Those active in share investing would know that homegrown SPC has been doing extraordinary well in the local bourse. Most notable amongst their achievements was the ability to fend themselves against much larger foreign competitors like Shell, Exxon-Mobil and British Petroleum (BP).
SPC’s biggest coup was in purchasing all 28 BP stations in Singapore. It broke away from convention by maintaining an attractive price-based discount instead of offering customers loyalty points which can be redeemed for products and services. This subsequently led the other petrol giants to follow suit.
Perhaps the following observations could give us some clues to their success?
I next walked into the Choices convenience store cum cashier counter to pay my gas dues. Its fascinating to see how many different items you can get here, from groceries and car accessories right down to video CDs and novels. Before I could finish my transaction, the friendly cashier tried to upsell the special promotion for the day which was mango pudding.
My wife recently got a $2 car wash coupon which I thought I should make use of. Thus, I drove my car through the manual car wash, for it to be soaked, sudded and sponged by these sprightly young men in blue overalls….
…followed by a nice shower and spray. I occasionally feel a tinge of sadness in my heart when I see how hard these guys have to work for so little money. At $6 per wash, which typically takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, I wonder how much they bring home.
As the interior was getting a mite too grimy for our liking, I opted for the vacuuming option. The nice boys asked me to take a seat while waiting for the job to be done. Instead, I roamed around looking suspicious and taking pictures.