The automotive market is transforming radically. Products and services offered at a fuel station are driven by customers’ needs, in the fuels segment (conventional fuels are most likely to remain the dominant fuel type, with a growing importance of alternative fuels) and in the convenience segment (which is undergoing significant changes, too).
For the last 25 years BP has been and still wants to be part of Poland’s growth irrespective of the developments and shifting trends in the fuel market. We wish to remain the leading energy provider for transport and meet the present and future needs of our customers.
BP service stations are conveniently situated at premium locations in large cities, on motorways or major thoroughfares. We operate over 520 stations with a wide and still expanding range of fuels and convenience products. We are changing and developing our sites based on market observations and the customers’ needs.
Each year we open scores of new service stations and hire several hundred new employees. We employ nearly 4,000 people and in the 25 years of our operations in Poland we invested $1.5 billion into Poland and have paid 15 billion zlotys in VAT, excise duty and fuel tax to the state budget. We support the Polish market by using local design studios, buying from about 2,100 Polish suppliers, and working with local contractors and subcontractors.
BP is among the top 500 companies in Poland and in fourth place among fuel companies, after national oil companies but ahead of any foreign oil company operating in the country. BP Europa SE Polish Branch was ranked 47th among the largest companies in Central and Eastern Europe in 2017.
25 years in Poland
BP started operating in Poland in 1991. Initially, the company only run an office selling automotive and industrial oils. 1995 marked the opening of the company’s first filling station in Gliwice. Since then, the network expanded by around 20-30 stations each year, quickly bringing BP to the top position among foreign oil companies in Poland where the company has remained until the present date.
Castrol, an engine oil and lubricants manufacturer, developing products based on research, advanced technologies and innovative solutions, operates as part of BP in Poland.
Thanks to the Lotos-Air BP joint venture, the company has also established its presence on the aviation fuel market.
Community investment projects are an essential element of our strategy. We are a partner to six national programmes all of which can be supported by our customers through the PAYBACK customer card scheme.
Community Investment Projects
Being also a leader in social initiatives, BP in Poland is consistently pursuing its CSR policy and working with organizations that rely on effective collaboration, including Polish Humanitarian Action, Wiosna & Siemacha Associations, Saint Lazarus Hospice – Society of Friends to People in Disease and the TOPR mountain rescue service. BP supports the initiatives undertaken by these organizations, including the Pajacyk (Puppet) - meals for children from poor backgrounds, the Szlachetna Paczka (Precious Gift) aid for struggling families at Christmas and beyond, Akademia Przyszłości (Academy of the Future) educational programme for children and Fields of Hope - money collection for terminally ill. Since 1996, BP spent over $10 million on social initiatives in Poland. BP has been recognised for its commitment to social issues and received many awards, including three Benefactor of the Year awards. In 2012, BP was honoured with the CSR Golden Leaf, and in 2014 it received the Józef Dietl Entrepreneur award for outstanding accomplishments and outreach programmes benefiting local communities, local authorities and the development of the Małopolska region. BP in Poland was also recognised as ‘The most desired employer of 2015’ by professionals and managers in the energy, gas, fuels and chemistry category. Over the 25 years of our presence in Poland we have received an extraordinary array of awards in various categories, including for fuels and service stations, BP PLUS fuel cards, our services, Lotos-Air BP joint venture, being a reliable company, being responsible company and as a champion of image and brand. In total, we have amassed a collection of 50 awards! BP service stations are recognised in various competitions, which is a sign that the Company is good at following what its customers want.
We introduce new solutions
The products and services offered at a fuel station are driven by customers’ needs, in the fuels and the convenience segments. We are aligning our products and services to remain the leading energy provider for transport and meet the expectations of our customers.
Changes in legislation such as fuel, energy and transport regulations which addressed the gaps in the fuel market, factors affecting the price per barrel of oil and difficulties in recruiting the workforce were the key trends influencing the situation and investments in the fuel station market throughout 2016 and 2017.
The fuel sector in Poland has tried to combat illegal operations for years as they had a huge impact on the market conditions and its ability to attract investors. The grey market hampered the operation of legal companies and reduced income to the state budget. In 2016, two pieces of law came into force which had a paramount importance in fighting illegal fuel trade – the Amendment to the VAT Act of 7 July 2016 (the so-called fuel package) and the Amendment to the Energy Law of 22 July 2016 (the so-called energy package).
The Active range of fuels with additional ingredients, including BP Ultimate fuels with Active technology and regular fuels with Active technology was successfully launched in 2016.
We're also committed to invest intensively in our convenience offer as a result of which the share of shops in total sales at service stations is growing steadily, as is the number of customers visiting our stations simply because of our convenience products, snacks and car wash facilities. The convenience line sold in our shops compares to that of small grocery shops and includes food, beverages, fitness food, regional products and food for diabetics. It comprises over 2,500 different products. We also hold many daily promotions.
The trends driving the convenience offer are important for us. Every third customer buying our fuel also buys coffee. Thanks to the Barista programme launched in 2016 customers may create the taste of their coffee and select from among new types of coffee with manually frothed milk which until recently were not available at cafés in retail stations. In 2017, we started refurbishing our Wild Bean Cafés; the new branding is called WBC Evolution.
The convenience segment is developing mostly to accommodate the consumers’ desire for effortlessness. We've noticed this trend and have been running a pilot shop under the name Piotr and Paweł on the go on our retail stations since August 2017. The new shop format is dedicated not only to drivers but also other people who appreciate convenient solutions. For the time being, the pilot shop will be available on three stations only.
The car wash is an important additional service offered at our retail stations. We operate the largest network of the most advanced automatic and touchless cash washes. They are being constantly improved and revamped. The newest automatic Car Wash Premium format is available on several dozen sites; they feature additional functionalities, improved programmes and better washing performance relative to a standard car wash.
We are also adding services not traditionally associated with retail stations. Several years ago we launched flower shops where customers can purchase fresh flowers round the clock. Most sites have an ATM and at many of them there are InPost package machines where customers may conveniently pick up their parcels at any time of day or night. This is how we apply customer insight in real life.
All in all, BP has been and still wants to be part of Poland’s development. We will closely look at the changing market trends and follow our customers’ expectations.
Pioneer of changes on the Polish market
BP initiated a number of changes on the Polish market by removing leaded fuels and launching premium BP Ultimate fuels (since 2016 with Active technology), equipping all stations with fume extraction, using double-wall fuel tanks as a standard solution, implementing HACCP, building the largest network of touchless and automatic car wash stations, offering BP PLUS fuel card (in 2017 – an upgraded version of BP Plus and BP Komfort Prepaid for domestic transport and a new product, the BP and Aral card for international fleets) with an increasing number of solutions and prepaid gift BP SuperCard to fleet operators, serving excellent coffee and a growing variety of dishes at Wild Bean Cafés and selling fresh flowers around the clock at selected BP stations. All these changes hugely contributed to improving the standards of service across the entire fuel industry in Poland. In 2000, BP was the first company in Poland to launch a loyalty programme with a social partner, enabling its customers to donate points to the Pajacyk initiative. Today, every customer may support six different social programmes by donating points.