Four out of five MPs support giving communities greater powers to use the planning system to stop their high streets becoming 'clone towns'. These findings are revealed today by the Association of Convenience Stores, as it sets out a three-point plan to revive flagging high streets.

A new trend for small stores to perform better than the large supermarket stores has become apparent in the October retail sales figures from the Office for National Statistics. They showed that sales volumes increased in small stores by more than five per cent, while large stores showed a small decrease in volumes over the month.

Stan's latest discount offer

23 November, 2011

Customers of Stans Supermarket, in St Martins near Oswestry, can get their petrol for as little as 120.9ppl and diesel for 129.9ppl. That’s because the independent superstore is running an offer where shoppers who spend £50 or more in the store get an extra 7p off per litre. And Stans’ current pole sign price is 127.9ppl for unleaded and 136.9ppl for diesel.

Tesco’s use of money-off-fuel activity to drive custom has extended to its garden centre chain, Dobbies. Until very recently, customers were being given 5p off per litre of fuel vouchers for Tescos when they spent £50 or more at Dobbies.

RMIP chairman Brian Madderson has again written to Chancellor George Osborne – as he prepares for next Tuesday's Autumn Statement – recommending “in the strongest possible terms” cancellation of the planned fuel duty rises in 2012 on road transport fuels.

Local shops have welcomed new proposals to protect business customers against unfair energy contracts.

The proposals, announced by Ofgem this morning, are due to be part of a consultation which looks to introduce the following measures:

Service stations in Torfaen will get greater support from Gwent Police following the launch of Forecourt Watch in the area.

ACS has called on retailers, retail staff and suppliers from across the convenience sector to support the new petition for Government action to support people carrying PASS approved ID.

Food and drink prices have contributed to the slowdown of the official rate of inflation – the CPI – in October, with most items (except fish) becoming slightly cheaper over recent weeks, according to IGD's chief economist, James Walton.

Supermarket prices for unleaded fell by 0.9ppl to 131.5ppl in the past month, meaning the gap between supermarket prices and the UK average for unleaded has risen to 2.2ppl, according to the AA's latest price report.

MPs voted unanimously to pass a motion demanding that the government puts the two fuel duty rises planned for January and August next year on the back burner.

MPs will debate a motion to lower fuel prices at 3pm today in the House of Commons after more than 100,000 people signed the Fair Fuel UK e-petition.

Pauline Irvine of Henderson’s Spar/BP forecourt in Lagan Valley, Northern Ireland, has been voted Sales Assistant of the Year in the forecourt category, and also triumphed by winning the Community award, in a competition run by sister magazine Convenience Store. The awards event was held at The Dorchester Hotel, with TV celebrity Anthea Turner making the presentations.

Transport and logistics group Bibby Line has acquired the remaining 49% share of Costcutter Supermarkets, and established a subsidiary Bibby Retail Services.

Forecourt retailers have dramatically improved their performance in preventing underage sales of alcohol and cigarettes by adopting best retail practices, according to independent test purchasing company Serve Legal.

ConocoPhillips Limited has announced that it is restructuring the UK and Ireland marketing business.  Employees and contractors have been made aware of the plan, which is expected to better reflect the market place and deliver on the company’s desire to continuously improve customer facing activities.

Jet and LV= SOS Kit Aid are thanking Jet dealers and customers for the overwhelming support shown for the recent ‘Drop Kick Your Kit’ campaign. In September, 56 sites across the country encouraged customers to donate rugby kit in order to help disadvantaged children and young adults in Africa. Over 2,500 items of kit were collected in total during a period of three weeks – nearly 600kgs worth of rugby gear!
 

The UK food and grocery convenience sector is set to grow to £42.2bn in five years’ time, according to figures revealed today by IGD at its Convenience Retail Conference.

Retailers with car wash facilities are invited to attend a meeting held by the Car Wash Association on November 21, 2011 to discuss responsible vehicle washing.

Londis pre-Christmas sales have exceeded £1m for the first time. The sales accounted for Christmas orders placed by Londis resellers with Musgrave GB for confectionery and grocery ranges and included orders received for the Halloween period.

Kärcher Vehicle Wash is offering free servicing, warranty or chemicals to operators who order its buy-time SB Wash-E by the end of the year.

No duty hike, demands RMI

07 November, 2011

RMI Petrol has warned the Chancellor about the serious consequences of the government's proposed fuel duty increases in 2012.

A new fuel brand has appeared on a Lancashire petrol forecourt, and is likely to appear on another 10 sites next year.

Eight more sites for Harvest

07 November, 2011

Harvest Energy has secured a five-year motor fuel supply and branding agreement with Top 50 indie WJ King (Garages) Ltd, which has eight forecourts across southeast London and northwest Kent.

The Office of Fair Trading is considering Rontec Investment's offer to divest the Total Crossways site in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, following its conclusion that the site raised competition concerns in that area.

in brief

07 November, 2011

Unmanned growth

UK needs capacity minimum

07 November, 2011

UKPIA has welcomed the conclusions on oil refining and compulsory oil stocks in the Energy and Climate Change Committee's latest report, published last month.

chris Hunt

07 November, 2011

After months of negotiation to resolve the Eurozone crisis, a solution appears to have been reached. But it begs the question: how long will it hold together given the fundamental problems that some members face? Perhaps they might be better off biting the bullet and setting themselves free to manage their own currencies and exchange rates? The UK is more than an interested bystander in this as our trade with the EU is important and instability is bad for already fragile business and consumer confidence.

