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07/29/2021

Retail Industry Veteran Takes Charge of BP's Retail Operations

Greg Franks previously served as senior vice president, chief franchise officer and operations support at 7-Eleven Inc.

CHICAGO — Retail and convenience store industry veteran Greg Franks is stepping into the role of senior vice president of mobility and convenience, Americas, for bp.

In his new position, Franks is responsible for bp's sales, marketing and retail operations for the United States and Mexico, canvasing more than 7,100 bp-Amoco and ARCO/ampm-branded retail stations. Collectively, the sites reach roughly 3.5 million consumers per day.

Franks has extensive retail and convenience industry expertise. He joined bp from 7-Eleven Inc., where he most recently held the position of senior vice president, chief franchise officer and operations support, overseeing more than 5,000 franchisees operating almost 7,400 franchise stores. Prior to that role, he was senior vice president of U.S. operations for several years.

He also spent 18 years with Walmart, where he held several senior leadership roles, including regional general manager and vice president.

During his 29-year career, Franks has been known for his values-based leadership and customer-centric mindset, according to bp.

BP provided the following Q&A with its new leader: 

You’ve had a successful career at both Walmart and 7-Eleven. What excited you about joining bp?

BP has a wonderful, premium brand that is trusted by consumers. We develop quality products with customers in mind. Those products are delivered by business owners that work and live in neighborhoods across the U.S. and Mexico. So, from a starting point, bp is well positioned to grow and serve customers in the years ahead and on into the energy transition. And we do intend to grow with the aim to double our customer interactions to 20 million per day by 2030. To serve those building such growth is very exciting to me.  

Convenience and mobility is one of the three focus areas of activity at the heart of bp’s new strategy. How do you see the business transforming over the next decade?

As mentioned, bp has a wonderful footprint in the Americas with over 7,000 bp-branded sites serving consumers fuel. We have a smaller number of retail convenience sites among those locations. While expanding our business footprint, we also intend to accelerate development of customer-focused convenience options and go to market. 

The customer was rapidly changing going into the pandemic, which served to accelerate most of those trends. They are busier than ever, fully digitally engaged, and more discerning about quality and value. Payment, pickup and delivery options are at the will of the customer, which is the way it should be.   

Our timing is ideal to offer convenience that meets those needs and recognizes the energy transition occurring over the next couple of decades in the Americas. We intend to deliver innovative, safe sources of energy for customers in the years ahead. While fuel remains a core offer, we are enabling the growth of alternatives at our sites.

I would also add that Mexico is an exciting growth market for us. By 2040, we expect Mexico to be the seventh largest fuel market in the world and to have over 30 percent of vehicles powered with alternative energy. We have a foothold in the market that we intend to grow to meet the needs of consumers in Mexico.

What excites you most as a leader?

You meet such diverse individuals who just want to do the right thing by their customers. They want to succeed. I try to listen, learn, and enable their success. The answers are out there. Listen to customers, those working closest to customers on the frontlines, and collaborate with subject matter experts that can bring bold ideas to life. I cannot overstate how exciting it is to see people accomplish big things. 

Likewise, I have had the privilege to visit thousands of field-based entrepreneurs and managers over the past number of years. Their stories are inspirational. Business owners serving communities. Store leaders going the extra mile to support their teams. Proudly seeing them respond to natural disasters, the pandemic, and the like that really show the best of people. Serving them is an honor and a privilege that I do not take for granted. It is quite humbling.

What do you believe are the top three trends in the convenience sector?

Digital, quality food, and integrated customer propositions:

Regarding digital, customers have become digitally enabled. They want to interact with brands through their phones. The ability to offer a digital ecosystem that enables loyalty, payments, wallet, ordering with pickup and delivery, fuel rewards, etc., will determine relevance. In the back of the house, the data will enable a rich one-to-one relationship with customers that delights them and is more cost-effective than prior-generation customer offers. 

Food is critical. The coming generations embrace convenience for shopping and food. Discerning customers want better-quality, tasty food delivered in a clean, safe environment. An attractive food offering appeals across customer segments, and it enables other aspects of the assortment such as proprietary beverage offerings. Most importantly, customers return for differentiated food they enjoy. 

Finally, the integrated customer proposition puts it all together for the increasingly time-starved consumer. A high-quality offering in the back and forecourts allow you to excel with differentiated goods and services. Enabling digital to complement quality, tasty food offered in a well-lit, convenient location that offers both fuel and a pathway to the energy transition in the future is a powerful combination.

All of this is underpinned by an amazing network of people across the Americas supporting customers in the neighborhoods they serve. Again, it is an honor to serve each and every one.

With its U.S. headquarters based in Chicago, BP plc is a global energy producer with operations in nearly 80 countries.