SPOTLIGHT: Evelyn Tomasson, Fuel Analyst – EG Group

  • SPOTLIGHT: Evelyn Tomasson, Fuel Analyst – EG Group

    EG Group employs more than 26,000 staff working in 4,600+ sites across various European markets including the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, and now the United States. The recent acquisition of Kroger convenience stores adds yet another dynamic to their fuel pricing processes.

    We recently spoke with Evelyn Tomasson, a member of the EG Group’s fuel pricing team, to discuss her background and some of the complexities of fuel price management across international borders.

    Q: How did you start your career with EG Group?
    A: I graduated from The University of Manchester with a Mathematics. I started out in actual pricing and now I am on the analytics team – looking at how pricing and other elements impact fuel sales.

    Q: Tell us a bit about the fuel team.
    A: There are 12 people located in the UK, one in Italy, and a handful of people in France/Benelux. This includes those team members who order and manage the fuel as well as our pricing specialists and analysts. We have one person pricing fuel for all of the UK stores and two people ordering the fuel. In addition to myself, there are two more people who do analysis for UK and France.

    Q. As a fuel analyst, what primary data points are you crunching?
    A: I am constantly looking at our volumes and margins and running those against budgets and targets.

    Q. Do you conduct in-store sales correlation reports with your fuel sales?
    A. Yes, we do look at shop sales alongside fuel. We look at customer conversion (both fuel and shop) and overall footfall into the sites. We also compare this data to Food-to-Go offers.

    Q. What are some of the complexities tied to pricing fuel in different countries?
    A. I analyze fuel sales for both the UK and France. Jumping between the British Pound and the Euro can get confusing once in a while, but I’ve been doing it long enough now that it translates pretty easily. For example, I’m analyzing Pence per liter on margin for the UK compared to Euro per meters cubed (Euro per thousand liters) for France. There are also some complexities for France where the government tracks prices. Each time our team changes prices they need to notify the government. PriceAdvantage made this notification process much faster when they added functionality where those new prices are automatically sent when a price is changed. The UK does not require this.

    Belgium and Luxembourg have “Obey” Official Price restrictions – where fuel prices are set by the governments. Retailers are fined if they exceed these set prices.

    Q. We know that some countries have very predictable consumer behavior when buying fuel. For example, Italians generally do not fill their tanks – they only buy what is needed for the week. Is this true in the UK?
    A. For the UK, buying behaviors tie more into economics rather than a cultural thing. They buy based on budget – some may spend just 5 Pounds on fuel each week while the more affluent customer will fill their tank. We definitely have certain geographical areas where customers buy in small batches.

    Q: You have been using PriceAdvantage for nearly a year – what do you like most?
    A: Scheduled price changes are very helpful because with many or our sites, we change prices during the night and then again in the morning. We can pre-schedule those price changes which makes our job much easier. Also, the volume analytics and pricing reports are quite valuable– I reference those often.

    Q: Will you personally be involved with the pricing strategies for the newly acquired Kroger stores?
    A: Yes. Similarly to what I do for the UK and France – I’ll be analyzing the fuel sales, volumes, margins and budgets.

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