Fill up at a Pick n Pay service station

Food retailer Pick n Pay and petroleum company BP have combined forces in a pilot programme set to change the face of petroleum retailing and convenience shopping in South Africa.

A formal agreement between fuel and convenience retailers is not new to South Africa. However, what is different here is that Pick n Pay will not only retail convenience goods as well as fuel on the service-station forecourt.

BP will act as landlord and fuel wholesaler, with Pick n Pay as the franchisee.

The two companies, which signed a memorandum of understanding in July, will open two pilot sites in the Cape by the end of 2008.

The companies said the roll-out will depend on the success of the model, but they are confident the joint venture will bring multiple benefits not only to the two companies, but also to customers.

The roll-out would involve further expansion concentrated on BP’s top national sites, with the existing BP Express stores being phased out.

Diesel will be discounted from the first day of trading. Petrol, which remains strictly regulated by the government, will be sold at the prevailing price until such time as the government loosens its control on fixed prices.

The new convenience stores will be known as Pick n Pay Express, and will stock just more than 1 500 lines, staying open 24/7.—I-Net Bridge

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