Consumer styles inventory in the South African fuel retailing industry

Matinise, Siyabulela Victor
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The fuel retailing industry has stringent legislation which continues to reduce revenues for the major oil companies. The conservation of the environment has influenced product changes, which the current refineries, due to their old infrastructure, are struggling to cope with. Advancement in technology may spell doom in the future, specifically with the renewed focus on biofuels and electric cars. Internationally, with deregulation, the major oil companies have lost market share to big box retailers. In order to remain relevant and sustainable, the fuel retailing industry has been compelled to form strategic alliances with big box retailers such as Woolworths, Pick ‗n Pay, Mugg and Bean, and Food Lover‘s Market, amongst others. Consequently, the marketing role in this industry has become more complex. According to Sinkovics et al. (2010), an understanding of consumer decisionmaking behaviours is critical for marketing activities such as market segmentation, positioning, and tailoring marketing strategies. The study used quantitative and qualitative methods to collect data from fuel retailing customers and dealers. The research instrument was adapted from Sproles and Kendall‘s (1986) consumer styles inventory (CSI). Four consumer styles were confirmed as being applicable to the fuel retailing industry: price, brand loyalty, high quality and location. Fuel remains the main attraction, however, convenience goods bring a different type of customer, namely females and young people. Empirically derived factors provided the insights that mastering speed and convenience, and providing high quality branded products, can be a competitive advantage.
MBA thesis
Fuel retailing industry , Consumer styles inventory