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Interview: Martin Lustenberger, Shell

Interview: Martin Lustenberger, Shell

We speak with the general manager of licensed markets at Shell, about the brand’s franchising opportunities and successes

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How does Shell’s licensing and franchising models work?
ML:
With 45,000 sites operating in close to 80 countries, we are the world’s largest mobility retailer. Depending on the geographical area and other factors, we operate using different models across our markets, ranging from direct ownership of retail sites through to Shell Retail brand licensing agreements as well as wholesale and dealership arrangements.

Our other franchise models, for markets where Shell already has a presence, are based on a Shell fuels supply agreement that can range from one site to a whole network of sites.

What is the difference between a fuels retailer and a mobility retailer? And what’s Shell’s strategy regarding this?
ML:
A mobility retailer’s offering is hugely expanded and more suited for the needs of the future. This is about looking ahead to when a retail site will no longer be a place where people only fuel up their cars, but a mobility hub which offers multiple services to customers.

By moving from being a fuels retailer to a mobility retailer, we are opening new opportunities for Shell and our partners on the sites of the future.

“We have seen an increase of 50 per cent and more in footfall after sites re-branded as Shell”

As one of the world’s largest energy suppliers, we are also exploring how to serve the world’s increasing number of electric car drivers, both on our forecourts and beyond. For example, Shell Recharge, our fast charging brand, is now present in 300 forecourts across our global network.

What markets are you currently looking to explore and why?
ML:
We see significant potential for growth in emerging markets, where rising prosperity is driving demand for transportation and trusted brands. We also predict strong growth in mature markets where the Shell brand can make a big difference and accelerate the business of our partners.

We thereby benefit a lot from the strength of the Shell brand, across all continents. Even in markets where Shell has never been present, the Shell brand is usually very powerful and well recognized.

What do franchise partners get when they invest in a Shell Retail operation?
ML:
The potential to take advantage of our globally recognized brand has never been greater – customers trust Shell to provide high-quality fuels and a retail experience that they want to come back to, and this is the main reason why our retail partners benefit from brand association.

Our support teams add business value by helping retail partners to redesign their fuel stations and store layouts and enabling the high operational standards that can deliver substantially increased volume and margin.

The value that the Shell brand and partnership brings can lead to significant upsides for business partners who join us. If you look at recent examples, we have seen an increase of 50 per cent and more in footfall after sites re-branded as Shell.

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