BP’s Connect offer is today’s best in class fuel convenience shop yet it remains short of the ideal convenience offer. Its category management is collaborative and it places some shopper missions at the centre of retail strategy. A credible ‘food for tonight’ offer is missing and it is this that continues to power Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Tesco, Somerfield Essentials and others.
‘Food for tonight’ is now the biggest convenience mission and it is still owned by the grocers. What does it take to adjust that retail strategy and have ‘refining’ and ‘food retailing’ in BP’s next financial results?
That neatly brings me to Baugur and Somerfield. What an opportunity ‘Somerfield at Baugur’ has to lead convenience built on the ‘food for tonight’ mission. If I was Somerfield chief executive Steve Back and supported the deal, I would lobby Baugur to use Somerfield Essentials as the quality brand and an adapted Iceland name as the fighting brand.
We are told that Baugur favours working with existing management. Two management teams in this market is folly. One precise strategy driving two convenience retail brands works better. BP USA does it very successfully with the BP and am/pm brands. I think UK convenience retailing is about to see some different ideas — and get really exciting.
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