Crime at Britain’s petrol service stations fell by eight per cent to £29.9 million in 2008, reversing a 13 per cent increase in estimated losses suffered by forecourt retailers in Britain during the previous year (2007) according to the latest forecourt crime statistics from BOSS – the British Oil Security Syndicate.

Following the publication by the Home Office of a draft code of practice on alcohol sales, ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores), representing 33,000 convenience stores that would be affected by the code, has urged Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to think

Plant power is being harnessed to fuel a car for the National Farming Union's renewable energy chief, underlining the technical possibilities and importance of sustainable biofuels.  The low-emissions Elsbett Audi A6 diesel will run on pure vegetable oil fuel produced by British rapeseed growers.

The Scottish Grocer's Federation has criticised the Government's timing following its announcement of the increase in the national minimum wage –up by 1.2% from October 1, 2009. It mens the the adult NMW rate will increase from £5.73 per hour to £5.80.

The convenience store market has rocketed in value to £29.1 billion in the last year, with fresh food and symbol group partnerships helping boost the forecourt sector. According to IGD’s Evolution of Convenience Retailing report, published this month, the figure

Positive vibes

01 May, 2009

Always look on the bright side of life, as the famous Monty Python song goes, and what a jolly philosophy that is. Easy to sing at a knees-up maybe, but hard to stick to at all times, especially when someone nearby sneezes in a suspiciously swine-flu way, and you can immediately feel your temperature rising...

Stricter rules on drive-offs have come into force following a long campaign by the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS). The Home Office National Crime Recording Standards (NCRS)

Take a chance on me

01 May, 2009

You know you're a 'Super Trouper', looking to make lots of 'Money, Money, Money', so you could be the 'Winner (who) Takes It All' at the '70s-themed Forecourt Trader of the Year awards ceremony at the London Hilton on Park Lane Hotel on Thursday, September 24.  Visit the awards website

Get your fill

01 May, 2009

Gone are the days when petrol pumps were simply about dispensing fuel. The technology fitted to dispensers has moved on considerably in the past decade, with manufacturers continuing to bring new technology to the UK market.

Energy surge

01 May, 2009

Cola and pure fruit juice may be the biggest sub-categories within the soft drinks market but it's the energy drinks sector that is the fastest growing. According to Britvic's Soft Drinks Report 2009, glucose/stimulant drinks achieved 12% growth last year, with sales amounting to £522m in the total take-home market and £314m in impulse outlets. It's good news, particularly for forecourts where energy drinks sell and sell. Indeed AC Nielsen data puts Red Bull as the number one soft drink through forecourts on a cash rate of sale basis (see box p30.

Come dine with me

01 May, 2009

Eating in has become the new eating out thanks to the credit crunch - and this can only be good news for petrol retailers.

Wholesale distributor Palmer & Harvey unveiled a new format for its flagship symbol offer, Mace – which is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary – at last month's Pro-retail exhibition in Telford, Shropshire.

Blackburn-based Euro Garages, number four in our Top 50 Indies list, has acquired three more sites taking its total to 75. The new acquisitions are a one-acre brownfield site on the Runcorn

Which Car? magazine is urging consumers to stop but not shop at motorway service stations. The magazine surveyed 51 sites and bought a selection of snacks (500ml still water, 250ml can of Red Bull, 215g bag of Jelly

MP Greg Barker visited independent retailer Carol Smith at her forecourt in East Sussex to show support for a local business and discuss the pressure of rising costs in the economic downturn and the problem of crime.

The UK oil industry has exceeded the government's 2.5% volume target for biofuel content in road fuels (achieving 2.7%) in the first full year of the Renewable Transport Obligation (RTFO)

Greenergy Fuels Ltd has made a multi-million pound investment in new petrol and diesel blending and storage facilities in Teeside. The facility, which

BB's Coffee & Muffins has joined forces with Elite Fuels to open its first forecourt café in the UK - at Fleet Point in Middlesbrough.

BP has appointed Amscreen, Sir Alan Sugar's new digital signage company, as its exclusive partner in a five-year contract. Initially Amscreen's close-proximity signage units will be installed

in brief

01 May, 2009

== Let there be light ==

Move over, Darling

01 May, 2009

While the consensus seemed to be that it was a pretty unspectacular Budget for petrol retailers, there have been some words of warning for the sector. Chancellor Alistair Darling's announcement could be summed up as a few more pence on fuel, a couple of pence on tobacco and alcohol, and a little bit of help with credit insurance. Nothing in particular to take the fuel retail market by storm. But maybe it is what wasn't said in the announce-ment that is the real issue.

Do you think the government's 11th-hour reprieve on business rates will be the first step towards a fairer rates system for businesses?

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Gillhams Service Station, a BP forecourt and Nisa Local Essentials convenience store, opened last November. The enterprise is on a grand scale and all the equipment and buildings are new but in keeping with the old market town environment.

== Banks still playing the game by their own rules ==

== The price of power, the abuse of power ==

Graham Walker believes in bucking the trend when it comes to forecourt shops. He has run Duns Service Station in the Scottish Borders for 20 years, but the small kiosk on the site is pretty much the same as when he first took the business over. And he has no plans to change or expand it.

