Rapid network expansion and upstream muscle are the unstoppable forces pushing Lukoil to the fore of fuel retailing in central and eastern Europe (CEE). The firm is the key mover in the region, expanding its site presence by a remarkable 180% over the past three years. But selling petrol is not simply a numbers game: Lukoil is also successfully incorporating a strong shop proposition.
Through a partnership with Western Union, fuel retailer OMV is set to offer international money transfer facilities across its network in eight Central and Eastern European countries. This is the second recent venture into the financial services space for OMV, and highlights its high focus on expanding and diversifying its service offering to drive customer satisfaction.
While unmanned or automated sites have been an integral part of the forecourt retailing landscape in the Nordic markets for decades, in other parts of Europe this concept of automated payment, no shop and slightly more barren forecourts has never quite managed to take off. But a new wave of openings is now occurring, targeting markets further east.
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