Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Shop Doctor: In the surgery this month - Shell Select, Brenzett, Kent

LOCATION: This Shell site is on a roundabout just outside Brenzett on the Romney Marsh. The site is very visible from the roundabout but it's not obvious how you get to it. I had to turn one way and do a U-turn to get in. There used to be a Little Chef adjacent to the forecourt but now it's a business selling sheds.

FORECOURT: This is a particularly spacious forecourt with plenty of space out in front of the shop and also behind it.

The pole sign communicates deli2go, Costa Express, fuel prices (quite competitive given the remote location) and Shell V-Power. And you can't miss the fact that the site has V-Power as it's advertised well across the forecourt with signs saying Triple Points on Shell V-Power Nitro+ and 'Performance has its rewards'. Behind the shop, there's an HGV pump, with a banner that reads: 'V-Power: Cleaner Engines Perform Better'.

The pumps feature Shell's Fill Up & Go Service where you can scan and pay from your car. It's described as a speedy payment service but it will only be speedy if you know how to use it. I didn't. I had hoped to see a leaflet about it in-store but didn't. The cashier told me it was quite popular but didn't offer any other information.

Pumps are housed under an impressive canopy with a domed middle.

The customer toilets were outside. This is often a bad sign but these were very clean.

Outside the shop there is signage for Monster energy at '2 for 2'. There's also a good flower display and a free-to-use ATM.

The only real negatives about the forecourt were that the vac machine was out of order and there was some old signage dumped in the area behind the shop.

SHOP: I had really high hopes for this shop. It's a small store but with a name like Deli2go I was expecting a good chilled snack range. To me, the word deli conjures up tasty delicacies cold meats, coleslaw and other salads perhaps. Here you got the usual sandwiches as well as Dairylea Dunkers, Peperami, Philadelphia and cocktail sausages and sausage rolls.

A meal deal was communicated via a crate of crisps in front of the chiller with images of a sandwich plus snack plus drink for 4.50. It seemed quite pricey when many places are doing meal deals for 3.50. There was also Meal Deal signage on the chiller.

The sandwich display was pretty lacklustre, it obviously had not been faced up for some time and there were plenty of gaps. However, my visit was at 8.30 in the morning so perhaps they were expecting a delivery? That said, it's known that many people buy their lunch on their way to work. A Winter Kitchen Pork & Apple Sausage bap was promoted and was available, although the picture of the product on the display material and the actual product could not have looked more different.

In addition, there were four blue crates stacked up in front of the sandwich chiller, meaning browsing was a problem.

Deli2Go also encompassed two Costa Express machines with hot snacks displayed between them. Great idea but one of the displays had three empty shelves.

Obstacles in front of displays and gaps in displays were a pattern through this small store.

Promotional bays were good in that they were well signed, but there were gaps.

There is also a Costa cup dispenser at the till, presumably to encourage people to pay for their drink before they get it.

PROGNOSIS: According to Forecourt Trader's latest Fuel Market Review, Shell has 532 Select shops in the UK, of which 288 are Deli2Gos. But I would imagine a lot of these stores are bigger than the one in Brenzett.

DIAGNOSIS: The old adage 'Retail is detail', it seems, cannot be emphasised enough. In this case that means monitoring the shop floor and ensuring shelves are full.

PRESCRIPTION: I have one simple question to put to Shell: why, on a site that's so big, have you not made the shop bigger? Most sites are making good profits from their shop sales yet this site, with all its surplus space, is stuck with a very small store.

Putting that aside aside, there definitely needs to be more attention to detail in-store, which would mean making good use of all the space you do have.


KEY FEATURES - FORECOURT

AIR WATER
ATM FREE TO USE
CAR WASH
CUSTOMER TOILETS
FILL UP & GO
HGV PUMP
JET WASH
SHELL FUEL
V-POWER NITRO+
VAC MACHINE (NOT WORKING)
KEY FEATURES SHOP
BWS
CAR CARE
CHILLED FOODS
CONFECTIONERY
COSTA EXPRESS
CRISPS & SNACKS
FLOWERS
GREETINGS CARDS
GROCERIES
HOT FOOD
HOUSEHOLD
MEAL DEAL
NATIONAL LOTTERY
NEWSPAPERS
PET FOOD
PROMOTIONS
SANDWICHES
SOFT DRINKS
TOBACCO

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    wholesale
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    Average
Weekly Fuel Prices 17 April 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East120.7367.90128.72118.72
East Midlands119.95131.24118.34
London120.8753.90129.98119.12
North East119.40130.73117.21
North West120.01128.97118.13
Northern Ireland119.1063.50117.39
Scotland119.90126.33117.67
South East121.0958.50129.83119.18
South West120.38128.30118.45
Wales119.75125.03118.03
West Midlands120.3661.57130.37118.53
Yorkshire & Humber119.72129.97118.08

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