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Global Gas Service Stations Industry

The global gas service station industry (part of the specialty store sector) is expected to generate more than $2 trillion in 2015, representing 23% expansion in five years, reports MarketLine. Fuel value represents the leading segment within the world service station market, generating close to 90% of industry revenue. The EU holds more then 40% of the global service station industry in terms of value.

The gas station industry analysis shows that the sector is characterized by intense competition, mostly waged on a price basis. Large supermarket chains and oil companies, such as Shell and BP, hold large market shares. Gas service stations sell diesel and gasoline fuel, and are generally combined with food marts or convenience stores that offer other services like car cleaning or automotive repair services.

Regional Market Share

Gas retailers operating in the EU service station industry are focusing on using convenience stores to generate higher revenue, according to research from Datamonitor. The EU service station convenience market is worth around $27 billion, fuelled by the current top-up shopping trend. Close to 60% of customers stopping at Euro 8 service stations purchase a shop product. Shop sales are fuelled by specific categories of goods like newspapers, confectionery and tobacco.

According to research from Datamonitor, there were more than 10,200 unmanned gas stations across Europe in early 2011, equivalent to 8% of all service stations in the region. More than 5% of fuel sold in the EU in 2010 was through fully automated sites, with sales set to grow further as fuel sellers downsize formats and market segments move toward a basic refueling option. Over half of service stations in some countries, such as Sweden, Finland and Denmark, are unmanned, with a particularly high rate of unmanned stations in rural regions. Unmanned refueling stations in France boast Europe’s highest volume of fuel sales, and represents almost 10% of national volumes. Many of these stations are owned by and combined with hypermarkets. Esso leads in the EU unmanned stations market, followed by Statoil and Neste.

The UK service stations industry witnessed a near 1.5% drop in the number of sites, reaching close to 9,000 stations in 2010, according to Verdict. Rontec investments book over the TOTAL network, and Shell bought over 250 sites. Consolidation is forecast to see service station numbers fall in 2014. UK fuel consumption rose by almost 7% in 2010, mainly on the back of rising diesel sales. Volume sales declined a further 1.5% in 2010 and the price of petrol and diesel rose 22% and 19% respectively. BP is the leader in UK fuel volume share, followed by Tesco. There is a forecourt shop in close to 90% of UK service stations. The number of service stations featuring a shop climbed almost 4% in 2010.

UK service station visitors rate BP and Esso as having equal quality customer service and shop offerings among the five leading fuel retailers. Tesco’s ranked highest for customer service and shop offering. Germany’s leading gas sellers have developed their own shop brands, with some additional offering such as loyalty cards. Shell is hoping to rival Aral’s Petit Bistro format through its Break Time format.

Fuel prices influence a large percentage of motorists in their choice of service station, with one in three service stations visitors checking service station pricing boards before selecting a site, reports Verdict. The leading forecourt services among UK motorists are ATMs and pay-at-pump facilities.

Growth in the US service station market is expected to slow to a yearly rate of less than 3.5% between 2010 and 2015, bringing the market to just over $230 billion, reports MarketLine. Fuel sales represented the leading segment in the US service stations market in 2010, generating almost $222 billion for 62% of overall market value. North America’s neighborhood stores, convenience stores and gas stations market is quite concentrated, with a range of operators including large national store chains, small store chains and independent stores. Canadean estimates the leading 10 convenience stores, neighborhood stores and gas stations in North American in 2010 represented just more than 50% of the overall market.

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