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    Aussie c-stores, supermarkets thriving; India's Bharat Petroleum setting up 400 c-stores.

    Chain-owned convenience stores and supermarkets are killing small shops in Australia, with nearly 3,000 -- including 500 corner stores -- disappearing in the past three years.

    "The dominance of supermarkets and the rising numbers of convenience stores have continued to place competitive pressures on other route trade outlets," said Gary Long, a senior consultant with forecaster BIS Shrapnel.

    So-called "route trade" outlets include delicatessens, butchers, chicken shops, fruit and vegetable shops, confectionary retailers, small bakeries, news agents, cinemas, theaters, video stores, chemists, liquor stores, tobacconists and service stations.

    "Anyone who wants to open up any of these outlets would need to have their head read," said Long. "You would want to be in a new area and a long way from convenience stores and supermarkets."

    In other international news, Indian oil company Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) is setting up modern convenience stores in its retail outlets and the company hopes to generate at least 10 percent of its profits through this secondary business, said S. Behuria, chairman and managing director.

    Inaugurating the in-and-out convenience store at a retail outlet of the company, Behuria said the BPCL had 235 such stores in the four major metropolitan areas and other cities in the country and the number would be taken to 400 in the future.

    Anticipating the retail revolution in the country, BPCL was the first oil company in the country to start such stores in 1996, endeavoring to fulfill "all customers' needs and aspirations" at a single point.

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