Don't give up on us

01 May, 2009

A strictly personal view of Mo'gas' musings on the PRA (April 2009) is that, unlike the curate's egg, they were good in parts. Let us not beat about the bush! The PRA's 'state of flux' as it was euphemistically described, is a long overdue attempt to get parts of the organisation fit for purpose and able to operate within their budget. The issue as to whether the PRA should be allied to any other organisation is, in reality, an irrelevance. If the PRA cannot live within the budget determined by the level of its income from its membership, then no other organisation, be it the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers or the Association of Convenience Stores, would be interested in it anyway. And if it can live within its income, it is far better where it is. Within the RMIF there is no risk of a conflict of interest arising from organisations supplying oil companies or their subsidiaries in membership.

Software and services company FuelQuest has issued a set of guidelines aimed at helping petrol retailers operate successfully during the recession.

Going spare

01 May, 2009

In the current economic climate, repairing rather than replacing equipment is becoming more and more popular. According to catering equipment manufacturer Lincat, the prompt availability of spare parts is becoming critical.

Chilling offers

01 May, 2009

Valera is urging retailers to make the most of ice cream sales this summer with one of its specially-tailored display units.

Coffee pour moi

01 May, 2009

Westomatic Vending Services has launched a Pour Moi branded version of its Sigma hot drinks machine.

Nestlé Confectionery is launching Rowntree's Randoms on May 18. These are jelly sweets in a random range of textures, flavours and shapes. All are free from artificial colours and flavours. The company expects them to be a big hit with 16- to 24-year-olds.

Taking it to the Max

01 May, 2009

Pepsi Max is giving away £1m in its new 'Max it for a Million' on-pack promotion.

Flamin' good launch

01 May, 2009

Walkers launches a new spicy flavour of Doritos on to the market this month called flamin' cheeseball.

A sense-ational chew

01 May, 2009

Wrigley is set on shaking up the chewing gum category as it rolls out its new, premium, 'sense-stimulating' gum, which will be available nationwide from June. The 5 range will be available in three flavours: cobalt - cooling peppermint; electro - tingling spearmint; and pulse - crisp tropical. It is designed to appeal to high-energy social consumers, with its stylish embossed black gloss packaging with flashes of colour. Each pack contains 12 sticks individually wrapped in matching coloured paper, rrp is 97p. The range will also be available in twin multi-packs which have a rrp of £1.79. Already well-established in North America, Wrigley reckons the 5 range will help establish a new premium segment within the chewing gum category, providing retailers with incremental sales and profit opportunities. 01752 752094

Bounce into summer

01 May, 2009

Mars is giving away 200,000 balls this summer by bringing back its 'Mars Balls Get Britain Playing' campaign.

Big boost for Cadbury

01 May, 2009

Cadbury is launching Cadbury Boost Duo and Cadbury Double Decker Duo.

Anything's possible

01 May, 2009

Coca-Cola Zero is launching its latest ad campaign this summer which is aimed at the 'lads' market.

Ribena's double act

01 May, 2009

GlaxoSmithKline launches its Have a Field Day on-pack promotion on all Ribena in-home squash and Tetra Pak formats this month. It allows consumers to collect tokens which can be swapped for fun days out.

Gallo targets impulse

01 May, 2009

Global wine producer, E&J Gallo Winery is to roll out its Redwood Creek brand across the grocery and impulse sectors this month. There are three wines in the range, all with a rrp of £6.99: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. They are targeted at ABC1 males. David Mallory, impulse channel controller, explains: "This range is very red-centric. There are two reds and one white - research shows men prefer drinking red to white. There is good growth potential among male wine buyers." He says the marketing support will support the male bias with an emphasis on the great outdoors - adventuring, hiking, sailing and fishing.

A perfect match

01 May, 2009

Britvic is launching an on-pack promotion to support Robinsons' association with Wimbledon. Consumers can win tickets to the championship and play at the All England Tennis Club.

Smooth operator

01 May, 2009

Tropicana has launched a 750ml pack format for its smoothie range. Pepsico says the new size bottle (rrp £1.99) makes the category more accessible and affordable.

A cut above

01 May, 2009

JTI is launching five limited edition designs for Silk Cut. Available for four weeks, they revolve around the 'Cut' theme, including Short Cut and Director's Cut.

Red Sky ads

01 May, 2009

Walkers is running a major TV advertising campaign for its premium crisps, Red Sky. The campaign focuses on the snack's 100% natural ingredients.

Wall's says it has used all of its 'meat expertise' to create its new Full of Filling pasty range.

To celebrate the launch of Appletiser's new creative campaign 'Enjoy Irresponsibly', the gently sparkling 100% fruit juice drink is giving away five prizes of £48-worth of its new-look 330ml cans.

Mars is encouraging consumers to get playing as part of its new 'Bounce into a Summer of British sport' campaign.

GlaxoSmithKline is encouraging retailers to stock up on its new Ribena Strawberry, which is available in an attractive 500ml bottle.

HOW TO ENTER GIVEAWAYS

01 May, 2009

Write your name, address and phone number on a postcard or sealed envelope stating what you want – Wall's, Appletiser, Mars or Ribena – 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 May 31.

So there you are - up to your eyes in frustration at trying to find out why, when each of the shifts on their own balance, you can't get the day to balance when you put the three shifts together - when the phone rings.

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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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