The number of BP Connect stores looks set to hit 200 this year according to BP, as the format outstrips the company’s own growth forecasts.
Claire Grimes, BP UK retail brand manager, said: “BP Connect continues to grow because the format offers consumers on the move everything from everyday household groceries to food and fuel under one roof.
“BP plans to have up to 200 BP Connects on the ground by the end of this year.”
The number of BP Connect forecourt stores has doubled in the last year.
In June 2003, BP predicted that it would open just 10 BP Connect stores in the second half of 2003, adding to an existing portfolio of 80.
But the forecourt operator said there were now 160 outlets, including four in Scotland, with the remainder in south east, central and north west England. All these stores have built-in Wild Bean Café areas.
In total, 36 BP Connect shops have opened so far this year, with 40 more planned. In addition, Wild Bean Café food and beverage lines have been spruced up to drive the growth of the BP Connect brand.
A new range of chilled smoothies and shakes hit shelves in May, with flavours such as mixed berry and iced coffee. These have been
followed by the relaunch of the sandwich and baguette ranges, complete with updated packaging, in conjunction with supplier Cuisine de France. New flavours on offer include chicken mayo with parsley and feta, and hummus, peppers & red onion baguette.
“The new Wild Bean Café products and packaging have been created to ensure that they continue to offer the customer not only more choice but the very best quality food on the move,” said Grimes. “It is envisaged that this will help deliver growth.”
BP has also announced the forthcoming launch of a joint promotion with Odeon Cinemas to coincide with the release of the Thunderbirds film in July.
The scratchcard promotion is designed to boost sales of BP Ultimate petrol.
It offers customers the chance to win prizes ranging from a holiday for four in Florida to 1,000 free Nectar points and is available across all of BP’s UK retail outlets.
Rod Addy