Murco buys Petrol Express

30 October, 2008

Murco Petroleum has confirmed the £51.66 million acquisition of Petrol Express Limited from its parent company GNE Group plc.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the government to take the lead and instate a Grocery Ombudsman, as recommended by the Competition Commission’s investigation into the Grocery Market.

GreatGas expands in Ireland

28 October, 2008



THE issue of wholesale fuel prices in Orkney is to be taken to the Office of Fair Trading, according to a story in the island's local newspaper Orkney Today. The report said the situation had been

Asda has followed Morrisons’ lead by slashing its fuel prices again.

Gordon Brown’s call for forecourts to cut fuel prices at the pumps in line with the fall in the price of crude oil or risk an Office of Fair Trading investigation is too simplistic according to the Forecourt Division of the Federation of Petroleum
Retailer pressure was behind BP's resumption of talks with card giant Arval, according to PRA director Ray Holloway. Having been told in August that BP had decided to discontinue its Arval connection due to escalating costs,

Power of pulling together

07 October, 2008
Aside from all the crashing and banging going on in the financial markets around the world, this has been a pretty significant month for UK petrol retailers too. By all accounts they have discovered their power as a collective force. Never before have so many retailers been galvanised into pulling together in one direction to such effect. The ashen faces triggered by BP's stand-off with Arval have now visibly relaxed into relieved - if wary - smiles.

Anything's POSsible

07 October, 2008
Have you checked your epos data recently? According to research company Him, independent retailers only review the data they get from their epos systems an average of 4.5 times a month. The figure comes from its latest Cash and Carry Retailer Tracking Programme, which carries out interviews with retailers while they are shopping in depots.

Break time

07 October, 2008
For consumers, there's no escaping snacks because in this multi-million pound market there's something for everyone. There are snacks for those who are simply hungry, snacks for those wanting a treat, and nowadays there are even snacks for those people who are watching their weight.

All wrapped up

07 October, 2008
In the year to June 2008, UK consumers spent £37bn on gifts - up 10% on the previous 12 months. The figure comes from TNS Worldpanel data, which also reveals that the average spend on a gift is just under £29. Finding a gift of that value in a forecourt shop would be hard (unless you buy someone half a tank of petrol) however they do sell gift-worthy items such as flowers, chocolates and wine.
A new association has been formed to represent those working in the car wash industry. The Car Wash Association (CWA) wants to recruit more members to help work for best practice in the
The M&S Simply Food brand could soon be seen on independent BP forecourt sites around the country, if a franchise pilot - to be launched in the new year - proves successful.

New depot safety rules

07 October, 2008
Automatic shutdown systems to prevent overfill at fuel storage terminals have been announced by UKPIA and the Tank Storage Association, as part of the ongoing process to improve safety at major fuel storage terminals following the disaster at the Buncefield oil terminal in December 2005.
Five oil companies have so far signed up to exhibit at next year's International Forecourt and Fuel Equipment Show (IFFE), which will take place at the Birmingham NEC from March 1-3, 2009.
Three fraudsters operating an international credit card scam via petrol stations have been jailed. They used a Leicester warehouse to store footage, from covert cameras, of PIN numbers being inputted into pads at garages across the country.
A new Budgens store has opened in Box, Wiltshire on an Esso forecourt on the outskirts of the village.

in brief

07 October, 2008
GNE Group plc has entered into a conditional share purchase to dispose of its main operating subsidiary, Petrol Express, to Leopard No. 2 Investments for £51.66m. For full details log onto []
With fuel volumes down, Arval cards under threat, and question marks over tobacco and alcohol, how concerned are you about the health of your business over the next 12 months?

Card sharp

07 October, 2008
A "huge sigh of relief" is how Petrol Retailers' Assocation director, Ray Holloway, described the reaction around the dealer network to the recent Arval/BP agreement.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: The junction of the A338 (Oxford/Wantage road) and the A415 (Witney/Abingdon road) is off set and somewhat awkward, but constantly busy and an ideal location for a service station. And indeed right on the junction at Frilford is a large Shell service station with Budgens shop.

