BP has decided to restrict the expansion of Marks & Spencer’s Simply Food outlets to company-owned forecourt sites and has no plans to roll out the partnership to its 900-strong franchised network.
The oil company confirmed its sole focus on company-owned sites for the Simply Food offer after it said it planned to expand from 248 Simply Foods to 300 by the end of this year, or early 2018 – the total number of company-owned outlets.
BP said these were split geographically into England, 219, Scotland, 28 and Wales one.
A BP spokeswoman said: “At this point in time we have no plans to introduce M&S Simply Food stores into franchise sites.”
Recent Simply Food openings operated by BP include Wokingham, Berkshire; Hardwicke, Gloucestershire; Crondall, Hampshire; Alfold, Surrey; New Barnet, Hertfordshire; Cleavedon, North Somerset; Teversham, Cambridgeshire; Garstang, Lancashire; and Hutton Mount, Essex.
Soham, Cambridgeshire and Colchester, Essex are scheduled early this year.
Each store offers a range of ready meals, fresh products and staple groceries as well as wine, beer and flowers.
BP, whose own staff operate the stores, created its partnership with M&S in 2004 and trialled eight stores in the autumn of the following year.
Details of the expansion came just after BP announced it would pay US$1.3bn (£1.06bn) for Australian chain Woolworth’s 527 fuel and convenience sites and another 16 under construction, subject to approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Foreign Investment Review Board.
The deal will see a strategic partnership between the two brands to launch a Metro at BP pilot programme across 16 sites before expanding it to more than 200.
Tufan Erginbilgic, chief executive BP Downstream, said: “Globally we have developed a winning retail formula where we partner with strong local brands, like Marks & Spencer in the UK, to provide our customers with a convenience retail offer that meets the needs of their busy lifestyles. The combination of all aspects of this strategic partnership is expected to create significant value for BP.”