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Inquiry into Booker/Tesco deal expanded

The proposed merger between Tesco and Booker, which supplies the Premier, Londis and Budgens brands, is being referred for an in-depth, phase 2 investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Product news: Bestway relaunches own-label brand

Independent wholesaler, Bestway Wholesale, is relaunching its retail own-label offer this summer, repositioning the label in light of the evolution in the own-label market.

The name attraction

Filling up your car with fuel has got to be one of the dullest chores going. Distractions are there with pump-top offers, advertising on pump handles and sometimes, if you're lucky, digital screens with messaging, but that's about it. However, across the pond in North-east Ohio, drivers will soon be able to fill their cars while watching music videos thanks to the opening of the first ever Hard Rock-branded service station which is scheduled for September. Called the Rockstop Gas & Wash, it will feature a 3,500sq ft retail/car wash building and six double pumps with 12 nozzles. The pumps feature Hard Rock-style lighting effects and LED TVs for music videos and commercials. The forecourt will be adjacent to a Hard Rock casino aka Rocksino. It's not so much a brand alliance but more of a brand extension but it illustrates the power of branding and how this can be harnessed in the forecourt arena.

Pump up the profits

Pump-top promotions are great for taking a customer's attention away from the high price of the fuel they're pumping and onto a value-for-money product that they just can't live without. Okay, that last part might be pushing the point a bit too much, but there's no doubting these promotional items are popular, as DSL reports that some of its best customers are turning over £40,000 a year on pump-top promotions. Roy Landa, director of DSL, says that some lines out-perform even their own best expectations: "A good example is our recent car dash cam which has done extremely well, selling over 150,000 units in the past few months."

Brand watch

Unaffiliated independents still make up the lion's share of the convenience store market but the gap is quickly closing with symbol stores snapping at their heels. Many of those symbol names can be found on forecourt sites, particularly as many of these groups now have dedicated forecourt teams.

Brand equity

Love it or loathe it, Apple is the most valuable brand in the world. According to Forbes, it's worth more than $145bn. The brand's popularity is staggering, with consumers clammering to get hold of the new Apple watch or the latest iPhone or iPad. The fact that we're in the 21st century is brought home when you see that the top three brands on Forbes' list are all in the technology sector Apple followed by Microsoft then Google.

Direct target

As symbol brands continue to penetrate the forecourt shop offer nationwide, another brand is throwing its hat into the ring with a committed programme to increase its forecourt count by 250 by the end of 2017. Paul Courtney is the man tasked to spearhead the campaign on behalf of Bestway Direct in his relatively new role (he joined in February) as head of multiple accounts. His background covers both the forecourt and convenience sector over the past 30 years, in both retail and wholesale operations, including a spell developing forecourts with Elf in the '90s; and more recently a three-year term as sales director at Londis.

Londis forms new team for forecourts

Londis has recognised the importance of forecourts and their differences to standalone convenience stores by forming a new forecourt retail team.

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Weekly Fuel Prices 24 July 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East116.0159.90124.64114.98
East Midlands115.3357.90125.01114.79
London115.8656.90126.28115.17
North East114.6459.90124.42114.29
North West115.4951.90125.52114.98
Northern Ireland114.44121.70113.75
Scotland115.1371.90123.35114.30
South East116.3148.90125.76115.34
South West115.8161.90123.70115.00
Wales115.06122.25114.40
West Midlands115.5562.90126.47115.00
Yorkshire & Humber115.27127.08114.68

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