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Fill it, forget it but buy them!

HEY! WHAT about those convenience stores on petrol pump outlets? Well, they go well with the speedy buyer who doesn?t want to get lost in a Ganj crowd for little stuff.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 00:18 IST
SANTOSH Chowdhury
SANTOSH Chowdhury

HEY! WHAT about those convenience stores on petrol pump outlets? Well, they go well with the speedy buyer who doesn’t want to get lost in a Ganj crowd for little stuff.

It’s as simple as drive in, stop by, make a quick buy and speed off! So, petrol pump stores are here to stay, because they form a well thought-out gameplan of oil marketing companies.

They feel the future holds immense promise for these stores even near a mega shopping malls and multiplexes coming up in the city.

And how? These companies feel the customer is going to get busier and would prefer buying groceries at an RO while constantly on the move during weekdays in the city.

“We aren’t selling television sets and music systems in these ROs. These are typical convenience stores which would retain their character as convenience stores selling toothpastes , soft drinks and other such items in future also”, says S C Meshram, General Manager, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), UP & Uttaranchal states.

The IOC has some three to four such convenience stores located at ROs in the city, he said.

There are about seven convenience stores currently operational at ROs owned mostly by petroleum marketing companies in the city with a small but growing clientele of loyal customers who shop in these stores regularly.

The concept of convenience stores had been adopted by petroleum marketing companies from stores existing with petroleum ROs especially in Europe and United States for decades. These stores would definitely become popular in the city when there is sufficient parking space for the cars and fast food joints start their operations near such convenience stores, T K Goon, Zonal General Manager, Gail (India) Ltd commented.

As people become more and more busy while finding little time to visit large shopping malls, they would start stopping by in these stores to have a cup of coffee or soft drinks more often in future , he said.

Mohammed Zubair, President of Lucknow Petroleum Dealers Association commented : “A convenience store gets more customers depending upon the location of a RO in a city. There are “convenience stores” opened by ROs which are ideally located on busy locations such as the road leading to Raj Bhavan and Vidhan Sabha Marg which receive regular stream of customers. The same may not be true for stores which are not conveniently located in the city, he said.

He said the petroleum marketing companies which now own 90 per cent of the ROs in the city hold a long-term view on viability of these convenience stores.

“In fact there is a separate department in these companies which deal with maintenance and operation of convenience stores”, Zubai said.

The banks should start opening more ATMs near these ROs having convenience stores to boost up sales as future holds lot of promise for convenience stores, he added.

First Published: Mar 18, 2006 00:18 IST