Retail Case Study: PKN Orlen

Leading Central European convenience and fuel retailer is reinventing fresh foodservice on-the-go.

June 07, 2018

WARSAW, Poland – PKN Orlen, the largest company in Central Europe, is a highly vertically integrated company based in Poland. It boasts the fifth-largest retail fueling network in Europe, and a total retail network in four countries (Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Lithuania) operating nearly 2,800 convenience store and retail fueling locations.

To share more about the Polish market and the growth strategy of PKN Orlen, Kryzsztof Lagowski, executive director retail, delivered an overview of the company at the NACS Convenience Summit Europe, taking place this week in Warsaw and London.

In the early 2000s, Lagowski said, the company began to counter its decline in market position as a leading fuel retailer by significantly investing in its nonfueling business. The company refocused its strategy to deliver a stronger customer value, beginning with new and modern store design, new product offers, in-store seating and a more inviting retail experience at its Stop Cafe convenience store concept. As the leading fuel retailer in Poland, the company also has more than 1,600 Stop Cafe locations in the country, making fresh food to go a way to bring forecourt customers inside the store, thus increasing the value proposition for consumers.

Lagowski shared that PKN Orlen’s strategy is not to try predicting the future, but to focus on mega trends such as convenience, demographics, digitalization and big data so it can adjust its business model as they emerge. He noted that this strategy also enables PKN’s retail fueling locations of the future to be flexible, innovative and successful in adapting to changes in the market.

Perhaps the biggest part of PKN’s strategy is the customer. “Experience and satisfaction are highest on our agenda,” said Lagowski, noting that speed of service, new technologies, services and products will enable a faster shopping trip without sacrificing the experience. The company is working to increase its nonfuel sales margin by transforming the gas station to a location where customer needs are addressed with services such as car and bike sharing at retail sites, outdoor gyms and parcel services. And coming soon, PKN will offer new ways to deliver even more convenience with food trucks, pop-up kiosks at events, drive-thrus and stand-alone stores in airports, shopping centers and city centers.

During the retail study tours in Poland, attendees visited three PKN Orlen convenience stores, including its latest Stop Cafe concept with an open kitchen and catering offer. Food ranges include poached salmon, crepes, hot dogs and kielbasa, and cold-pressed juices with fresh ingredients consumers can choose.

The NACS Convenience Summit Europe wraps up tomorrow with store format tours in London. Mark your calendars for next year’s Summit, taking place June 2-7 in Amsterdam and London.