BP's ampm Is On The Road to Growing Its Retail Presence
LA PALMA, Calif. — As it marks its 40th anniversary, BP's ampm banner has put its stamp on the West Coast and Network Development Manager Mike Hager says the convenience store brand is not slowing down anytime soon.
Currently on Hager's agenda are several new sites in various stages, from analysis to negotiations to the entitlement and permitting process.
All of ampm's current locations sell gasoline, which limits where a new site can be opened, especially in areas like the San Francisco Bay and central Seattle where there are real estate supply constraints, according to Hager.
His role as network development manager is not without its challenges, notably dealing with local municipalities as ampm works through the planning approval process.
"In our industry, there are a lot of aspects that need to be managed with municipalities: 24-hour operations, beer and wine, and now tobacco," Hager explained. "We are going to be part of the community, so we want to work with them."
It is a practice of ampm to reach out to stakeholders in the community — planners, city council members, police departments, neighborhood groups and economic development managers.
Along the way, ampm also listens to the community's concerns and looks for opportunities to either adjust its site plan or the design of the facility, or even change the way it operates the site.
"Ultimately, we work to find common ground," Hager said.
Understanding the geography and neighborhoods, knowing where people work and where they are driving to, and knowing the competition are key attributes a network developer needs to have, according to Hager.
As for advancing ampm, he sees it as his role — and that of his team — to keep the pipeline full so the marketing team has somewhere to place all of ampm's new offers.
The result is rewarding. "Some of the projects can take a long time to develop. It can be three-plus years before you see a site open," he explained. "When a new site opens, I try to visit in the first few months. I get excited standing in the lot, looking at the traffic, looking at all the people coming in and out of the ampm, and knowing three or four years ago you were standing on a piece of dirt. Your vision of what could be there happened."
Talking with ampm's franchisees, looking in their eyes and seeing success are among the highlights of Hager's job as well.
"We did this together. We are going to be very successful," he said.
Look in the November issue of Convenience Store News for our full report on “A Day in the Life of ampm.”