As part of a major refurbishment of Grandstand Services at Morpeth, Northumberland, Penny Petroleum took the opportunity to diversify and open a new wine cellar at the site.

The section has a comprehensive alcohol range, with a local feel enhanced with local brands. It includes a new theme, known as Penny Black, which features all-black ceilings, chillers and shelving. Managing director David Penny explained that the concept for the section had developed when the off licence at the site was extended to three times its original size.

What started with two black bulkheads evolved into further black decor, following which it was dubbed ’Penny Black’. Images of Penny Black stamps were incorporated into the flooring to lead to the section. The branding is now being rolled out to other Penny Petroleum sites.

He added: "It’s worked really well. Turnover is as good as any off licence on the high street."

Best Car care and lubricants outlet - sponsored by CDG

Richard Nixon, who manages NJB Services’ Askern Service Station in Doncaster, and his team obviously take great care over their offer as they picked up three category awards in this year’s Forecourt Trader Awards.
Richard says the car care and lubricants section in the Costcutter store is a vital part of the offer. He explains: "Oil and all the car accessories are associated with forecourts so it’s very important to us and we pay special attention to it.
"Car care and lubricants are core to our business. They are very important when it comes to customer expectations, and you can damage your reputation if you don’t look after the category.
"There’s a customer expectation that all the associated lines are going to be there without fail, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s an integral part of the business and everything else is jeopardised if you don’t look after it."

best Customer Service - sponsored by Wayne

Jonathan Mitchell, manager of Henderson Retail’s Carrick Milestone site at Carrickfergus, in Northern Ireland, was presented with the Forecourt Trader Best Customer Service Award.
He said that going the extra mile is second nature for staff at Eurospar Carrick Milestone, and they are very proud of the reputation they have built in the area. He adds that customers are regularly commenting on how the staff and the shop is second to none.
This is reflected in the scores the site achieved in Henderson Retail’s mystery shopper programme.
Last year Carrick Milestone came first in the group with a score of 90% and it has achieved similar scores this year. They will face even stiffer competition now that Jonathan has moved to another store in the group, where he will be passing on the benefit of his experience.