Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community
September

‘Musical chairs’ as sell-offs continue

The industry equivalent of musical chairs has continued this month with more sites changing hands – Texaco to Pace Petroleum, Morrisons to Tesco, and Fuelforce to Murco.

Sign of the times

The evolving forecourt market has prompted Palmer & Harvey to adapt its service to the independent sector. Along with the launch of the Sinqua epos system for forecourts by YP Electronics, which P&H acquired in 2000, it has this year formed a new team dedicated to serving the growing number of multi-site operators.

Distress signal

As forecourt retailers transform their shops into convenience stores, they might be tempted to push car care to one side, but the high-margin and distress nature of car care make it one of the most important categories to the forecourt shop. If a motorist runs out of fuel, breaks down or loses a headlight bulb, the nearest forecourt will be their first destination for a petrol can, tow rope or new bulb.

Better by design

Forecourt design and shopfitting are the foundations of any forecourt business. After all, if the forecourt doesn’t look inviting or doesn’t advertise its services properly to passing traffic, then the business will fall at the first hurdle because nobody will come in. “The site needs to project an inviting appearance from the road and be easy for customers to use,” says Alec Cornish-Trestail, who runs forecourt design company ACT Design.

Shell moves dealer contracts to Platts

Shell is to replace the number of existing margin share dealer contacts currently active in the UK market with new Platt Plus deals.

Brutal attack on forecourt cashier

A young cashier was pistol-whipped and kicked during a brutal robbery at a forecourt in the London suburb of Croydon.

Store conversion

Independent retailer Bryce Smith has converted the old car showroom at Ladyacre forecourt in Lanark, into a 1,100sq ft Spar-branded convenience store.

Opportunity knocks for alcohol sales

The increasing consumption of alcohol at home is good news for forecourt retailers, according to a new report by independent market analyst Datamonitor.

News in brief

BP IS THE WORLD'S most admired UK company, according to new research from management consultancy Hay Group and Fortune magazine. The research – based on surveying more than 10,000 directors, executives and managers at 357 companies around the globe – also puts BP as the second most admired UK innovators – second to Tesco. A BP spokeswoman said: “It’s always gratifying when a survey comes out in your favour, but we are just focused on getting on with the business.”

Fuel prices: August 30, 2005

Pole vault

The call to remove fuel prices from forecourt pole signs has gathered momentum following the publication of driver research which showed that the majority of drivers could not recall how much they had just paid for their fuel. And that is despite retail fuel prices – diesel in particular – heading perilously close to £1.

Esso Gate Services Faversham, Kent

Judged by any standard the Esso Gate Services filling station and shop near Faversham, Kent is a busy site. But judged by my standards – and the look of shock-horror on the faces of many motorists and shoppers I saw during my visit – it is a dump. Esso should be ashamed and should have taken action weeks ago to protect its business and reputation.

No such thing as good news

Looking at the petrol retailing market at the moment, it is difficult to escape a feeling of chaos. While upstream the majors report one record quarterly profit after another, downstream at the retail end we see the same majors disposing of entire distribution networks in both the UK and Ireland. At the time of writing it is common to see pump prices of derv at over 95 or even 97 pence per litre, with unleaded just a few pence cheaper and the ‘super’ grades only just below the 100ppl mark. There’s little doubt that the continued high pump price is having an impact on the retail end of the industry, in both of sales and costs.

Service Centre

Driving up crime

Turner Prize

Shell dealer Mike Turner isn’t short of an idea or two to improve business. His 20 years as dealer principal at Cuff Miller, a Ford dealership and Shell forecourt in Littlehampton, West Sussex, have seen him try all sorts of weird and wonderful ways to increase custom and boost loyalty.

For Sale

After 28 years of careful nurturing, the enigmatic, white-pole retailer Keith Mowbray is ready to part from his beloved site, Maypole Service Station, in King’s Heath, Birmingham – but not to just anyone… yet.

Praising the bar

Christmas is coming and with it the countless number of special chocolate lines – advent calendars, tree decorations, selection packs and mega-size tins to name but a few. However according to Andrea Taylor, trade relations manager at Masterfoods, forecourts shouldn’t get too carried away with seasonal lines: “You’ve got to remember that singles account for 72% of a forecourt’s chocolate sales, large bags account for 20%, so seasonal lines account for just 8% of sales.”