Forecourt pay 2008

07 October, 2008
Every autumn for the past 10 years we have taken a snapshot of actual forecourt pay from our managed payroll service data. We then analyse that data into geographic regions to see just what is being paid to hourly-paid employees in the UK petrol retailing industry. What makes these figures almost unique is that they're not based on what people claim to pay but on what has been put through their 'live' payrolls. This is done for almost 2,500 employees across the UK, during one week in September. Remember though that what we're showing are average rates per employer, so naturally there may be many individual employees within any given site or company who earn more or less than these figures. We restrict the data to hourly-paid employees in order to help prevent distortion by monthly salaries of management or directors.
== Get the timing right ==

A level playing field

07 October, 2008
"Once someone washes their vehicle in a proper car wash they won't go back to hand washing," insists independent retailer David Charman.

Not just any franchise...

07 October, 2008
As the successful partnership between Marks and Spencer and BP reached its centenary last month with the opening of the 100th Simply Food concept in a BP Connect store, the oil company announced a potentially exciting development, which could see the M&S brand installed across many dealer forecourts.

WashTec's wider offer

07 October, 2008
WashTec used this year's Automechanika trade show in Frankfurt to showcase its latest car wash technology.

Zurich's tax guide

07 October, 2008
Zurich has published a tax guide for small business owners. Its 2008/9 Tax Handbook includes advice on how to finance a business effectively as well as guidance on Capital Gains tax, deducting tax at source and an outline of VAT.

Counter charge

07 October, 2008
CTEK has released a new counter-ready display unit for its smart chargers.

On course for safety

07 October, 2008
The British Safety Council has launched a one-day course designed to provide a good understanding of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the impact of the Work at Height (Amendment) Regulations 2007.

Shaken not stirred

07 October, 2008
Coca-Cola Enterprises is to be an official partner of the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.

Hovis uses its loaf

07 October, 2008
Hovis has introduced a new 122 second advert celebrating its 122 years in business.

Demon gloss set to shine

07 October, 2008
Car care company Tetrosyl has launched its new-look CarPlan Demon Shine product.

Big cheese relaunch

07 October, 2008
Kraft Foods is relaunching Dairylea in a bid to remind mums about the "goodness and magic" of the brand.

New sandwich range

07 October, 2008
Heinz has launched a pre-packed sandwich range featuring its classic range of sauces such as Tomato Ketchup and Ploughman's Pickle.

Twisted back on TV

07 October, 2008
Cadbury UK is bringing its Creme Egg Twisted ads back to TV this month as well as running a national sampling campaign targeting Haloween sales.

Goodfella's major rebrand

07 October, 2008
Goodfella's has added new flavours to its existing ranges as part of a major re-brand.

Getting in a spin

07 October, 2008
Unilever is launching an on-pack promotion for Pot Noodle to give away a thousand spinning forks.


07 October, 2008
To claim your Giveaway, simply write your name, address and telephone number on a postcard or sealed envelope stating what you want - Kit Kat, Big French Fancy, Lyle's Golden Syrup ice cream or Bryant & May - and we'll do the rest, including delivery. Send it to us at Forecourt Trader, William Reed Business Media, Broadfield Park, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 9RT, by October 31.

Get your fingers out

07 October, 2008
Nestlé says retailers looking to increase confectionery sales should ensure they stock top-performing brands consumers know and love - like Kit Kat.

Have your cake and eat it

07 October, 2008
Premier Foods' leading cake brand Mr Kipling has recently launched a larger version of its French Fancies - The Big French Fancy. Available in either pink or yellow, the company says the cakes are a perfect addition to any family birthday party or girls' night in.
Fredericks Dairies, which says it is the UK's largest independent ice cream manufacturer, is bringing another of Britain's favourite flavours to the freezer with the launch of Lyle's Golden Syrup ice cream.

bonfire night essentials

07 October, 2008
It's almost bonfire night and to celebrate, readers of Forecourt Trader are being offered a package of Bryant & May Extra Long Matches and Cricket Firepower.


07 October, 2008
Looking back over past issues of Forecourt Trader I was amazed to see that it was exactly a year ago that I was writing about the fiasco at Northern Rock. Although we knew that the underlying cause of its collapse was rooted in America, the whole crazy goings on, and the sight of people queuing round the block to withdraw their funds, seemed to make the collapse of the Rock a very peculiarly British affair.

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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 »