Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) will undertake an extensive update of its retail network beginning mid-February 2001. Under the new retail thrust, BPCL will launch convenience stores - proposed to be branded `In & Out' stores - at strategic retail outlets and also, convert its network of `Bazaar' convenience stores to the new, larger concept in a phased manner.
BPCL has roped in multiple consultants for detailing and developing its retail strategy, besides McKinsey, which has just completed its one-year engagement with the oil PSU.
BPCL will begin with pilot projects in 40 out of 60 BPCL outlets in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai. BPCL has already tied up with 14 companies for categories like fast food, photography (Kodak Express), music, financial services, ISP (who will provide e-fulfillment infrastructure besides three PCs), e-commerce portals, document centre, ticketing (in Mumbai), ATMs, and courier counters. The pilot `In & Out' stores are expected to occupy an area of 500 to 700 sqft.
BPCL has identified 2,000 retail locations as strategic outlets - an extensive study undertaken a couple of years ago had given a number of 1,234 outlets - which will give the company a competitive edge over competition. Also, out of its retail network of 4,500 outlets, BPCL has direct control over 3,000 outlets - through a mix of ownership or lease.