Pop-up' petrol stations selling fuel illegally, are a growing problem in Northern Ireland, according to a BBC Panorama programme which aired last month. In the past year more than 100 temporary illegal petrol stations selling laundered red diesel for as little as 90ppl, have apparently been discovered.

Retailers grow with Keyfuels

07 November, 2011

Forecourt retailers will increase footfall and improve volume sales by joining the Keyfuels network, claims Brian McKee, Keyfuels' general manager for sites and supply.

Murco has completed 140 shop refits on company-owned sites with shopfitting contractor Shopmate over three years.

Parts of Britain are in danger of becoming 'fuel deserts' as the number of petrol stations hits a new low, new research from Palmer & Harvey has warned.

Greggs tries road service

07 November, 2011

Greggs has agreed a trial with motorway service provider Moto to open bakery shops in motorway service locations.

Welcome pledge

07 November, 2011

DCC Energy has moved swiftly to reassure Total dealers about its commitment to their businesses, and a seamless transition once the acquisition from Rontec is completed.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Delabole is on the B3314 some two miles west of Camelford (on the A39). The village is famed for its slate quarry (oldest working in England), the first commercial wind farm in the UK and as the birth of the Cornwall Air Ambulance service. I wonder if its Rock Land Garage also has a claim to fame. At the east end of the village the garage is located by the Regent-branded pole.

We live in an age where the buzzword is 'austerity'. Many readers of this column may not have seen a pay increase for several years. Indeed some may well have suffered a substantial reduction in their pay over the past few years, as their businesses have struggled to survive. However, annually since 1998 we've crunched the data in order to bring you a unique a snapshot of pay rates in the petrol retailing industry.

PETER HARDING

07 November, 2011

You will be seeing more and more of this logo in the next 12 months. It indicates the acceptance of contactless payment and will be added to terminals soon. There will be some big advantages to retailers adopting this technology. Speed of payments is key and there will also be some financial benefit as the transactions accepted using contactless may well attract lower acquiring rates. Some good news, but of course the biggest downside is that the transactions will be limited to sub £15; more than this and the card will have to be used as a normal chip and pin transaction. Working out how many transactions you have with cards less than £15 will soon tell you whether there will be a benefit to your site.

Retailers could find themselves falling foul of weights and measures regulations as the Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) gears up to supersede all National Approvals for pumps.

Independent forecourt retailers in parts of the UK are being encouraged to reduce their costs by signing up to a Free SolarPV Electricity scheme which uses their canopies and shop roofs. Due South Energy is looking for suitable sites for its 'RentaRoof' scheme, where solar photo-voltaic panels are installed on roofs, under a 25-year lease.

The launch of a radical new concept for fuel dispensers to standardise across Wayne's global production facilities and markets, can be expected in the autumn of next year, according to the company's global president, Neil Thomas.

Movers and shakers

07 November, 2011

UK fuelling solutions' specialist Cameron Forecourt has strengthened its board with the appointment of two new directors. The Barnsley-based company has appointed Martyn Gent as sales & marketing director and Graham Webb as quality and health & safety director. Gent joined the company in 2009 having spent almost 30 years in the fuelling systems market, latterly heading up the commercial division at Gilbarco Veeder-Root.

Better baking advice

07 November, 2011

Cuisine de France has announced a campaign to revitalise the in-store bakery environment and help retailers drive footfall and sales in the category. The insight-led 'Let's Bake It Better' campaign includes the new Shout initiative, which will provide retailers with tailored in-store solutions, a new coffee-to-go partnership with Nescafé and a 'Wrapped to Go' product range.

Fuel management

07 November, 2011

Franklin Fueling Systems has announced the latest evolution in fuel management with its launch of TS-550 evo. The new user interface is said to bring a new level of functionality to fuel management, making everything more simple.

Star quality

07 November, 2011

It's impossible not to be impressed by what Euro Garages has achieved in a relatively short amount of time. From negotiating a first-time franchise with an international brand like Starbucks to winning the backing of former Asda boss Andy Bond, there appears to be no limit to what Mohsin and Zuber Issa can accomplish if they set their minds to it.

Best way to do it

07 November, 2011

F or a beginner in forecourt retailing, and just a few months in, Sohail Akram has certainly made a big impact running his first store on Esso-branded Bootle Service Station in Liverpool.

Crime wave

07 November, 2011

When the BBC screened a Panorama investigation into the highly organised and growing blackmarket in road fuels last month, it brought to attention the lengths to which criminals will go to get their hands on this high-value product. From drive-offs and the illegal trade in red diesel to full-scale fuel laundering and 'pop-up' petrol stations, the film exposed how fuel has become the 'perfect illicit commodity'.

Spick and span

07 November, 2011

The economic downturn has probably done the household cleaning sector a bit of a favour. More people are entertaining at home, which means more people are making an effort to ensure that their home is clean when guests arrive.

Power rush

07 November, 2011

shop talk

07 November, 2011

I have key-less entry to my car, which means I have a big bit of plastic that I have to press when I want to get in it or start it. That piece of plastic is powered by one of those small coin-cell batteries.

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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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