Chancellor cuts VAT to 15%

24 November, 2008


Asda kicks off new price war

20 November, 2008

Asda has kicked off a new price war by slashing fuel prices – and claiming motorists are being “ripped off” at the pumps. The supermarket announced yesterday that it was lowering the cost of a litre of unleaded to 90.9p, its 10th

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the chancellor to take immediate and decisive action to postpone increases in business rates planned for next year.

Gulf adds new batch of sites

17 November, 2008


Turtle Wax is moving into the car wash branding business – and targeting independent petrol retailers. The car care company says the move is part of its strategy to expand distribution for its Professional range of products which are aimed at businesses operating car

Car Wash Association

Car Wash Association

To All Responsible Car Wash Businesses - Time for Action

The Car Wash Association has been set up to represent the interest of all responsible businesses involved in the car wash industry in the UK. Members provide an important service that consumer’s value and a contribution worth in excess of £800m to the UK economy. (Datamonitor) Association members operate within the framework of regulations associated with environmental and health and safety in car washing. Our aim is to ensure that non compliance is tackled and that responsible businesses are treated fairly.

Drought Orders

The Association is campaigning for a serious policy debate about the environmental impact of car washing in all the forms that it currently takes place. The Association believes that car washing through legitimate car wash facilities is the option that uses the least water, and leads to the safe disposal of waste and chemicals.

In particular the Association is opposed to systematic bans on all types of automatic car washing in periods of drought.

Even a car wash that uses around 120 litres of water per wash (this is high usage) still uses only a quarter of the water used by a person at home washing their car with a hosepipe (480 litres). It is for this reason that the washing of a car at home is banned in other countries, such as Germany.

Non Compliant Hand Car Washes

The Association is campaigning for action against those businesses that operate outside the regulations, causing harm to consumers and the environment. These operations often have no means of safe disposal of chemicals created.

The Association is not opposed to hand car washing per se, and welcomes fair competition in the market, the group is concerned at operations that make none of the investment or management the responsible businesses do to prevent water pollution.

The Association welcomes members involved in car wash manufacturing, automatic car wash operators and hand car wash operations. Members must be committed to the aims and objectives of the group.

The Association is run by a steering group, made up of a representative group of the different parts of the car wash sector.


Car Wash Association
Weston Business Centre
Hawkins Road

Tel: 0844 8094288
E- mail

>> Click here to view the CWA website



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Car Wash Diagram

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Restrictions on non-essential use of water

GNE Group on acquisition trail

11 November, 2008

GNE Group has announced that it is keen to buy more forecourts in the UK. The company, which recently announced the completion of the sale of Petrol Express Limited for £51.66m, said it wanted to buy petrol retailing sites and/or make

Richard Harding has been named as BP's new UK Convenience Retail director. He succeeds Karen Hubbard and will take up his new post on December 1. Harding, who has been with BP for 20 years,

Lorna McLaughlin of the Vivo forecourt store in Mountsandel, Coleraine in Northern Ireland was the overall winner of the Sales Assistant of the Year awards run by Forecourt Trader's sister

As a show of strength by dealers helped put BP's deal with Arval back on the table, should retailers come together more often to fight their corner on key issues affecting their businesses?
Independent dealers have been left between a rock and a hard place following the speed at which fuel prices have fallen in the past month. Some also feel there is no one to defend their position to the public - particularly following prime minister Gordon Brown's call for forecourts to bring down fuel prices in line with the fall in the price of

Challenging times

03 November, 2008
Such drama on a world scale leads to such challenges at grass roots level. While everyone has been focused on the bewildering goings-on in the financial world, suddenly, like missing a turning on the motorway, your own small orbit - more specifically your fuel buying strategy - seems to be heading rather rapidly in the wrong direction. You've got fuel in your tanks that cost more than you can sell it for. And you've got abuse from your normally fair-minded customers who think you're a greedy 'wotsit' because your fuel prices are too high. But, same as every day, you're just trying to make a living. Some retailers have been hit harder than others however.

