Woolworths and Caltex have opened their first new petrol forecourt store in Sydney.
New look Woolworths petrol offer
The first store at North Ryde in Sydney is the first of 250 that the retailer plans to roll out across Australia. The new stores will look to upgrade the convenience offer on Caltex forecourts, with around 1,000 SKU's offering food-for-now and food-for-later solutions, everyday fresh food, plus top up grocery items. The next store will open in Kingsford in Sydney later this month, followed by a third stores in Melbourne in early 2020.
Part of a long term plan to grow sales from forecourts
The first store is a significant step for Woolworths, who have been trying to exit its petrol business over the past few years. In July 2018, due to Woolworths plan to sell its petrol sites to BP being blocked, it decided to re-worked its existing 22 year relationship with Caltex to find an alternative solution. This involves Caltex providing the fuel to Woolworths owned and operated petrol sites, Woolworths customers continuing to get fuel discounts and reward points from over 700 Caltex sites, but crutially for Woolworths, acting as a wholesale food supplier to the entire Caltex network and plans to roll out 250 new Caltex-operated 'Metro' convenience stores.
Convenience a hot trend for 2020...
We have been monitoring convenience as a channel in Australia for a number of years, but it appears that 2020 could be the year where we start to see an acceleration in terms of innovation in the channel, both in terms of standalone and forecourt locations. Just last month David Jones opened its first standalone premium convenience store in Melbourne, while Coles is also exploring opportunities to open more smaller Coles Express stores and Woolworths more stores under the Metro and MetroGo banners. In terms of forecorts, David Jones announced in August that it would partner with BP to open 10 David Jones branded stores on petrol sites in Sydney and Melbourne, while Woolworths will further ignite innovation in this area throughout 2020.
Jo Taylor, Caltex’s executive general manager of convenience retail, commented, "2020 is really a year of piloting and ensuring we're putting the right offer in the right place. We have eight to ten pilot sites across Sydney and Melbourne opening over the next year, and we'll use the learnings from that to build our rollout plan."