BP could offer its Connect format as a franchise to independent dealers within the next calendar year, as the company throws its weight behind a radical review of its retail operations, code-named ‘Accelerator’.

The emerging strategies will also see BP focusing its company-owned

company-managed (co-co) operations in two key areas – the South East of the UK (from Birmingham down) and central Scotland, where it has just completed a site-swap with Texaco.

In total, BP will exchange 21 service stations in Wales and the South West for 25 of Texaco’s Scottish service stations, plus a further four undeveloped Texaco sites.

“Our business will be based on two primary channels of trade – co-co and dealer,” commented BP retail director Graham Sims. “In the South East

of the UK and central Scotland we will have dealer-owned and operated (do-do) and co-co Connect sites, and that’s it.

“Outside those regions, apart from maybe 40-50 sites, Connect will be through a franchise, not co-co operated.

“At the end of the day in this country I reckon there will be 400-500 Connects.”