BP and M&S have dismissed as ‘speculation’ national press reports that the Simply Food partnership is set to be rolled out to up to 300 forecourts nationwide.
Launched at BP’s Hammersmith site in October, the joint venture is currently being piloted in eight forecourts around the UK. However, both companies say that the scheme is yet to be properly evaluated and any decision to expand the offer would not be made until at least late spring.
Graham Sims, retail director for BP, has previously said that the partnership, if successful, could be rolled out to all BP Connect sites. However, Sheila Williams, spokesperson for BP, said there was nothing new in the recent reports. “These figures were being bandied around back in October when the trial launched,” she said. Williams added that speculation had been made on the back of M&S’s acquisition of 28 stores from Iceland, which it is to convert to the Simply Food brand.
While she refused to go into detail, Williams did say that the eight test sites were ‘going very well’ and that market research has found that customers like the format.
Sue Sadler, corporate press manager for M&S, said the trial would need to run for at least six months before they would evaluate it’s success.
The new format has seen a selected range of Mark’s & Spencer’s fresh food, ready meals, sandwiches, wine, flowers and basic groceries being sold alongside multi-branded impulse goods.