west country & wales: 2.5mlpa plus
Budgens of Wells in Somerset is not a forecourt to rest on its laurels. Having been named Forecourt Trader of the Year 2012 after scooping the award for Best West Country & Wales site in the 2.5mlpa plus category, as well as the manager of the site claiming the title of Best Site Manager, the Symonds Forecourts’ team is still pushing boundaries and trying new things to keep the offer fresh. The latest development has been the introduction of a forecourt attendant an initiative that’s proving particularly popular with the elderly customers who appreciate help refuelling.
Extra touches such as cleaning windscreens while the customer is in the store paying, further boost the already high levels of customer service at this site. Nick Lloyd, managing director of Symonds Forecourts (pictured right), says: "You can’t sit still, you have to keep moving the business forward."
Budgens of Wells offers the full range of services rollover car wash, jet wash and vacuum plus a comprehensive store with lots of local products.
west country & wales: up to 2.5mlpa
There’s nothing standard or average about Brian Llewelyn A’l Ferched in Penfro, Pembrokeshire. The rural forecourt with beautifully landscaped gardens and cavernous shop selling everything from local produce and grocery items to country clothing and hardware products, make it a particularly unusual petrol station. The site is run purely by family members, and that’s the vital key to its success, says Sian Jones (left), whose father bought the business in 1978. "No one outside of the family works here so we all care and have a passion to make the business successful," she says. "We’re a lot more than a standard forecourt because we’re rural so don’t have the head count. We need to cater for a lot of different types of customers. We will never compete with the supermarkets so we try to offer something different."
london & south east: 2.5mlpa plus
The major redevelopment of Queenborough Services on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent last year was part of Top 50 Indie George Hammond’s 10-year strategy to bring its network well and truly into the 21st century.
Managing director John Ryeland (right) says the company’s first key driver was to establish welcoming and convenient fuel facilities and, where possible, deliver the fullest range of products.
The second was to deliver a full convenience offer in a format that allows the consumer to shop swiftly, with prices that encourage regular and fuller shopping, rather than traditional top-ups. That has worked with sales up 100%.
Valeting is the final driver, and Hammond has partnered with Croatian suppliers Adriateh to introduce a multi-bay wash centre at Queenborough Adriateh’s first in the UK. He reports that the turnkey solution has been a tremendous success.
london & south east: up to 2.5mlpa
Murco/Costcutter in Canvey Island, Essex, is no stranger to the Forecourt Trader awards having won this accolade Best London & South East Site in the up to 2.5mlpa category in 2011, on top of awards in previous years.
The operational standards at the site are consistently high and customer needs are well catered for, says Tina Ryan, area manager (left). "The site looks after what the customers want and it’s always clean, tidy, well stocked and the long-serving staff give excellent customer service. It’s one of the bigger Costcutter shops in the Murco network and it’s a friendly atmosphere in-store. We’ve been lucky to win awards so many times but it shows we have the formula right."
Tina says the off licence is one of the strongest categories and the huge range of products, along with plenty of promotions, are key to its success.