FEATURE30 August 2018

The road ahead

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Energy Features Impact Retail UK

James Johnstone, global customer insights director at Shell, thinks the term market research is too limiting. As Shell faces disruption, it’s insight that will help him understand petrol-station shopping behaviour. By Katie McQuater

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Think about the last time you filled up your car at a petrol station. The chances are, when you paid for your fuel, you were met by an array of refreshment options. Far from the packets of crisps and fizzy drinks of the past, filling stations now offer a wider, more sophisticated variety of choices – in fact, they’re more like supermarkets than ever before.

Shell is leading the charge on this. With the industry facing disruption from alternative vehicles and fuels, the oil and gas giant is placing many of its bets on retail – and insights are driving this shift.

Shell plans to grow its network of stations by almost a quarter, globally, by 2025, and will add another 5, 000 convenience stores, with retail growth focused on emerging markets including China, India and Mexico.

On a mission 

In recent years, the company has made various strides to adapt to changing consumer needs around refuelling. It ...