Summary of our market study

Since 2020, the service station market has faced significant disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a marked drop in fuel demand, with closures resulting in a drop of over 50% in road fuel requirements compared with 2019. The market is undergoing a gradual transition with a growing number of electric vehicle charging stations, largely thanks to local authority initiatives. Supermarket networks are gaining market share, accounting for 62.9% of service stations in France by 2021, reducing the share of traditional networks.

Despite fluctuations in fuel prices, which reached 2 euros per liter in March 2022 due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, a trend towards normalization is emerging with the emergence of new sources of supply. New vehicle registrations in France are shifting towards gasoline and alternative energy sources, with gasoline-powered vehicles accounting for 57.9% of new registrations and hybrid and electric engines for the remaininglectrics accounted for 7.5%, underlining the transformation of the French vehicle fleet and the move away from diesel, which now accounts for just 34.1% of new vehicle registrations.

Impact of changing demand and trends on the French service station market

The French service station market has seen significant changes in demand and consumer trends in recent years. Service stations, traditionally a hub for refueling vehicles, have been confronted with a variety of influences, such as global oil prices, socio-political movements like the yellow vest protests, environmental concerns and the unprecedented pandemic of the COVID-19 virus.

In France, there have traditionally been two main networks: oil groups and independents, known as traditional networks, and supermarket networks, which include hypermarkets and supermarkets. The fortunes of the latter have varied according to changes in demand and consumption patterns.

Sales of road fuels in France fell slightly, with a significant drop in diesel volumes, although gasoline volumes increased. Worldwide, North America became the largest market for petroleum products in 2020, followed by Europe. France is the second largest consumer in Europe, but faces market consolidation with a fraction of service stations compared to Italy, Germany and Spain. The year 2019 saw a stabilization of fuel consumption in France, thanks to the parallel increase in registrations of gasoline-powered vehicles, which have demonstrated their ecological and urban transport efficiency compared with diesel. This trend is also reflected in new car registrations, with hybrid and electric vehicles now accounting for a significant proportion.

In terms of traffic, although diesel is still in the majority, the share of petrol engines is increasing due to the negative environmental implications associated with diesel engines. In the landscape of regulatory influences, the introduction of Directive (EU) 2020/262 has put in place a framework for excise duties on energy products, requiring compliance from operators within the French service station market. This compliance is dictated by the quantity distributed, and entails administrative sanctions in the event of infringement.

Against the backdrop of the pandemic, 2020 saw a significant drop in demand for road fuels. Supermarket networks succeeded in increasing their market share, which consolidated to reach around 60-65% in 2021, while traditional networks experienced a decline.

Despite this challenging environment, service stations have been encouraged to diversify, incorporating a wide range of services such as electric charging stations, vehicle rental and retail offerings. The market sees innovation as essential to guard against changing consumer preferences, technological change and other market disruptions.

Fuel price trends also remain a key factor. Retail prices are heavily influenced by volatile crude oil costs, taxes and distributor margins.

Key players shaping the service station landscape

The service station market is a dynamic arena, where well-established oil giants, independent refiners and distribution tycoons rub shoulders. These entities collectively define the contours of the industry, each bringing their own strengths and strategies to bear on the varied needs of motorists and shaping the consumer experience.

Oil groups: Industry behemoths

  • Total: A testament to longevity and adaptability, Total is a titan of the petroleum sector, with its vast network of service stations spread across the globe. Beyond fuel distribution, Total emphasizes sustainable practices and the advent of electric vehicles as part of its commitment to the energy transition.
  • BP: British Petroleum, better known as BP, combines tradition and innovation. It brings a strong heritage to the market and is recognized for the quality of its petroleum products and services - while enthusiastically exploring energy solutions in tune with the changing environmental landscape.
  • Exxon Mobil: Renowned for its scale and operational excellence, Exxon Mobil is a key player in the production and marketing of petroleum fuels. Its brand is synonymous with quality and reliability, enabling it to appeal to a broad base of consumers seeking reliable fuel solutions.
  • Shell: A global player, Shell has a strong presence and its service stations provide a one-stop shop for refuelling, retailing and automotive services. Shell's commitment to new energy solutions and customer-oriented services keeps it at the forefront of the industry.

Independent refiners and distributors

  • ineos: Independent refiners like Ineos bring a strategic advantage to the market, leveraging flexibility and specialized offerings to attract consumers looking for alternatives to traditional fuel options.
  • Pycoty, Dyneff, Thevenin: These independent distributors stand out by focusing on customer service and niche markets. They manage to carve out a niche in the industry, often catering to unique consumer needs that the big chains might overlook.

Supermarket giants: Champions of convenience

  • Carrefour, Auchan, Casino: supermarket networks represent the convergence of convenience and accessibility. These retail heavyweights have a strong presence in the fuel retail market, combining everyday shopping with the convenience of refueling. Their competitive fuel prices and strategic locations in shopping complexes reinforce their position among budget- and time-conscious consumers.

