HOUSTON — Convenience store competition on the East Coast is heating up this summer.
BP introduced its ampm banner to New York consumers with a convenience store in The Bronx. The opening expands the retail chain from its West Coast roots to the East Coast for the first time.
The store features BP branding throughout the fuel experience and ampm's food menu, including a hot deli and grocery with fresh fruit and extensive dry goods.
The entire customer-centric experience is modeled after Thorntons LLC, the Kentucky-based fuel and convenience retailer that BP took full ownership of in 2021.
"As BP transitions toward becoming a net zero company, convenience will play a huge role in delivering our integrated strategy. The experience customers feel at our retail sites will be key to attracting them in and ensuring they return. Because New Yorkers are always on the go, the Empire State is a perfect fit for this expansion," said Dave Lawler, chairman and president of BP America.
In late 2018, BP joined with ArcLight Capital Partners LLC to reach an agreement for Louisville-based Thorntons. The deal closed in February 2019. In 2021, BP acquired the majority share it did not already own.
The move signaled BP's re-entry into company-owned, company-operated retail stores. Thorntons includes more than 200 locations across six states, including Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida.
"This store sets the stage for us to maximize the large BP footprint along the East Coast," said Greg Franks, senior vice president mobility and convenience, Americas. "We know that residents of The Big Apple will love the craveable food, snacks and drinks that make ampm the destination of Too Much Good Stuff. We also know our dealers will be excited to share the ampm brand with their consumers in the future."
The expansion advances BP's convenience and mobility strategy, which aims to nearly double global earnings from about $5 billion in 2019 to $9 billion to $10 billion by 2030 and deliver 15 percent to 20 percent returns.
The company aims to increase the number of strategic convenience sites in its global network from around 2,000 today to more than 3,000 by 2030.
The first ampm store opened in southern California in 1978. Today, there are more than 1,000 convenience stores throughout the West Coast, serving more than 3,500 different products.
BP has different retail models across the United States, ranging from company-owned retail stores, strategic partnerships, brand licensing, wholesale, business-to-business, dealer-owned and franchise-owned. Its mobility and convenience brands in the U.S. currently include BP, Amoco, ampm and Thorntons.