our economy without the oil which has not only a direct impact, but also an indirect contribution to GDP by attracting investment through consumption, is probably impossible”,- quote from a speech by Herman Gref.
Accepting this new reality is difficult not only to Russia. In Canada they also believe that country’s status as an energy superpower is under threat because of the more rapid speed of decline of the era of fossil fuels on the market than it was thought previously.
We’ve told you already about the history of the financial relationship of David Rockefeller and company Exxon Mobile.
David Rockefeller-Sr., the grandson of the founder of the dynasty, said he had lost faith in Exxon Mobil and donated its shares, which he’d got directly from his great-grandfather, to a non-profit Rockefeller Family Fund, which deals with environmental issues.
For non-fuel gas station businesses this trend has some good news in it. The modern driver’s need for a cup of coffee and some rest occurs more frequently than his car runs out of gasoline. This can easily be confirmed by the figures. Shell in 2015 had an operating loss from the core operations in the tune of $5.7 billion, but profits from “auxiliary” businesses, including retail, have grown over the past year three-fold to some $10.2 billion. Source >>
Therefore i consider an interview of Istvan Kapitani, executive vice president and Head of Retail businesses in Royal Dutch Shell, to be an essential one.
Istvan Kapitani joined the company in 1987 as a manager of filling station in Hungary, namely at his homeland. Today he leads the direction, which includes more sales outlets than Starbucks or McDonald’s. 43 000 gas stations, 500 000 employees and 25 million customers in 70 countries every day.

The future of fuel retail
Many of the current problems of fuel retailers today can be reduced to one thorny challenge – how exactly gas stations should be transformed in the light of the needs of the world with constantly falling oil prices, growing environmental requirements and the upcoming emergence of unmanned vehicles.

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