EPOS update completed

Supermarket chain Morrisons has completed the installation of its new Toshiba and HTEC epos solutions at its 300 forecourts. The changeover was necessary because the old system did not allow the integration of petrol sales into the company’s overall sales analysis.

Sign of Skill

Specialist sign installation and maintenance company Xmo Strata has won the contract for 650-plus forecourts managed by ABB Ltd.The deal covers maintenance on any signware and graphics, as well as on the forecourt canopy, and also includes a national four-hour emergency response capability. Xmo Strata claims to have the most highly qualified engineers and electricians in the UK sign industry. Their qualifications include the UKPIA ‘safety passport’ and PASMA

Greenberg's glass act

Greenberg Glass has launched a range of high security systems using a combination of Tego, a glass-polycarbonate composite and SGS, Greenberg’s security glazing beading.

Spar Bank Machine

Spar has named Bank Machine as its new preferred ATM supplier. The symbol group’s retail controller, Barry Wallis, says the new deal is the most competititive one for its retailers so far.

Rational response

New from Rational UK comes the SelfCooking Center, which it says is ideal for convenience outlets. The Center claims to deliver better cooking quality and is much faster than a conventional oven. The user simply selects the food to be cooked and pushes a button. The machine then automatically selects the correct programme and precisely controls the mix of heat, moisture and airflow within the unit to give perfect results. And aside from the good results, the machine saves retailers money by using less energy and water than traditional combi or steam ovens.

114s pack for B&H

Benson & Hedges Gold and Silver are both now available in packs of 14. Gallaher says the launch is designed to fulfil “the exact needs of modern adult smokers whose average consumption is 14 cigarettes a day”.

Taste of the south

Pot Noodle’s latest flavour is southern fried chicken. The flavour was chosen because currently nine of the top 20 pot snacks on the market are chicken flavour and also because southern fried chicken flavour is difficult to replicate at home.

Balti boost for crisps

Golden Wonder’s Golden Skins have a new balti curry flavour. The premium crisps with potato peel left on, come in 45g packs with a rrp of 45p.

Sumo energy source

Sumo is the little chocolate bar with the big kick, according to Sumo Foods. Each 17g bar is made from guarana-enhanced Belgian chocolate that aims to give consumers an immediate energy fix. The bars come 20 to an outer and rrp is 49p.

Saving on Frusli bars

The Frusli cereal bar brand is currently backed by TV advertising that continues the ‘Back to nature’ campaign. The commercials coincide with an offer through selected wholesalers and cash & carries where retailers can get 24 Frusli bars for the price of 18.

All-in-one egg packs

It’s not even Christmas and the confectionery companies are unveiling their ranges for Easter 2006. First off the blocks is Nestlé Rowntree and the big news for independents is a mixed outer of its filled eggs.

Lindt delivers seasonal growth

Lindt and Sprüngli enjoyed sales growth of 30% for its Christmas 2004 range. The company says much of the success was due to its Gold Reindeer. The 50g reindeer is available once again this year, and retails at £1.99.

Ginsters goes deep

Ginsters is adding a three-strong range of deep fill savoury pies to its range. The 250g individual pies are: deep fill steak, deep fill roast chicken and deep fill steak & mushroom. Each pie is filled to the brim with chunks of meat in gravy, topped off with shortcrust pastry.

Wrigley rolls them

Wrigley is introducing three new products this month. Extra Ice Mints follow the successful launch of Extra Ice chewing gum earlier this year. The mints are said

Mo'gas: An irreverent view from the network

FOR THOSE OF US in the southeast, it’s been a long, hot, dry summer. For those in the north it’s been more a question of what summer? For all of us, however, the price of product has been red hot! I’ve lost count of the number of times Platts has soared above its previous record and I’ve thought that we must surely have reached a peak only to see it rise another couple of pence in the next few weeks.

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Weekly Fuel Prices 17 July 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East115.6457.40123.16114.76
East Midlands115.23124.22114.53
London115.7059.90124.68114.90
North East114.4759.90124.57113.84
North West115.48124.36114.65
Northern Ireland114.33124.57113.85
Scotland115.4949.70123.06114.43
South East116.0053.90124.79115.13
South West115.7457.40123.82114.84
Wales114.95121.22114.15
West Midlands115.37125.48114.77
Yorkshire & Humber115.0861.90125.96114.38

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