Service Centre with Jac Roper

03 November, 2008

== Power of the press? ==

The bigger the better

03 November, 2008
Size matters when it comes to the approach Philip and Lesley Tout have towards their business. Their Esso-branded site in Nailsea, Bristol was the overall winner at the Forecourt Trader of the Year awards ceremony at the London Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, in September. The judges comments included the words 'big, bold and beautiful', and when meeting the Touts for this post-awards interview, Philip agrees they don't do things by halves: "The bigger the better," he confirms. "It's easier being bigger. We've had small garages in the past, but now we're only interested in something that's really good. If it wasn't we wouldn't keep it. After all it's as hard to run a small site as it is to run a big one - you still have the same things to do, but the rewards are less."

Bio mess

03 November, 2008
only a year ago biofuels were being touted as the future, but now the government seems to be putting the brakes on its green fuels project.

Meal appeal

03 November, 2008
It's the question that keeps many people going throughout the working day - what to have for dinner tonight. When we were all kids our mums would often map out the meals for the week ahead but with most mums working nowadays, dinner can be a bit more of a hit and miss affair.

Buying power

03 November, 2008
When it comes to batteries, consumers want them to last as long as possible so no doubt they'll be interested in Panasonic's new Evoia battery, which has entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's longest lasting AA alkaline battery. As such, it's the first battery to do so.
As a show of strength by dealers helped put BP's deal with Arval back on the table, should retailers come together more often to fight their corner on key issues affecting their businesses?
Independent dealers have been left between a rock and a hard place following the speed at which fuel prices have fallen in the past month. Some also feel there is no one to defend their position to the public - particularly following prime minister Gordon Brown's call for forecourts to bring down fuel prices in line with the fall in the price of crude or risk an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.

The Petrol Retailers' Association (PRA) has criticised the media for being obsessed with the price of fuel, and said that it is doing all it can to defend independent retailers. PRA director Ray Holloway rejected comments that the organisation was not doing enough to be a voice for independents on this issue.

PayPoint's Plus point

03 November, 2008
PayPoint has launched PayPoint Plus, a package of deals and offers aimed at independent retailers.

Cadbury dives in

03 November, 2008
Cadbury has announced that it is sponsoring the London Olympics.

A happy Malt-Easter

03 November, 2008
Mars has launched an array of new products for next Easter while reducing the number of lines it's offering to retailers from 28 to 19.

Sterling work from Gallaher

03 November, 2008
New pricemarked packs have been launched for Sterling, which Gallaher says moves the brand into the super value sector.King Size 20s have been reduced from rrp £4.50 to £4.20, while Superkings have gone from £4.59 to £4.25. Gallaher says retailers will benefit by getting the same cash margin as before.
The Petrol Retailers' Association (PRA) has criticised the media for being obsessed with the price of fuel, and said that it is doing all it can to defend independent retailers.

Fuel Prices - October 28, 2008

03 November, 2008
The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has rejected calls for a Code of Practice for alcohol retailers. Instead it has called for more guidance for local authorities and enforcement agencies to help them use the powers already available to them.
Police are hunting a three-man masked gang, which is targeting filling stations in the Lincolnshire area in a series of night-time raids. So far, the haul has always been cigarettes and the getaway vehicle a Land Rover. The robberies have occurred when the forecourts are closed, and have all been caught on
Total rewarded employees at an award-winning site by giving them the day off and getting head office staff to run the forecourt instead. The Pin Green forecourt in Stevenage fought off competition from 249 other stores to receive Total's Best Premier Store Award 2008.

in brief

03 November, 2008
The Petrol Retailers' Association (PRA) has called for the government to put a freeze on fuel duty to cut prices on the forecourt. PRA director Ray Holloway said Gordon Brown could reduce fuel prices though a fuel tax reduction but was avoiding taking action.

Easy does it...

