Forecourt retailers have broadly welcomed the government's New Year's Day announcement that the legal age for buying tobacco products will be raised from 16 to 18 from October 1, 2007, saying the higher age limit will be easier to enforce.

Perfect partners

08 January, 2007
The Motor Fuels Group has recently become the focus of attention following its year-long, two-site trial of BP's Connect and Wild Bean franchise - and more especially because with these sites now running successfully, the company is ready to sign up two more.

Leak practice

08 January, 2007
Forecourt owners need to be more proactive in their approach to their tanks and pipework to prevent problems from happening, according to Steve Watts, UK sales director at Torex Retail. "We can all be guilty of waiting for an event to happen before doing anything about it, but cleaning up after a leak can be a very expensive business," he says.

Action stations

08 January, 2007
the forecourt property market is buzzing with activity at the moment, with competition for sites fiercer than ever and prices spiralling to match. In fact, John Coulling, associate director of motor trade and roadside at Lambert Smith Hampton, describes the market as "on fire" compared to two years ago.

Burning issues

08 January, 2007
Tobacco retailers were already facing a raft of new legislation before the New Year's Day announcement concerning the raising of the minimum legal age for buying tobacco products from 16 to 18 from October 1.

An 'Air razing' offer

08 January, 2007
CarPlan has launched a new range of attention-grabbing novelty air fresheners, called Air Razors.
Three oil companies will be exhibiting at IFFE 2007 - Gulf Retail is returning to the show while Murco and Pace Petroleum are both new exhibitors.
Tesco has consolidated its position as the second largest fuel retailer in the UK, as site numbers have continued to fall, according to the latest figures published by Catalist.

Sims off to Compass

08 January, 2007
Former BP UK retail director, Graham Sims, has been appointed managing director, business and industry, at the catering company, Compass Group UK & Ireland. Compass was keen to recruit him for his "substantial retail skills".
At-the-pump TV is proving popular with customers at the first dealer site to trial a new service being piloted by BP. Screens have been up and running for a month at the BP Meteor Service Station in Alfreton, Derbyshire - part of the Hockenhull group - as part of a three-site pilot of the BPTV format, which also involves two company-owned Connect sites in Milton Keynes.

Webcast to promote V-Power

08 January, 2007
Shell has launched a contest to find Britain's best driver and promote its V-Power fuel brand. Two teams of 10 candidates from across the UK - one male, led by TV presenter and former-footballer Ian Wright; and one female, led by supermodel Jodie Kidd - will compete in the Shell V-Power Britain's Best Driver Challenge.
UK forecourts are ahead of many of their European counterparts in adopting the latest card payment systems, but they could still work them harder, according to new research by Datamonitor.

In brief

08 January, 2007
BP has responded to complaints by angry motorists who were issued with fines for being parked for longer than 20 minutes at Gatwick Airport sites by doubling the time limit to 40. But new penalties are also being implemented - a 50 fine if paid within 14 days and 100 if not. A spokesman said they were necessary as some motorists used the sites as car parks while waiting for airport passengers.

News review 2006

08 January, 2007
January

Double take

08 January, 2007
Last year saw a steep rise in the number of oil company and grocery retailer partnerships, a trend that is undoubtedly going to continue into 2007, according to Greg Hodge, retail forecourt analyst at Planet Retail, in his latest report on the global forecourt market.

In the surgery this month

08 January, 2007
General Appearance: The Simon Smith Group has a number of stores in Gloucestershire and my target was the prize-winning 24-hour site in Barnwood Road. This includes a Budgens store and Total forecourt.

Forecourt franchising?

08 January, 2007
It was quite surprising to see 'franchising' suddenly feature so prominently in last month's Forecourt Trader - and rather timely too. EKW Group has been involved in franchising for some 20 years, and it's one of the few accounting practices officially affiliated to the Britsh Franchise Association (BFA). In fact at several recent meetings one question that's been repeatedly raised is "why hasn't the UK petrol industry gone down the franchise route?". Well there are several answers, but first some background.
In the past few days I've spoken to two people engaged in retailing with businesses which had each clocked up 40 years as petrol forecourts.

Main route masters

08 January, 2007
Brackenvale Retail Centre has always been a large site by anyone's standards but now it's "bigger and better than ever", according to manager Sam Hawkes, who collected the latest in a string of accolades at the Forecourt Trader Awards 2006.

Meter made to save money

08 January, 2007
A revolutionary new fuel meter - Xflo - will set a new standard of accuracy and save retailers thousands of litres of lost fuel, according to Piotr Pojedynek, marketing manager of Dresser Wayne's European operation, which will launch the new meter on January 15.

Car wash pays off

08 January, 2007
Istobal is celebrating the second anniversary of the launch of its M18+ five-brush rollover car wash, one of which was recently installed at the GH Griffiths, Cowbridge Road Service Station in Bridgend.

HTEC's big win

08 January, 2007
HTEC has secured a comprehensive three-year contract with Chevron to provide Chip & PIN maintenance, support and asset management at Texaco-branded sites.

Trident hits the UK

08 January, 2007
Cadbury Trebor Bassett is entering the UK gum market with the launch of its international Trident brand. Cadbury says Trident is the world's second-largest gum brand and is supporting the UK launch with a £10m spend, including TV advertising and sampling.

Family favourites

08 January, 2007
Stockley's Sweets has launched a new range of traditional confectionery, aimed at impulse outlets.

Energy69 gets health boost

08 January, 2007
Energy69 has been reformulated to appeal to consumers looking for a more healthy boost, using caffeine-rich green tea as a natural stimulant instead of taurine.

Creme Eggs are back

08 January, 2007
The return of Cadbury Creme Egg is being supported by a £5m marketing campaign.

Cracking soft drinks

08 January, 2007
New drinks company, Cracker, has launched a natural juice drink which aims to revolutionise the ambient juice market,

'Moo' ads for Skinny Cow

08 January, 2007
Low-fat ice cream brand The Skinny Cow, made by Richmond, is back on TV this month with a 1.5m campaign that aims to capitalise on demand for healthy products in the new year.

Beefing up Jerky

08 January, 2007
The Jerky Group has launched new Rocking JC beef steak nuggets, aimed at widening the brand's appeal. The new product has a softer texture than traditional jerky, making it easier to eat, and the nugget format is thought to be more accessible to consumers, particularly women.

Coke is it in 2007

08 January, 2007
Coca-Cola's plans for early 2007 include new TV advertising for Diet Coke and the return of the popular 'buy a player' on-pack promotion, as part of its ongoing Football League sponsorship.

Snacks shaping up

08 January, 2007
United Biscuits has announced a host of activity across its biscuits, snacks and cakes range for 2007, including an increased focus on health which has seen a reduction in saturated fat and salt in key brands.

PG monkeys around

08 January, 2007
PG Tips is backing the launch of new-look packs of tea with an 18m campaign including TV ads starring comedian Johnny Vegas and his knitted sidekick Monkey.

Mo'gas

08 January, 2007
I PARTICULARLY LOOK FORWARD to the period between Christmas and New Year. It's one of the few times in the year that I give myself a few days off. Of course I go in on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day - not full days you understand, just a few hours to show my face. I think this is important if you expect your staff to work these unsociable hours. Luckily my delivered trade supplier always carries out stocktaking during this time, so there's no big order to oversee. I've usually so over-ordered on fuel that tankers aren't a problem so, emergencies excepted, it's the ideal time to slope off for a couple of days.

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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 »

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