Shop doctor

01 June, 2005
The site in Oxford is large and bright.

New faces

01 June, 2005
The Maleks have had their work cut out but have succeeded in redeveloping a small site into a sprawling forecourt.
The distinctive blue and white signage of United Co-operatives will soon be appearing on forecourts far and wide if Clive Adamson, general manager of the Society’s petrol division, has anything to do with it.

In the firing line

01 June, 2005
Despite the government’s efforts to curb smoking in the UK, the tobacco category continues to thrive and maintain its position as the best-selling category in forecourts, responsible for almost one third of total forecourt shop sales.
Fuelforce is being forced to downsize and restructure following a move by one of its investors to sell up and realise it interests in the company.
Esso is to pull out of Northern Ireland following the announcement by Maxol that it is to acquire 13 Esso company-owned forecourts in the region.
Reality checks are the order of the day in forecourt retailing, according to Paul Jervis, managing director of Yorkshire-based Action Stations, and vice chairman of the PRA, who has just sold seven of his nine sites to United Co-operatives.

Jet top in PRA survey

01 June, 2005
Jet has come top of the PRA’s dealer survey for the third time in a row, while Esso and Shell are considered the worst.
Marks & Spencer and BP are to trial eight Marks & Spencer Simply Food concepts in BP Connect forecourt sites, starting in autumn 2005.
Budgens has extended its portfolio of branded forecourt stores with the opening of two new sites – in Barnwood, Gloucester and Bramley, Surrey.
Delegates who attended this year’s ACS conference left Warwickshire bursting with new ideas and increased confidence about how to work with their customers, staff and suppliers to make their business a cut above the rest, according to chief executive David Rae. Motivational speaker Martin Hayward set the tone by urging retailers to focus on long-term
Total has been praised by Trading Standards for the successful implementation of its underage drinking policy, ‘Challenge 21’.

Premier league

01 June, 2005
Once again ConocoPhillip’s Jet brand has trounced the rest of the industry in the third survey of retailer views of their relationships with suppliers.
Eve Hill Service Station, a joint-branded Costcutter Express/Murco site, is at the edge of Dudley in the West Midlands, on busy Wolverhampton Street (B4176).

Softly does it

01 June, 2005
Two recent news items from the forecourt sector have caused a degree of concern among operators. First, Shell announced its Global Retailer Business Agreement (Cluster) proposals, quickly followed by Fuelforce announcing the disposal of a large part of its retail network to other groups. In both cases, the existing retailers suddenly realised they may not be offered a role in the new management scheme affecting their sites. The reality is there are likely to be more such changes of ownership and management in the future, as the industry continues to evolve. Where we have been used to seeing individual operators running one or maybe two sites, the future may well consist of a single operator or ‘mini-group’ running multiple sites. In both cases there will be existing operators facing a career change.
Here’s the scenario: retailer has a drawer-full of crime incident reports of drive-offs and has instructed staff to ask for payment upfront at their own discretion, either when they don’t have a good view of the registration number or if the car matches the description of a recent drive-off.
In the last issue I asked if anyone had ever witnessed a mobile phone blowing up on a forecourt (because the government has pronounced them safe). This prompted a call from John Dalton, manager at Watling Tyre Service, Southbank Garage in Margate, Kent.
The distinctive blue and white signage of United Co-operatives will soon be appearing on forecourts far and wide if Clive Adamson, general manager of the Society’s petrol division, has anything to do with it.

Regent is on a roll

01 June, 2005
Less than a year after its relaunch, the Regent-branded network of independent dealers has grown to 30 outlets, says Andrew Cox, Regent’s manager of equity distributor sales in Europe. Cox believes Regent’s revival by Texaco after a 30-year absence has been helped by the brand’s long history. “Many people already know Regent,” he says. “It’s just a case of reminding them.”

In the firing line

01 June, 2005
Despite the government’s efforts to curb smoking in the UK, the tobacco category continues to thrive and maintain its position as the best-selling category in forecourts, responsible for almost one third of total forecourt shop sales.
Lunchtime is not what it used to be. Gone are the days of the leisurely lunch, or even the standard hour come to that. Research shows that 86% of people take less than half an hour for lunch and that even the timing has become ‘elastic’, with people taking lunch anywhere between 10am and 7pm (source: Ginsters).
Imperial Tobacco is proud and delighted to continue its sponsorship of the Best Tobacco Merchandising category in the Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards in 2005.
Torex Retail Petrol & Convenience launched its Service Excellence pledge at IFFE in March following its acquisition of Flexiline Forecourt Services.

Vending for 24/7 sales

01 June, 2005
A vending machine specifically designed to be built into forecourt windows and outer walls and be merchandised from inside the store, has been launched by Shopfront Vending.
Gilbarco Veeder-Root has unveiled its new back-office system – the Passport Resolution.
Feat Point is giving retailers the opportunity to sell hot food 24/7 with its new hand-prepared meal vending machine.

Equip for hot food

01 June, 2005
Equip Line has launched the MD-60 Grab & Go hot food merchandising unit for presentation of pre-packed hot foods such as rotisserie chickens, maintaining them at the optimum temperature until sold.

New Helix appeal

01 June, 2005
Shell Helix is being relaunched with a new formulation and high-profile trade and consumer marketing campaign.

Walkers hat-trick

01 June, 2005
Walkers has launched a core range of Doritos especially for the impulse channel.

Savoury delights

01 June, 2005
Pork Farms has added two new savouries to it range: Cumberland sausage & tomato, and ham & pepperoni. Both are made from light puff pastry folded around the topping and sprinkled with cheese.

The joy of sharing

01 June, 2005
M&M’s plans to take a bigger chunk of the bitesize market with a £3.3m spend on TV advertising, new packaging and an exclusive sponsorship deal. The activity targets 16-34-year-olds to portray M&M’s as a brand to share with friends. The six-ad TV campaign, which breaks this month, focuses on M&M’s peanuts.
Terry’s Chocolate Orange, always a hit at Christmas, is being joined by a new mint variety for this year only. It comes in a mint green box in shelf-ready packaging.

Cadbury party time

01 June, 2005
Cadbury wants to share its centenary birthday with other businesses that are 100 years old. Members of the Cadbury Dairy Milk (CDM) Happy 100 Club will be entered into an exclusive free prize draw to win a birthday treat. So if you work in a business that is turning 100 years old in 2005, or own a store that will be 100, call 020 7808 9739 or log onto www.cadbury.co.uk

Gadgets galore

01 June, 2005
KickBack Lifestyle is poised to launch a range of everyday products and gadgets into the forecourt market. The Everyday brand will include items such as MP3 accessories, weather stations, multi tools, torches, CD players and digital display radios.
Gorgeous is a new boxed assortment containing five individually-wrapped bitesize milk, dark, white and marbled chocolates.
OH DEAR, I had always dreaded this moment and how I would feel. Now it’s happened and I can’t believe it. Last week it suddenly dawned on me that I had become a member of the, whisper it quietly, old fogies club. And the reason why I knew I had eventually succumbed? I managed to have THREE Victor Meldrew moments in half an hour.

News in brief

01 June, 2005
BP CONNECT won an award for best managed forecourt chain and Jet an award for best dealer group at last month’s Convenience Tracking Programme Awards organised by shopper consultancy HIM.

Fuel prices June 2005

01 June, 2005
Data supplied by Catalist Ltd

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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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