Fuel retail is facing several disruptive trends in the market that are poised to create discontinuity in motor fuel demand. Retailers in both mature and emerging markets are already experiencing margin pressure, reduction of volume sold, shifts of value pools to other part of the mobile value chain, and competition from new businesses.

Improved efficiency of new-generation cars and the penetration of alternative fuel in the market have had a profound impact on fuel retail operations, reducing the volume of fuel sold. The growing entrance (or re-entrance) of traditional and non-traditional players have brought more choices to dealers, creating competitive markets and exerting pressure on fuel margin. Regulations in many countries are also evolving to support these changes through de-regulation, tightening of vehicle emission limits, changing fuel specifications, and opening of opportunities to adjacent players such as utilities.

Consumer behavior is also changing, fueled by new technologies and digital services capturing an increasing share of the wallet, as well as the focus on sustainability. All of these are accelerating energy convergence and continue to shift the value pools from fuel retail to other parts of the mobility value chain.

In the face of these challenges, extracting full value from your operation is a must. Our Fuel Retail Benchmark enables oil companies, dealers, franchise operators, and hypermarket chains to compare performance against peers, evaluate opportunity gaps, and identify potential improvement levers to close those gaps.

Our Fuel Retail Benchmark is designed to accomplish three main objectives:

1. Compare performance

  • Comparison of fuel, non-fuel margin, and cost performance across key categories and metrics
  • Adjustment for market structural factors, station size, and complexity using the McKinsey Fuel Retail Cost Index (FR Cost Index)
  • Ranking by normalized margin and cost performance drivers

2. Quantify opportunities

  • Gap to potential across key EBITDA drivers to improve bottom line performance
  • Opportunity sizing based on trends and rankings to prioritize actions
  • Insights linked to value potential at network and station archetype levels

3. Tailor recommendations

  • Management report and presentation highlighting core areas of strength, prioritized improvement gaps, and specific recommendations
  • Best practice assessment for real opportunities to learn from leading performers

For each player and station, we analyze margin and cost KPIs at different levels to understand performance along the EBITDA drivers.

Fuel margin

Non-fuel margin

On-site OPEX

Off-site OPEX

Our benchmark was successfully launched and completed in Latin America in 2017.



of additional impact identified—translating into 10% to 90% above baseline EBITDA



of additional opportunity identified—translating into 5% to 95% above baseline gross margin



of additional opportunity identified—translating into 15% to 65% above baseline gross margin



of cost optimization quantified—translating into 5% to 40% baseline on-site cost reduction

Get in touch with our benchmarking team. 

We will never sell or share your data. By completing this form, you accept that we may store your data in order to (a) improve your site experience; (b) communicate with you about topics of interest by email or other means. You can unsubscribe at any time and read our privacy policy.

2018 Timeline

McKinsey uses cookies to improve site functionality, provide you with a better browsing experience, and to enable our partners to advertise to you. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this Site, and how you can decline them, is provided in our cookie policy. By using this Site or clicking on "OK", you consent to the use of cookies.