Esso is embarking on a recruitment campaign in the new year to sign up new dealers.

Money spinners

06 December, 2005
Car washes can offer retailers high margins of up to 80%, but many retailers don’t give the car wash the attention it deserves – perhaps because it lies outside the shop, which has become the focus of many forecourts these days. As a result, many machines aren’t being used to their full potential, with factors such as maintenance and inadequate marketing hampering what should be a straightforward profit generator.

Let me entertain you

06 December, 2005
British consumers are spending more money than ever on entertainment – and not just on eating out or drinking down the pub. They’re shelling out to be entertained in their homes and cars. As such they’re demanding DVDs and CDs at an astonishing rate. Market forecasts estimate that 196 million DVDs will be sold this year as well as 179 million albums.

A healthy profit

06 December, 2005
With the Met Office predicting a big freeze and cold and flu rates set to soar, over the counter medicines (OTC) will be vital this winter.
BP Retail has launched a franchise trial of its BP Connect and Wild Bean Café. The first two sites are Crow Orchard Connect in Wigan and Maynestone Connect in Ashton under Lyne. Both are now operated by Wembley-based Motor Fuel Limited. The company is run by S Sejpal and S Raja – known as Sej and Raj respectively.

IFFE show is back

06 December, 2005
Forecourt Equipment Show (IFFE) is back from March 19 – 22, 2006. Last year’s show was so successful it has now been made an annual event. Held at the NEC, Birmingham, more than 50 companies will be exhibiting, covering all aspects of the forecourt industry and supported by the major trade associations. Forecourt Live will again be a top attraction, featuring a series of informative presentations and discussions on hot topics.
The number of forecourt sites has dropped below 10,000, according to latest figures published by Catalist in its Market Summary Report. The total number of petrol stations in the UK is now 9,994.

Arval-only new cards

06 December, 2005
Fuel card company Arval is consolidating its Allstar, Dialcard and Overdrive brands.
BP retail director Graham Sims and M&S’s head of food formats Jill Bruce were among the speakers at this year’s National Association of Convenience Store’s (NACS) show held in Las Vegas last month.

Gordons scores a century

06 December, 2005
Few service station businesses can claim to have been operating for over 100 years, but Gordons Ford in Lancashire is one of them. The family-owned business operates three Texaco petrol stations at Bolton, Horwich and Walkden, and has recently celebrated 70 years of working with the oil company. Starting out as a horse-drawn carriage builder in the 1800s, the business began selling and maintaining Ford motor cars before the First World War. It began selling fuel in the 1930s under the Regent brand, now part of Texaco.
Gulf has returned to West Wales in an impressive way – in conjunction with the area’s largest convenience store. Siop y Frydiau, which translates into Shop by the Falls, on the busy A484 at Cenarth, has been subject to a £500,000 rebuild which included the reintroduction of fuel after an absence of more than 20 years.

High cost of drive-offs

06 December, 2005
Drive-off fuel thieves stole £1.2m worth of petrol in Leicestershire last year, a survey has revealed.

Hazelgrove invests in people

06 December, 2005
Hazlegrove Services in Sparkford, Somerset, has received a coveted Investors in People Award after completing a rigorous assessment process, involving management and staff training and business development.
Forecourt owner Nandan Kumar, who has two sites in Peterborough, has doubled the turnover in one of his stores since embracing the new-look Mace Express. Nandan’s success coincides with news from Palmer & Harvey McLane’s symbol division that the number of Mace Express members is up 20% on last year to 200. In addition, 50 outlets have been rebranded with the new-look fascia which was introduced earlier this year.


06 December, 2005
The LP Gas Association has re-launched the Boost LPG website with all the latest news on the alternative fuel. The website is an independent consumer guide to LPG autogas and includes information on the benefits of the fuel, getting an LPG vehicle and filling up both in the UK and abroad. Visit

Fuel prices: November 28, 2005

06 December, 2005

Time for pay at pump

06 December, 2005
There may still be teething problems, but now that the rollout of Chip & PIN is well under way, a seminar last month suggested that it was time for forecourts to fully explore pay-at-pump technology. The question was raised at a ‘Chip & PIN at the Pump’ seminar, organised by payment specialist Trintech. The aim of the event was to bring a number of partners and industry experts together to explore the issues and challenges in deploying Chip & PIN in the forecourt and share their international experiences. The seminar also looked at the latest technology trends and certification requirements. It was attended by more than 40 delegates from across the industry including fuel retailers, pump manufacturers and forecourt system integrators, as well as oil companies and supermarkets such as Shell, Sainsbury, Somerfield and Tesco.
Can 1 + 1 = 3? Yes, I am certain it can. For example, when two enterprises come together the result may well be greater than the some of the original two parts.
It is becoming evident that as more retailers find themselves urged into multi-site operation, the one aspect of running these ‘site groups’ that seems to have been neglected is the administration and paperwork. The assumption seems to be that it’ll take care of itself – the sites have modern PC-based pos/bos systems so who needs a bookkeeper?

Pinning down fraud

06 December, 2005
Pinning down fraud

Esso gets back on track

06 December, 2005
Much has been said about what Esso may or may not be up to in the UK – is it staying, going, losing its way? So who better to tell us than the proverbial horse’s mouth – Martin Todd, the company’s executive director of fuels marketing in the UK and Ireland.

Emerald-isle hat trick

06 December, 2005
Rural winner of the year 2005 - Sharon McKenna

Dynamic technology

06 December, 2005
Panasonic System Solutions has unveiled its latest range of equipment including CCTV, IP cameras and EPoS solutions, as well as iris recognition and digital signage.

Delightful eggs

06 December, 2005
Cadbury Trebor Bassett’s Easter 2006 range focuses on special gifts, while the ever-popular Creme Egg is back in store and on TV screens from January 1.

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About the Forecourt Trader Group
Forecourt Trader continues to maintain its market-leading position as the major source of information for the petrol-retailing sector.

Targeted at independent retailers, all those connected to the industry seek out Forecourt Trader (magazine and website) for its strong mix of news, industry and retailer profiles, as well as scheduled features that cover all categories of a service station operation at length, on both the forecourt and shop side of the business. ...more »