Together, these diverse businesses reflect the multiplicity and competitive nature of the service station market.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

A service station is a fuel distribution station (diesel, gasoline). They are located on roadsides or freeways and often offer other services for vehicles (accessories, tire inflation, breakdown assistance, repairs) and motorists (toilets, restaurants, stores).
There are two types of networks in France:
  • Traditional networks: oil groups, independent distributors, independents outside the network.
  • Supermarket networks: hypermarkets and supermarkets.
On a global scale, the market depends mainly on oil prices and the choice of distributors to pass on changes in these prices. 2019 for example, retailers benefited greatly from the almost 30% rise in oil prices. Conversely, the coronavirus epidemic of 2020 shook up the gas station market, as people were forced to stay put and oil prices plummeted by 20%.
According to UFIP, fuel distribution at service stations fell by 2.5% in France in 2018. On the other hand, while diesel volumes were down, gasoline volumes were up.
There were 11068 service stations in France in 2018, 4 times fewer than in 1980, while the number of buildings has almost doubled. Three factors explain this trend: regulations, upgrades to meet environmental safety standards, and the growth of mass retailing in the market, which now accounts for half of all stations and, by 2020, will account for 62% of sales by volume of fuels.

1.2 The global service station market

At the global level, the most developed market in **** will be North America, which will consume almost **% of petroleum products, compared with **% in Europe.

Breakdown of global demand for petroleum products World, ****, in Source: ****

In Europe, France is the second largest market for petroleum products (***). Total demand in the European Union ...

1.3 The French service station market

The total number of service stations in France is falling slightly. Over the period ****-****, the number of service stations in France fell by *.**%, as shown in the graph below. One of the explanations for this decline is the drop in demand for fuel by French motorists.

French service station fleet France, ...

1.4 The impact of Covid-19 on the service station market

The Covid-** pandemic has had a major impact on fuel demand. Demand has fallen considerably during the various confinements, particularly during the first, where demand is down by more than **% compared with ****.

Impact of Covid-** on demand for road fuels France, ****-****, in thousands of cubic meters Source: ****

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Fuel consumption in France

After years of increases, road fuel consumption saw a decline in ****, coinciding with the yellow vest crisis and higher taxation over the period. In addition, fuel consumption in **** plummeted by **%, due to the health crisis and the restrictions that followed. The various lockdowns, school closures and massive use of telecommuting all ...

2.2 Breakdown of fuel sales in France

In ****, total sales of road fuels in mainland France remained stable compared with ****, against a backdrop of equally stable prices. After four consecutive years of increases, they had fallen significantly in ****, due, on the one hand, to the consequences of the end-of-year "yellow vests" protests and, on the other, to rising ...

2.3 The transformation of the French car fleet

The French car fleet is one of the largest in Europe, with ** million vehicles, of which almost ** million are on the road. However, new registrations are quite low: only *.** million new cars were registered in **** and *.** million in ****. As can be seen from the following graph, although this figure has been ...

2.4 Traffic in mainland France

In ****, traffic on the road network in mainland France reached *** billion vehicle kilometers . This figure has been rising steadily since **** (***), although it has tended to stabilize since ****. Foreign vehicles account for almost *% of traffic. Focusing solely on the French-flagged car segment, it can be seen that diesel cars account for **.*% of ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain

3.2 Market breakdown

Regarding market distribution, Total, Avia, and Shell account for more than half of all service stations on freeways and expressways (***). The distribution is pretty concentrated around the main players. Unfortunately, we have no more recent figures on this distribution.

Distribution of service stations on freeways and expressways France, ****, in Source: ****

The ...

3.3 Supermarkets at the heart of fuel distribution

There has been a decline in the market share of traditional networks to the benefit of supermarkets. Between **** and ****, the percentage of conventional networks fell by *.*% in France, as shown in the graph below. **** the breakdown will be **.*% GMS and **.*% traditional networks. Service station market share France, ****-****, in Source: ****

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Fuel supply typology

The range of fuels on offer is complex. Nevertheless, a European Commission decision in **** introduced harmonized trade names for the different types of fuel sold at service stations.

Diesel

There are three types of diesel fuel, commonly known as gasoline:

B*: standard diesel, the most widely used. B**: a new form ...

4.2 Trends in fuel prices at the pump

Evolution of fuel prices at the pump France, **** - ****, €/liter Source: ****

Pump prices (***) and distributor margins. It should be noted that taxes account for almost **% of the selling price of fuels. As can be seen from the following graph, TICPE alone accounts for **% of the pump price and VAT for *.*%.

We ...

4.3 Innovation at the heart of service station renewal

Faced with changing consumer habits (***) and the emergence of the electric car as a credible alternative, service stations are finding it necessary to flesh out their value proposition, which previously revolved solely around fuel. Today, it seems necessary for service stations to integrate charging stations for electric cars. The graph below ...

4.4 The range of services offered at service stations

In addition to fuel sales, which are the core value proposition of service stations, these establishments offer a wide range of complementary or ancillary services.

5 Regulations

5.1 A specific tax system for petroleum products

Directive (***). This directive recasts Directive ****/***/EC of December **, ****. It came partially into force on March **, ****, and will be fully implemented on February **, ****, when Directive ****/***/EC will be repealed. Directive ****/**/EC, which is specific to energy products, sets minimum levels of taxation and, under certain conditions, exemptions or differentiated taxation rates. In ...