03 November, 2008
What US retailer John MacDougall doesn't know about running forecourts probably isn't worth knowing. For four decades the businessman has worked to build up his mini empire, weathering any economic storms as well as the harsh winters in upstate New York. After buying out his original two partners of Nice n Easy Grocery Shoppe, he pushed

In the surgery this month

03 November, 2008
GENERAL APPEARANCE: On the A360 Devizes to Salisbury road is the small village of Tilshead. At the edge of the village is Tilshead Garage, which has a Murco forecourt, a bright Mace shop and is developing a car park to the side of the site.

Symbiosis: you and your bank

03 November, 2008
if an alien landed here in a spaceship and tuned into almost any TV or radio programme, he could be forgiven for believing that the earth's financial systems had gone into an absolutely unprecedented meltdown.

Join the club

03 November, 2008
When Kathiravan Ramajayam took over running Ablewell Convenience Store and Jet forecourt, he had quite a task ahead of him. The site in Walsall near Birmingham had a reputation for card cloning, its shop offer was way out of date and people in the area preferred to shop at the cut-price local supermarkets. Added to this, Ramajayam was living in London and had very little experience of the forecourt industry.

Irish eyes are smiling

03 November, 2008
Pump manufacturer Dresser Wayne has reached an agreement with Irish company Pumps & Fuel Installations to provide equipment sales and service to retailers in Ireland. The aim is to bring the latest in fuel dispenser design and technology to the Irish market.

Sign of the times

03 November, 2008
Xmo Strata has extended its forecourt maintenance contract with Swiss company ABB for another five years.

Edensure buyout

03 November, 2008

Sing for your supper

03 November, 2008
Procter & Gamble is relaunching its Jingles for Pringles campaign to find a family to star in a 30-second TV ad to be shown in a prime time Christmas Day slot.

Aero eggs for 2009

03 November, 2008
Nestlé has revealed its Easter line up for 2009, with its star player being the new filled Aero chocolate egg.

Walkers adds festive crisps

03 November, 2008
Walkers is adding some festive flavours to its offerings in a bid to boost Christmas sales.

'Silver' service at JPS

03 November, 2008
A new economy cigarette brand, JPS 'Silver', has been launched by Imperial Tobacco to cater for the growing number of adult smokers who are moving down through the cigarette price sectors into the economy sector -which contributes more than £1bn a year to retailers' turnover. Offering more value in a tough economic climate - and expected to be a significant player in the economy sector - the JPS 'Silver' range bears all the usual JPS insignia, but in silver. The range includes King Size in Blue, Silver and Menthol at £4.21 for 20; £2.12 for 10; and Superkings in Blue and Menthol at £4.25 for 20.

Christmas prizes

03 November, 2008
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is launching its Christmas 2008 campaign this month, backed by £2.5m-worth of marketing and featuring an on-pack promotion on all 500ml and 2ltr bottles of Coca-Cola and Diet Coke as well as a seasonal campaign for Schweppes.

xxx mints curry favour

03 November, 2008
To celebrate its sponsorship of National Curry Week which takes place from November 23-29, XXX Mints is giving away 12 cases, each containing 36 tubes, to four retailers.

smoothly does it

03 November, 2008
Swan has some outers of its Smooth filters up for grabs, which it says are the first ever carbon cavity Pop-A- Tip filters.
Christmas is a key time for confectionery sales, and with this in mind Nestlé Confectionery is giving readers an extra chance to boost their seasonal sales.

oodles of noodles

03 November, 2008
Premier Foods is giving two retailers a range of its new Sharwoods Microwave Noodles, with each prize worth £125.


03 November, 2008
That's us done for, then said the voice of doom (regular readers will know that the voice of doom is aka my darling wife). "Customers aren't spending like they used to, your pension fund's just lost 40% of its value and no-one's going to be able to raise the money to buy your site. You'll never be able to retire - you'll still be working when you're 90."

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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 »