Q: Would you please tell us about the competition in service station and non-oil businesses last year as well as the future trend?
A: In 2020, the service station market was affected by COVID-19 outbreak, resulting 0.1% lower than the previous year. The main players had continued expanding their branches. Comparing to Q3 2019, service stations increased by 334 stations in total, while independent service stations decreased by 286 stations in Q3 2020, leading to the stronger competition.
Gas stations nowadays are not just gas stations but greater expectations to customers. According to the study, customers often engaged in non-oil businesses so that Bangchak continuously expanded non-oil partners. In 2020, with Central Retail Corporation, we expanded FamilyMart and Tops Daily as well as Mini Big C and Baichak Mart in gas stations. Bangchak also developed the car care business under the brand “Furio Care”, “Wash Pro” and “Green Wash” as well as expanded other non-oil partners including restaurants and other stores to respond to the customers’ needs in each area.
For the 2021 market trend, it is expected to slightly improve when the COVID-19 outbreak is under control and vaccine roll out goes well. However, main players will continue to invest and expand new branches so the competition will continue to be strong.
Q: Mr. Somchai, how Bankchak gas stations differ from the others? And, what are the charms to induce customers visit?
A: Bangchak commits to deliver the impressive experiences to customers, as well as involve them in being a part to responsible for society and environment under the concept of “Evolving Greenovative Experience” so that Bangchak gas stations would become customers’ “Greenovative destinations” as we offer the high-quality fuel products and sustain the environment at the same time. We are the leader in distributing low-sulfur fuel with Euro 5 standards, and we have been developing stations with the Unique Design as well as a variety of non-oil businesses such as Inthanin coffee shop (the leading ECO Brand), car care business, restaurants, and other services in accordance with different customers’ behaviors in each area to be able to deliver experiences beyond fueling. In 2021, we aim to open more than 100 stations and shift the service standard to another level for the greater customer experiences.
Moreover, in order to show gratitude for the loyal members of Bangchak club which has been active for 15 years, the behavior database and benefit redemption will be used to design the right marketing programs directly for each customer.
Not only creating memorable experiences to customers, Bangchak will also consider the business growth along with community and social benefits by launching a campaign to engage Thais to help Thais in this COVID-19 outbreak during February and March this year. This is to support social and economic recovery in accordance with our business philosophy.
Q: Would you please share the growth plans of non-oil businesses?
A: The marketing business group will continue expanding non-oil and lubricants businesses by aiming their EBITDA to be 30%.
Our Inthanin coffee shop is firmly entering into the fifteenth year with its more than 700 stores nationwide. There were 111 stores expanded last year, and another 150 stores are the target this year, both inside and outside the service stations. Inthanin coffee shop operates under the concept of “Inthanin Natural Cups” by being a leader in reducing single-used plastics as well as the biggest bio-cup user. In 2021, Inthanin follows the 5 main strategies through 5 Good Experience including
- Good Taste: we serve a selection of beverages and coffee. The 100% Arabica coffee beans are neatly produced. Cocoa drink menu is very popular as well as selected bakery in accordance with Inthanin standards. We will also be expanding new products to respond to customers’ needs such as Inthanin Home Coffee Series and Inthanin x partners
- Good Service: because customers are important, we are delivering impression through our services for Inthanin to be as a stop for customers to charge energy or start a bright day
- Good Design: we deliver experiences through our services with store designs that meet the needs of customers
- Good Health: apart from delivering beverages and coffee with soft and smooth taste, new ranges of beverages and snacks are offered to customers with health concern such as local and seasonal fruits
- Good Society: as a leader in ECO Brand coffee shop, we use bioplastic cups, and in order to sustainably reduce plastic, Inthanin together with Royal Forest Department arranged the project “Cups for Seedlings” by bringing Inthanin’s used bio-cups to make the most of it. Also, there is a plan to utilize coffee grounds for some other benefits
For the car care business, future plans are continuously expanded to serve customers and increase lubricant sales through car care service. After years, the standards and services have been improved with the aim of expanding 40 branches. Currently, we launched 2 branches of “Wash Pro” operated by Green Net, the Company’s affiliate, to be a foundation in car care business expansion.
Regarding the convenient store and non-oil business partners, there is currently the major brand of convenient store in more than 190 branches, and also being expanded. We are seeking for new non-oil business partners including restaurants and other stores to meet the needs of customers in each area.
Mr. Somchai Tejavanija
Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Marketing Business Group