Queenstown service station has no off-season

3:16 PM Friday February 8, 2019 True Commercial

The Queenstown Caltex station at 43-45 Gorge Rd. Photo / Supplied

Caltex Queenstown is on the market for sale, as a going concern business with leased premises, offering anopportunity to invest in the fuel retail industry. 

ABC broker Alex Ingrosso says the business is for sale for an asking price of $3.5m plus stock and he will give the lease details on request.  

Ingrosso says the business at 43-45 Gorge Rd, is one of the best in the Caltex network.

“The site is a highly desirable spot that benefits hugely from Queenstown’s rapidly expanding tourism and population growth,” says Ingrosso. 

“This business is located on Gorge St, a main arterial route leading all the way to Arrowtown, plus feeding Gibbston and Closburn. 

"The station pumps over 7m litres of fuel per annum, making this site one of the busiest in the South Island. 

With so many tourism operations and hospitality venues in this part of the country now kept busy bothsummer and winter — Caltex Queenstown doesn't have much of an off-season. 

“This differentiates it from similar fuel retailing sites elsewhere in the South Island, which do experience notable seasonality,” he says.

The premises underwent a complete fit-out in 2008 and the pumps were upgraded three-years-ago.

“Another important factor with service stations is their other retail operations,” says Ingrosso.

“For most sites, the majority of the profit comes from these add-ons’ rather than the fuel itself. This Queenstown site has a stellar coffee and hot food operation along, along with car wash, gas bottle re-fills and international money transfers.”

Ingrosso notes that Queenstown draws more than 2m visitors annually, laying on more than 200 attractions, activities and entertainments for them to choose from.  

However, he believes the future of the business lies in further developing profit centres away from fuel sales, with more offerings in the shop and value-added services to locals. 

“I have been told some sites in the United States, for instance, are using space as distribution centres for the likes of Amazon deliveries,” says Ingrosso. 

“There are some sites which have experimented with electric charging points, although at present the technology is still evolving in this regard.

“True, non-standardised charging times and plugs mean that — at this point anyway — not all cars can use all the charging points. But I’m sure this will change in due time. 

“What people need to remember about service stations is that fuel is just one part of the operation. 

“As time goes by these businesses will adapt and they will be around long after fossil fuels have gone, even if they end up looking a bit different to how they do now.”

Ingrosso says the owner has been in the industry over 33 years and is moving on to a quieter lifestyle away from running a business.

That decision offers a new owner one of the best business opportunities in New Zealand, he says.  

Ingrosso says the role takes up around 30 to 40 hours per week and, compared to some industries, the number of staff versus turnover is low — so that side of the management is not too complicated.