Fitch brands Statoil forecourts

Construction has started on Mango, a new grocery store created by Fitch for Norwegian petrol market leader Statoil. It is part of a Fitch-masterminded overhaul of the client’s entire operation, intended to strengthen and extend the Statoil brand.

If successful the concept could roll out to 450 of its 1600 stores in Scandinavia by 2001. Fitch named and branded the Mango concept and liaised with Stockholm architect Bergs on interiors.

“The Mango retail concept is the first of its kind. Before it [Statoil] had typical first-generation forecourt retail outlets, but this is the first of the new generation,” says Fitch marketing manager Zuilmah Wallis. She declines to comment on whether the store will sell own-brand goods.

Statoil trademark co-ordinator Erik Treider adds: “The buying pattern in Norway is following the UK and France. People are increasingly using petrol stations to buy food and we are taking the process a stage further, developing the outlet for the 21st century.”

Treider concedes that petrol earnings are declining in relation to food sales and that the threat of competition from supermarkets, yet to materialise, are also factors. In the UK supermarkets now account for more than 20 per cent of petrol retail trade, with Safeway, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco all operating forecourts.

The first Mango store, under construction in southern Sweden, is due to open in May. Roll-out to its 450 other sites in Poland, Ireland and the Baltic region is possible in the longer term. All outlets will be confined to urban areas, says Treider.

The group is also evolving Statoil’s identity, created in 1986 by Landor Associates in the US, and is working on a name and identity for various subsidiary interests.

Fitch has been working on Statoil’s identity since 1995 and is nearing completion of the strategic work, although work has yet to start on this.

“One of the aims of this project is to look at ways of manifesting the Statoil brand and identity more fully. We are looking at its other interests and creating a coherent set of identities for them,” says Wallis. This includes working on a new name and identity for Statoil-owned US energy company the Eastern Group.

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