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.
Shell has signed a joint venture agreement with Alliance Group in Ukraine that continues the company's recent strategy of investing in high-growth retail markets through partnerships. This policy allows Shell to capitalize on its brand while minimizing investment; a prudent move should these growth markets experience the same competitive pressures currently affecting Shell in its western markets.
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