Shane Flynn, Applegreen

Applegreen has brought many new initiatives to the forecourt market in recent years. It pioneered the first Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) in Ireland, launched the industry’s first loyalty card and its own brand range.

In 2014, the new ideas continue as Applegreen gears up to enter the Dealer market.

Since its inception in 1992, Petrogas Global Ltd (trading as Applegreen) has successfully opened almost 80 service stations across Ireland, all of which are company owned. The company also operates a forecourt network in the UK.

The new Dealer offering is all about letting independent retailers access the Applegreen brand and new dealer manager Shane Flynn is heading up the new venture.

Speaking to IFCR, Shane explained Applegreen’s thinking behind the move into the Dealer business.

“Initially the idea came from requests from existing dealers wanting to get access to our brand,” said Shane.

“This highlighted a gap in our portfolio of products and services to the market and the Dealer offering now showcases another opportunity for the company to grow its presence in the market.”

He added: “The new Applegreen Dealer offering will propose a ‘no hassle’ solution for forecourt owners looking for the wide range of benefits when moving to an Applegreen canopy and fuel supply. These benefits include a competitive and guaranteed fuel margin, significant brand.”

Applegreen, Dealer site
(L-R) Applegreen’s Shane Flynn, head of dealer business, Joe Barrett, COO and Tony Leahy, business development manager

Shane, who is an ex-Topaz COCO business manager, has started to build a strong team for the new Applegreen venture and they are ready to get out into the marketplace to showcase the benefits
to becoming an Applegreen Dealer.

Shane says that the new Dealer offering has been positioned at all independent forecourt retailers.

“Applegreen has developed a competitive, attractive package aimed at appealing to all those looking for a good deal in the marketplace, now and in the future.

“We encourage any potential Dealer who wants to put their fuel pricing, ordering and forecourt maintenance in the right hands to take a good look at our Dealer brochure. Our canopy message ‘low fuel prices, always’ will be a beacon to any driver looking for quality, traceable fuel at very competitive prices. This will improve footfall to those who engage with our Dealer package.”

Shane believes that the Applegreen Dealer offering is unique to the competition and offers competitive and guaranteed fuel margins.

“It’s a significant brand investment, there’s no cash tied up in fuel, you benefit from low fuel prices and you can avail of our industry leading and award-winning loyalty programme for fuel sales.
“Our 21 years of forecourt retailing knowledge means it’s a ‘no hassle’ solution for fuel; we look after the ordering, pricing of fuel and delivery by DCD where possible.”

The new Dealer focus comes on the back of a positive year for Applegreen in 2013.

Since the subsidence of the downturn in the market, Shane explained that Applegreen has seen only encouraging signs pointing towards a rise in consumption.

“We have seen good shop and food-to-go growth of five per cent in Ireland (like for like of 3.6 per cent). Also the difficult economic environment presented us with opportunities, which we have successfully
embraced aiding the growth for our forecourt estate.”

Applegreen, Mount Merrion, Dublin
Applegreen, Mount Merrion, Dublin

He continued: “We currently have more than 80 sites in Ireland and over 42 sites in the UK. As well as expanding these numbers, we are also focusing on the rebranding of older sites, thus further strengthening the Applegreen brand.”

The company’s rapid expansion in the UK and the focused development of new business opportunities has challenged Applegreen to ensure that the head office components grow sufficiently to support this.

The brand gained strong recognition in the industry over the past 12 months, thanks to Applegreen’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

The company has won awards internationally as well as in Ireland and the UK acknowledging its widely renowned status as an innovator within the forecourt industry.

“Last year saw us win the Retail Excellence ‘National Store of the Year’ and ‘Manager of the Year’ award 2014,” said Shane.

“We also won The All-Ireland Marketing Awards ‘CRM Customer Care’ award 2013 and The Loyalty Awards ‘Best New Loyalty Programme’ award covering Europe, Middle East and

Applegreen also had great success with its Charitable Fund, which is now in its fifth year. Last year concluded with another exciting chapter by donating €405,387.12 to be split between its charity partners The Jack & Jill
Children’s Foundation and Console.

The total amount raised is 59 per cent higher than the target set for this two year charity drive involving Applegreen’s customers and the Applegreen service stations nationwide, which brings the total amount donated by Applegreen to charity to date to €681,469.31, since the fund began.

As 2014 is well underway, Applegreen has a busy year ahead. The Dealer offering is now rolling out across Ireland and the company is also working on six new MSAs – two of which will open later this year.
Applegreen has a strong history of bringing new ideas to the forecourt sector. The company says its success lies in its ability to spot opportunities and to create innovative and far-seeing partnerships.

The new Dealer offering looks like another of these opportunities.