Growth in the supermarkets’ share of the UK fuel market stalled in 2015 for the first time in more than 15 years, even though they added 40 new sites last year.
The latest data from Experian Catalist shows their market share in 2015 was 43.8%, fractionally down on the 43.9% achieved in 2014 – but it follows 14 years of consistent growth during which their share has increased from 22% in 2000. During the same period the overall number of forecourts in the UK declined from 13,107 to 8,494 and the number of supermarket sites increased from 1,021 to 1,450.
The rapid growth in the number of sites owned by Tesco also stalled in 2015, with it not adding to its total of 504, and Sainsbury’s and Morrisons added 4 and 3 forecourts respectively. Asda accounted for more than 80% of the supermarkets’ increase, adding 33 sites during 2015.
The dealer sector continued to surge ahead in site numbers - buying tranches of company owned sites - adding 466 sites to end 2015 on 5,828, up 466 on 2014. In 2013 the sector reversed a decline where it had lost more than 100 sites every year since 2000, and in the past three years it has grown by 703 sites to 5,828, with a market share of 38.7%
Company owned sites were down 603 in 2015 to 1,819, and after 15 years of consistent decline they are 75% down on 2000 when they had 4,776.
Looking at the number of sites by brand, BP, Texaco and Jet were up by 122, 50 and 32 respectively, as MFG’s company owned sites swapped from Murco, meaning that brand was down 247 to 214.
BP is still the most numerous brand with 1,288 sites, but Esso has overtaken Shell for second place, leading by just one site. There are 1,023 Esso sites, up 14 on last year, versus 1,022 Shell sites, up 5 on 2014.