“Fill ’er up?”
Yes, once there was someone to pump your fuel and check your oil and water.
Then, in order to reduce operational costs and remain competitive, they became “self-service” – you pumped your own fuel, pumped your own tyres, and didn’t dare ask for mechanical assistance.RAA
Today’s announcement that David Jones and BP are joining forces to to “create all-new centres of convenience” appears to mean servos are getting back into service, taking the focus off fuel prices and putting it back onto customer experience.
DJs loves food
Back in 2015, the new South African owner of David Jones, Woolworths Holdings (which shouldn’t be confused with Australia’s Woolworths) asked South African retailing veteran Pieter de Wet to overhaul its food business.
At first he rolled out “Food Stores”, similar to British retailer Marks & Spencers “Food Halls”, inside existing David Jones stores. Then earlier this year, he launched DJ’s first stand-alone food store in Melbourne’s South Yarra.
Moving into fuel and convenience is a logical, although risky, move. Two service station chains have moved first.
Rather than competing only on fuel prices or 4 cent discounts, they are competing on “customer experience”. Stay a little longer, charge your phone and deal with some important emails. Have a barista-made espresso, or a Boost Juice. Grab a YouFoodz meal to take home for dinner.
Service stations are rediscovering service
When Singapore-based multinational Puma Energy entered Australia’s petrol market in 2013, it acquired Ausfuel Gull, Matilda, Neumann and Central Combined Group, making it Australia’s largest fuel retailer outside the big four; Caltex, BP, Shell and Mobil.
- ^ before self-serve pumps (www.adelaidenow.com.au)
- ^ servo (www.harpercollins.com.au)
- ^ David Jones and BP are joining forces (www.medianet.com.au)
- ^ food ambitions (www.davidjones.com)
- ^ Pieter de Wet (www.smh.com.au)
- ^ Food Halls (www.bbc.com)
- ^ stand-alone food store (www.insideretail.com.au)
- ^ David Jones seeks to exploit top end gap in Australian grocery (theconversation.com)
- ^ YouFoodz (youfoodz.com)
- ^ Puma Energy (www.pumaenergy.com)
- ^ 7th Street (www.pumaenergy.com.au)
- ^ Foodary (www.caltex.com.au)
- ^ The Corner Store (thecornerstore.myfoodworks.com.au)
- ^ Brasserie Bread (www.brasseriebread.com.au)
- ^ time poor (www.cbre.com.au)
- ^ meal delivery services (www.mckinsey.com)
- ^ once a week (www.nielsen.com)
- ^ IbisWorld (qsrmedia.com.au)
- ^ strategically positioned (www.afr.com)
- ^ time and income (www.emerald.com)
- ^ high fuel prices (www.accc.gov.au)
- ^ Aussie retailers need to adapt to a world built on speed (theconversation.com)
- ^ Metcash (www.metcash.com)
Authors: Gary Mortimer, Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour, Queensland University of Technology