Petrol retailers are being urged to discuss concerns about financial liability and forecourt-specific concerns with the advent of chip & pin technology with their card services companies.
Rural Scottish retailers have sought clarification on vapour recovery legislation following talk of proposed changes that will excuse smaller sites from installing expensive equipment.
Former Esso licensees have won the right to appeal against the judgement on margins, one of the three main issues being contested in the long-running dispute with Esso.

CTN link to rural site

01 March, 2004
CTN Systems and Garage Watch have announced a joint marketing agreement to promote the use of epos within Garage Watch’s membership. “The future depends on site owners keeping up with market trends and wherever possible modernising and improving shop facilities,” said Mark Bradshaw, CEO of Garage Watch. “Any assistance we can give them to keep their sites open has to be our goal.”
Petrol and diesel will continue to supply the bulk of the road transport fuel market until at least 2030, according to the UK Petroleum Industry Association. In its evidence to the House of Commons Select Committe on Transport’s enquiry into ‘Cars of the Future’ UKPIA – which represents refiners and marketers of fuels in the UK, stated that the combination of new cleaner fuels and more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies would meet reduced C02 emissions targets for road transport, as well as delivering cleaner air, over the same period.
Forecourts are a key growth area for symbol group Spar, with site numbers increasing by 34 per cent in the past two years.
BP has become the first forecourt retailer in the UK to sell car care products from Halfords.
The Association of Convenience Stores has renewed its call for safeguards for the whole of the grocery industry in the wake of another purchase of a convenience store chain by a superstore giant.

Morrisons moves in

01 March, 2004
In one fell swoop Morrisons is tripling its coverage of the fuel-retailing sector following completion of its takeover of Safeway for £3bn. As of March 8 the retailer will be the proud owner of another 196 forecourts to add to its current network of 113 petrol sites.

Measure for measure

01 March, 2004
As usual during February, we’ve been busy collating all of the data from last year to arrive at the definitive picture of 2003 for the ‘typical’ fuel site. The result can be summed-up by saying that for those who survived, it was a very busy year indeed. Just how busy can be judged from our Annual Comparator table, which shows the 12-month values for 2003 and 2002.

Giving it the thumbs up

01 March, 2004
Here’s the theory: if a customer has forgotten his/her cheque book/cards and promises to come back later, they will do so unfailingly if you have taken their fingerprints. Furthermore, if you take their fingerprints even when the cards are present, they won’t be engaging in fraudulent practice using duff plastic.

Am i breaking the law

01 March, 2004
Roger Smith, who runs Bapchild Service Centre at Sittingbourne in Kent, got quite wound up when he read the ‘No ID, No Sale’ info packs left by his cigarette merchandiser as part of a campaign to stamp out sales of restricted goods to the under-aged. The fact sheet spells out which goods are restricted and includes the information that the fine for allowing an under 18 to sell petrol was £5,000 and/or six months in prison.

Priced out of market

01 March, 2004
No petrol retailer will be unfamiliar with price wars. But Allan Broughton, from Fisher’s Motor Centre at Sutton in Ashfield, was totally ticked off when he discovered that his local competitor, a symbol c-store, was selling newspapers for 10p less than cover price.

Advantage point

01 March, 2004
Competitive market forces have meant that words like rationalisation and reorganisation have become synonymous with the petrol retailing world. Many oil companies have undergone major overhauls – and it’s been no different at Texaco.

Business as usual

01 March, 2004
Retail systems supplier Arciris has worked hard over the years to establish itself as ‘the dealers’ friend’. Which is why, in the wake of news of a management buyout, it is keen to reassure customers that it intends to stay that way.

Double whammy

01 March, 2004
With Valentine’s Day safely out of the way and all those red roses and chocolate hearts sold, forecourt retailers can look forward to a double whammy on the confectionery sales front – Mother’s Day on March 21, followed by Easter on April 9-12.

Vertical take off

01 March, 2004
While news and magazines are a great footfall driver for forecourts, the category is notoriously difficult to manage. Vertical supply agreements mean retailers have little control over what they sell and which wholesaler they source from – not to mention costly carriage charges. But this could all change next year – albeit not before a hard slog by the industry.
Esso dealers using Iridium point of sale can now access card transaction authorisation capture (CTAC) following a deal between the oil company and Arciris.

Safety pads

01 March, 2004
An increase in reported fires on forecourts in Europe has sparked the launch of a campaign to make motorists more aware of the hazards during refuelling.
In response to the increasingly restrictive laws governing the marketing and display of tobacco products, HL Display has devised a simple merchandising solution that it says maximises the value of the cigarette pack as a tool for brand awareness.

Hot pizza on the go

01 March, 2004
Food Now has introduced a vending machine that can deliver hot pizzas in four minutes.

Streak-free cleaning

01 March, 2004
Tech-Clean has released a new range of high-pressure flat surface cleaners, which are said to provide streak-free cleaning of concrete, tarmac and block-paved surfaces.

Big spend for Wall's

01 March, 2004
Wall’s has allocated a marketing spend of £23m to support its revamped and broadened ice cream range for 2004.

Hydration in a drop

01 March, 2004
A new dual-action, mouthwatering product called AquaDrops – being billed as one of the biggest confectionery stories of 2004 – has been launched by Masterfoods to satisfy consumers’ needs to keep their mouths hydrated and fresh.

Fruit twist for Bounty

01 March, 2004
Masterfoods has launched a Bounty Mango & Passion Fruit stick into its range of ice creams for 2004.
Masterfoods has put back its launch of White Maltesers as a permanent countline from March to September 2004 to ensure enough stock is available to meet demand.

mint chop on the block

01 March, 2004
Cadbury Trebor Bassett has added an impulse pack of Dairy Milk with Mint Chips to its Dairy Milk Megabrand range.
Ferrero is moving into the biscuit category with the launch of Kinder Happy Hippo for kids.

Wrigley's extra spend

01 March, 2004
The Wrigley Company is splashing out a record £46.5m in marketing support for 2004.

Kebab flavour addition

01 March, 2004
Golden Wonder has added a Doner Kebab flavour to its range of Wheat Crunchies.
I MUST ADMIT THAT I’ve never been a member of a co-operative, mainly due to my tendency to being a bit of a rebel. So I have been following the goings-on at Londis as an interested observer rather than as a shareholder. Incidentally, the way some of the media have been reporting this story you could be forgiven for thinking that holding a share was less to do with being a member of a club and more like being the lucky winner of the Golden Ticket for Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

Fuel prices March 2004

01 March, 2004
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 »