Raiffeisen fuel stations offer more than just fuel
The large oil companies are increasingly moving out from rural areas, while the Raiffeisen petrol stations are staying. And that is not all: Many agricultural cooperative societies are investing heavily in their garages in order to provide rural customers with everything they expect from a modern petrol station. "This strategy works very well," says Carsten Kippschnieder, manager of the petrol station business at AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG. Kippschnieder has a good overview because the company operates around 80 of its own petrol stations. And overlal, there are there approximately 300 agricultural cooperative society garages in the AGRAVIS area.
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However, Raiffeisen petrol stations are not sprouting out of the ground like mushrooms any more either. Kippschnieder instead speaks on balance of a stagnation of the portfolio, as the investment in new, modern petrol stations is offset by closures of unprofitable locations as well. According to statistics from the Energy Information Service, the nationwide number of Raiffeisen petrol stations is approximately constant at almost 600. "Raiffeisen is focusing primarily on the rural areas," says the petrol station expert. The great strength of the green petrol stations: a rigid concept is not imposed on them, and instead suitable, location-specific individual solutions are being reliased. From a complete offer, with fuels, shop, snack bar and cr wash, to automatic pumps without staff, everything is available. "The consistent orientation towards the local situation is critical for the resources," emphasises Kippschnieder.
The AGRAVIS petrol station service supports Raiffeisen agricultural cooperative societies that want to build new petrol stations or increase the attractiveness of existing sites with advice and support. "The first step on the path to a new petrol station is a detailed potential analysis, which we prepare for the agricultural cooperative societies," explains Kippschnieder. The competitive situation and the location of the petrol station, the traffic frequency and traffic flows are highlighted in these. "The car and truck numbers in the respective catchment area are highly relevant," adds Kippschnieder. The needs of local agriculture may also be important for an investment decision. This flexibility allows small solutions to be created as well, which turn out to be profitable in addition to large projects.
As largest project in the most recent past, Saatbau Clenze eG has realised a new petrol station in Salzwedel/Saxony-Anhalt in cooperation with the petrol station service and construction service of AGRAVIS. Around Euro 2.7 million was invested there last year. The Petrol station service from AGRAVIS also accompanies this garage after it opened. "First of all we realise our petrol station management and development concept," reports Kippschnieder. It includes basic services such as campaign planning for an entire year and other individual components, which are based on the respective requirements of the agricultural cooperative society. "It is a virtuous circle," is how Carsten Kippschnieder explains the development of Raiffeisen petrol stations positively. The expertise and professionalism when operating the garages increase hand-in-hand with the investments in new projects and extensions. And the customers reward this: "Especially in rural areas, as a result of the snack bar and waiting area the garage frequently becomes a meeting place where people like to hang out."