5.2 The current regulatory framework

Heading **** of the classified facility nomenclature, created by decree no. ****-*** of April **, ****, classifies the facility's distribution activity according to the annual quantity and fuel type distributed. ICPE regulations apply from *** m* per year.

Facilities dispensing an annual fuel volume over *** m* of petrol or *** m* in total, but less than ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Market segmentation

  • ENI Gaz & Power Groupe
  • Agip France (ENI group)
  • Total Energies
  • Total special fluids
  • Carrefour Groupe
  • Shell
  • Casino Groupe
  • Exxonmobil Chemical France
  • AVIA International
  • BP Britisch Petroleum
  • E.Leclerc Stations Service
  • Dyneff

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Consumption of road fuels
  • Breakdown of world demand for petroleum products
  • Number of service stations by country in Europe
  • Breakdown of European demand for petroleum products
  • French service stations
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Latest news

With CPA, energy supplier Dyneff strengthens its presence in Northern France - 28/01/2024
  • The petroleum products trader CPA, recently acquired by Dyneff, handles around 200,000 m3 of fuel oil, non-road diesel and gasoil every year.
  • CPA has 5 employees and sales of 200 million euros.
  • Dyneff operates 130 service stations in France and Spain, 22 of which are located along motorways and expressways.
  • Dyneff has made 18 acquisitions in six years. Dyneff employs 840 people.
  • Dyneff has achieved sales of 3.9 billion euros in 2022.
  • Dyneff is 51% owned by the Singaporean fund AnAn International Limited and 49% by the Kazakh company KazMunayGas.
Service stations: TotalEnergies finalizes agreement with Couche-Tard for 3.4 billion euros - 04/01/2024
  • Assets acquired by Couche-Tard: 100% of TotalEnergies service stations in Germany (1191 stations) and the Netherlands (378 stations).
  • Joint venture in Belgium and Luxembourg: TotalEnergies (40%) and Couche-Tard (60%) to operate 606 service stations.
  • Supply by TotalEnergies for at least five years.
  • TotalEnergies has already sold its service station networks in Italy, Switzerland and the UK since 2015.
Service stations: TotalEnergies finalizes agreement with Couche-Tard - 04/01/2024
  • Sale of service stations by TotalEnergies to the Couche-Tard group: 3.4 billion euros
  • Total number of retail sites acquired by the Quebec group: 2,175
    • In Germany: 1,191 -
    • Belgium: 562
    • Netherlands: 378 -
    • Luxembourg: 44
  • TotalEnergies will retain 40% of the assets in Belgium and Luxembourg, which will be managed as a joint venture
  • TotalEnergies will supply these service stations for at least 5 years
  • The Canadian retail, food and fuel group Couche-Tard operates over 16,700 stores in 29 countries and employs over 150,000 people worldwide
Casino: Intermarché and Auchan win the bid - 18/12/2023
  • Casino: Intermarché, which had joined forces with Auchan to buy the 320 stores, finally won the bid.
  • The value of the transaction would be close to 1.6 billion euros, or 37% of the sales taken over (3.6 billion euros).
  • A social issue
  • In addition to the takeover of dozens of supermarkets and hypermarkets, Carrefour PROPOSED to take over 7,000 convenience stores under the Petit Casino, Vival and other banners. This possibility was rejected by Casino and its receivers
  • Intermarché has opened up its internal rules for independent groups to franchising, to accommodate the 60 Casino franchisees.
  • Intermarché and Auchan will share the 313 outlets sold in roughly equal parts, with Auchan taking over almost all of the 42 hypermarkets.
  • Monoprix and Franprix will remain under Groupe Casino control
TotalEnergies raids Station F for start-ups - 12/12/2023
  • TotalEnergies has acquired four start-ups from its electricity gas pedal for a total of several tens of millions of euros: Dsflow, NASH Renewables, Predictive Layer and Time2plug.
  • Dsflow, founded in 2020, offers a software solution for large multi-site electricity consumers.
  • NASH Renewables is a German start-up offering a platform for optimizing renewable energy projects in Western Europe.
  • Predictive Layer is a Swiss start-up specializing in machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions.
  • TotalEnergies has acquired a 56% stake in Time2plug, a French start-up that installs charging stations at business sites in France.
  • Together, these four start-ups employ around fifty people.
  • In September, TotalEnergies also acquired Ombrea, a specialist in agrivoltaics.
80 Carrefour hypermarkets operated under franchise or leasing agreements - 14/11/2023
  • On October 20, Carrefour announced its intention to switch 37 stores (comprising 15 hypermarkets and 21 supermarkets) to lease management.
  • Since 2018, 80 hypermarkets have left integrated status, representing around a third of all hypermarkets.
  • Around 75% of supermarkets (784 out of 1038) are currently leased or franchised.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

ENI Gaz & Power Groupe
Agip France (ENI group)
Total Energies
Total special fluids
Carrefour Groupe
Shell
Casino Groupe
Exxonmobil Chemical France
AVIA International
BP Britisch Petroleum
E.Leclerc Stations Service
Dyneff

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