Speaking to Forecourt Trader magazine, Ilyas Munshi, Group Commercial Director for EG Group has emphasized that despite the company’s owners being closely involved in the recent acquisition of Asda, this represents a separate enterprise, and that for forecourt operator EG Group, everything is very much ‘business as usual’.
Will explore opportunities to collaborate and work together ‘in due course’
While much has been made of the conversion of three EG forecourt stores to the Asda on the Move format, it is apparent that this is largely coincidental to the Issa brothers’ role in the Asda deal. At the same time EG is also trialing a Sainsbury’s on the Go format on a number of its forecourt sites too; in line with the company’s general strategy of partnering with different retail and foodservice brands that it feels are relevant to specific locations and catchments. While a previous partnering trial with Sainsbury’s was terminated three years ago, this new arrangement seeks to build on the learnings gained previously.
Further innovation in foodservice partnerships
As well as continuing to look at ways of improving the grocery retail offer on its sites, EG Group is also seeking to evolve its foodservice opportunities. While where space allows it has sought to implement full-scale foodservice solutions with the likes of KFC and drive thu Starbucks units, many of its sites are more suited to the inclusion of inserts alone. Having built successful partnerships with brands such as Subway and Greggs in the UK, EG is now trialing further, smaller footprint solutions with brands such as Sbarro and NKD pizza as well as Cinnabon.
Group remains acquisitive
Despite have rapidly grown to some 6,000 forecourt sites across three continents through a succession of major acquisitions, additional ‘infill’ purchases are continuing especially in the US. In its most recent purchase, this month, EG acquired the 18 sites of Schrader Oil in Colorado. Ilyas Munshi commented: ‘This shows that even in this climate, if the right assets come in front of us, we’re willing to buy them. It’s not just about buying networks and operating them, it’s about investing in them as well. .. There are a lot of opportunities and we want to continue to push the convenience retail envelope.’