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

Day in the Life: Adam Hogwood

My alarm goes off at 4.28am and somehow myself and our two-year old whippet get up and into the lounge without waking my wife! Banana on toast, black coffee and a catch up with the news and social media follows.

Time to get ready and feed the guinea pig and the bearded dragon. While I'm preparing their food, I have a quick look through the emails to help gear up for the day ahead. Animals fed and watered, I set off on my bike to work, closely followed by me questioning myself why I didn't just get the bus.

A catch up with the night man and a look at the sales figures, and then I walk the shop and gap count at the same time. Being a forecourt store, there are rigorous daily safety checks that we adhere to, so they're also done to make sure Broadstairs is safe for another day!

We have a team 'huddle' at 7.30 every morning to organise the day and pass on any news and allocate tasks. I have a very good team of staff who usually 'ace' the mystery shopper tests and it's a great opportunity to get their feedback on things too.

Shortly after this, the smell of freshly baked rolls from our Subway counter kicks in and I succumb to a bacon sub and a coffee like most of Broadstairs it would seem. Breaks are usually 10 minutes at my desk, catching up with emails or trade press. Otherwise I settle down in the tea room and typically get interrupted two minutes later! Over the years I have got quite used to half cups of cold coffee.

A typical morning is taken up with booking stock in, looking at how we can improve our offering across the board or arranging orders or sampling with local suppliers. This is something I'm really passionate about and has been a real success for us in terms of exposure, networking and being able to trial different products.

I take another walk of the shop at this point to identify any out-of-stocks or any sections that just don't look right to me. I was a merchandiser in a previous life, so I can be really picky about things not being as good as they should. I take this chance to chat to a couple of members of staff to see how they're doing and this can either fill five minutes or lead onto days of work, depending on what ideas they may spring on me! Time investment in staff is one of my main goals for this year and it's amazed me the difference it can make to someone when you build up their confidence. It's really rewarding to see people happy in their work and it reinforces my belief that everyone has valid ideas, whatever their role or background.

I'm an avid tweeter with the work account and throughout the day I'm always looking for things to share with our followers. To me, the key is to remind them that you're a person rather than a business, and it's the perfect way to show your points of difference first hand.

Home time comes and the cycle home is uphill most of the way, which has me cursing every bus that overtakes me once again.

When I get home, I'm greeted by an insanely happy dog. We head straight out for a walk and then it's time to play with the rats (yes, we have a fair few pets chickens too!) and then I'll start making dinner. My wife arrives home from her work as a scientist and we eat and chat, sort out the animals and bounce ideas off each other. Working in completely separate sectors to each other can be a real bonus to get a different viewpoint on an idea and how lay people would view it.

We make sure we get time in the week to sit down together and maybe watch a film or catch up on some TV and importantly we're there for each other if we need to rant about anything!

Getting ready for bed includes checking for any emails while brushing my teeth and then regretting it as my brain won't switch off, but a few hours sleep before the alarm wakes me once again is all I need. The unknown factor of the day-to-day is what keeps a lot of us passionate about retail, and although it's commonly known as the 'retail trap', I often count myself lucky that I have a job that can be so varied.


Name: Adam Hogwood

Company: Budgens of Broadstairs
Job title: manager
Career history: Had a part-time job at Tesco while at college. Then another part-time job at Matalan, which turned into training staff and setting up new stores. Left to travel. Took a job at Budgens of Broadstairs as a cashier 10 years ago and forgot to leave!
Greatest achievement: making a success of working with local suppliers
Tips for business success: be prepared for the unknown
Most likely to say: "Good job!"
Least likely to say: "We're stopping all ties with local suppliers, as they offer nothing to our business"
Other interests: collecting comics, cooking, travelling with my wife

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Weekly Fuel Prices 19 June 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East116.8467.90123.89115.71
East Midlands116.1958.90125.25115.27
London116.5858.57125.23115.54
North East115.3759.90124.99114.79
North West116.39124.26115.33
Northern Ireland115.4264.90122.90115.05
Scotland116.4071.90125.06115.09
South East117.1163.90126.62116.05
South West116.69125.72115.56
Wales115.94123.73114.93
West Midlands116.5457.40124.97115.63
Yorkshire & Humber116.1154.90123.66115.16

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