Are fuel stations dying? It’s a strange question to ask of a market that is expected to reach $2.7 trillion in revenue globally by 2022. But with the rise of alternative fuel sources, ride sharing, electric vehicles and the impact of changing consumer behaviors and evolving regulations, the question is not so outlandish.
To explore what the fuel station will look like in 2025—and whether it will one day go the way of drive-in movie theaters and public telephone booths—we talked with Publicis Sapient energy and commodity experts in several geographies.
Christopher Hawkes, director, offered a view of the market in Switzerland. While a large variety of brands still exist, the number of fuel stations in the country – and many other European countries – has been slowly declining since 2010 and consolidation is expected in the next decade. Hawkes’ perspective? Many Swiss fuel stations are sitting on a treasure trove of customer data that they aren’t using, and those that start to act on that data will be the ones who thrive in the digital age.
Interview has been edited for style and clarity.