Jomo, Japan’s sixth-largest gas station chain, has long offered car washes. But in hopes of higher sales and profits, the company began remodeling its stations so drivers would actually enjoy waiting for time-consuming services.
To create the new format, called Value Style, Jomo tapped a leading Tokyo restaurant designer, who introduced not just spiffier pumps but also comfortable cafes, kiddie areas, and massage chairs.
Post-makeover results are impressive. At the eight Value Style stations open for at least three months, average monthly vehicle visits per station were up 22 percent over the previous year, from 10,770 to 13,106, driving a 15 percent sales increase, from $361,266 to $414,158. Per-station operating profit jumped 82 percent, from $7,051 to $12,854.
Revenue from non-gas sales is as high as 70 percent at some Jomo stations, compared with an industry average of 50 percent. So far, Jomo has converted 30 stations at a cost of about $46,000 apiece, and the company plans to roll out Value Style at nearly half of its 4,000 locations within three years.