This episode comes to you from Berlin, Germany. We speak with Christian Warning: founder and managing director of The Retail Marketeers. This is a great discussion for anyone curious about the German fuel and c-store industry as well as today’s evolving retail environment.
About Christian Warning:
Christian Warning is the founder and managing director of The Retail Marketeers. The Retail Marketeers, based in Hamburg, Germany, is an industry marketing and sales think tank with a proven track record of developing and delivering award winning foodvenience retail formats, forecourt marketing strategies, and guiding market entry processes. The Retail Marketeers always strive to do better, to create value, and to be innovative and creative as senior executive consultants for numerous multinational clients in a very operational “hands-on” modus operandi to boost their sales and margins.
Christian previously worked for thirteen years with Shell in different management functions, including leading Shell’s billion dollar non-fuels retail business in Germany in his early thirties. As a side step outside his oil core business, he developed Germany’s largest c-store franchise chain outside petrol filling stations as a senior manager of Deutsche Bahn/German Rail for five years.
As an advisory board member to three global acting petrol station specialists—Alvern Media GmbH in Hamberg, Germany; Liquid Barcodes AS in Oslo, Norway; and GreenPrint LLC in Atlanta, Georgia—Christian visits more than 1,000 gas stations and convenience stores in many different countries yearly.
As an advisor to the NACS International Board of Directors, Christian has a permanent seat on the most influential body of the global convenience and gas station industry. He represents NACS as a representative in the German-speaking markets and the D-A-CH interests as Special Advisor in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa Committee of NACS: https://www.convenience.org/About-NACS/Committees/Committee
You can meet Christian at the NACS Convenience Summits in Europe and Asia as well as at the NACS Show in the United States:
Serving as the Director International of the most prestigious executive network of the German foodservice industry, the Institute of Culinary Arts (ICA), Christian connects thought leaders and explores answers for the most important questions of the future of our industry by tearing down walls to bring relevant people from the various sales channels together.
The ICA Executive Network is a strong community of over 350 members, which is, 14 years after its establishment, the leading food service industry executive network in Germany.
This is a first for the In-Convenience Podcast. We’re coming to you from Germany! Since Frank was out in Berlin to speak at a conference, (more info) he met with Christian to record a conversation about industry trends.
Due to the time difference, co-host Al Hebert was unable to participate in this interview. Instead, Frank and Al discuss the German convenience retailing market for the first portion of the episode. The conversation with Christian Warning begins at the 0:35:20 mark. (Click here to see the building where we recorded)
- 0:00:35 – Intro
- 0:01:30 – Frank and Al talk about the German c-store market
- 0:35:20 – Start of the interview with Christian
- 0:36:45 – On the importance of visiting other markets
- 0:38:40 – Let’s chat about foodservice and differences between the German and U.S. c-store markets
- 0:45:10 – Who are the cross-channel competitors for German c-stores?
- 0:50:25 – What did yesterday’s c-store look like in Germany?
- 0:52:30 – Christian’s road trip through the United States
- 0:56:30 – In today’s evolving marketplace, how convenient is the convenience store?
- 1:03:50 – Who are setting the new trends in Germany?
- 1:08:30 – Largest challenges for fuel and convenience to overcome in Germany
- 1:14:00 – Coffee robots in San Francisco and more
- 1:18:15 – How retail is evolving and changing in Germany
- 1:25:20 – How Christian became involved with the fuel and convenience industry
- 1:30:10 – What trends are Christian following closely in 2020?
- 1:34:10 – Christian’s advice to folks who are new to the industry
Links: (Al and Frank’s Introduction)
- Collection of retail photos from Frank’s trip to Berlin
- [NACS Daily] Frank’s six favorite retail visits from 2019, including one store from Germany
- Spätis: Berlin’s Beating Heart
- Shell and Lekkerland Test the Frischwerk Shop Concept in Berlin
- [Petrol Plaza] Frischwerk: Lekkerland’s Innovative Store Concept for Petrol Stations