All Columnists articles – Page 2

  • Analysis

    Tracy West: retail commentator

    2020-05-12T00:00:00Z

    New Kantar data shows that grocery sales were £524m higher in April 2020 than they were in April 2019, as British consumers adapted to life under lockdown. But the number of trips to supermarkets during that time hit a record low of 14 (compared to 17 when it’s business as ...

  • Analysis

    Merril Boulton: editor

    2020-05-12T00:00:00Z

    These strange and tragic times have sadly continued during a month that has seen oil prices fall to a negative position (see Argus Media column page 8) and the PRA’s chairman Brian Madderson face down "sickening" charges of profiteering levelled at fuel retailers (see News page 5). On the ...

  • Analysis

    Our ’Legal Doctor’ Robert Botkai reports on the ’new normal’

    2020-05-12T00:00:00Z

    For those who don’t already know me, I am a partner at Winckworth Sherwood solicitors. I head up the Commercial Real Estate and Licensing Team. My own practice areas are acquisitions and disposals of commercial premises and alcohol licensing. I have a special interest in petrol stations having secured one ...

  • Analysis

    Ray Blake: PRA technical director

    2020-05-12T00:00:00Z

    The Petrol Retailers Association and Car Wash Association teams are now ensconced in their own homes but continuing to represent and advise their members. Members can now access the ’Coronavirus’ section on our website, which is continuously updated to reflect the latest advice on the operation of all aspects of ...

  • Analysis

    Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

    2020-05-12T00:00:00Z

    Chaotic oil markets continued through April culminating in US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) managing the unthinkable, dipping briefly into negative territory. Oil producers announced output cuts but failed to rebalance the supply/demand equation sufficiently to stem the losses in the market initiated by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. ...

  • Analysis

    Highs and lows of NPD

    2020-04-07T00:00:00Z

    I love trying a new product so was particularly pleased with my latest haul although as with everything in life, some things were better than others. I have written quite a lot about protein bars so thought I had better start trying them. Then I spied two new bars: ...

  • Analysis

    Essential services

    2020-04-07T00:00:00Z

    Extraordinary times we’re living in, with the whole world adjusting to much-changed circumstances, and not much of a clue as to when things will return to anything that resembles ’normal’. For the forecourt sector it’s been a period of peaks and troughs as the panic-buying hordes loaded their cars with ...

  • Analysis

    Kevin Eastwood: executive director, BOSS

    2020-04-07T00:00:00Z

    We have found ourselves in unchartered territory and everyone involved in the forecourt sector has been reflecting on what the public health crisis has meant for ourselves, our families and our businesses. Our highest priority during the crisis is the health and safety of our colleagues, customers, suppliers and ...

  • Analysis

    Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

    2020-04-07T00:00:00Z

    A perfect storm hit oil prices in March. Just as global demand was being destroyed by the effects of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic, Saudi Arabia ramped up production to unprecedented levels in a price war, alienating Opec allies and non-Opec rivals alike. Oil prices halved in March as a result, ...

  • Analysis

    James Lowman: chief executive, ACS

    2020-04-07T00:00:00Z

    We are living in a time of uncertainty with the ongoing Covid-19 situation, which has affected each and every one of us. Convenience stores, especially those open all hours on petrol forecourts, act as lifelines to their customers, keeping communities connected and providing vital services to those who need ...

  • Analysis

    Greggs on a ’roll’

    2020-03-10T00:00:00Z

    I confess to not being a massive fan of Greggs products but obviously loads of people are, including Mr West who is very partial to a Greggs sausage roll or two. In the town where I live, there are always queues of people wanting a sausage roll or other Greggs ...

  • Analysis

    Cloudy crystal ball

    2020-03-10T00:00:00Z

    My crystal ball looking into the future of petrol retailing has scarcely been cloudier. The price of Brent Crude has been falling for some weeks down from a New Year high of US$70 to just US$50 at the start of March. This resulted from bearish forecasts about oil demand ...

  • Analysis

    Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

    2020-03-10T00:00:00Z

    The potential effects of the coronavirus on the global economy dominated discussion in oil markets in February, slicing more than 20% off oil prices since January 20, when it first came to light. Benchmark crude Ice Brent hovered just above $50/bl at the close of the month, a level ...

  • Analysis

    Alexander Russell: consultant, Car Wash Association (CWA)

    2020-03-10T00:00:00Z

    This year the CWA has already attended two round-table conferences on labour abuse, hosted by Matthew Taylor, the government’s interim director at the Office of Labour Market Enforcement (OLME). The first, more general, meeting focused on non-compliance with labour regulations. Taylor emphasised his particular interest in the proposed Single ...

  • Analysis

    E10 on the horizon

    2020-03-10T00:00:00Z

    The spectre of E10 is on the horizon again following this month’s announcement of a government consultation on its introduction (seems like there have been a few over the years!). Issues concerning E10 have been kicked into the long grass for a long time as the fuel retailing industry fretted ...

  • Analysis

    Stephen Marcos Jones: director general, UKPIA

    2020-02-10T00:00:00Z

    To paraphrase former US President Gerald Ford, our long national nightmare is over. Sort of. After three rollercoaster years, the Brexit wars are finally at an end. Britain is now firmly outside the club. If you thought it was safe, however, to assume politics will return to the humdrum potholes ...

  • Analysis

    Tracy West: retail commentator

    2020-02-10T00:00:00Z

    I love Heinz Tomato Ketchup and I also love chocolate but the two together? I don’t think so. However, some bright spark has combined the two into a product that’s excusively available from Fortnum Masons for Valentine’s Day. According to the Fortnum’s website, the chocolate truffles balance ...

  • Analysis

    Merril Boulton: editor

    2020-02-10T00:00:00Z

    Just in case you thought you knew all you needed to know about the timescale for the transition to EVs, along comes, pardon the pun, a bit of a shock. The government, under huge pressure from powerful global eco lobbies to ’do more’ about the ’climate emergency’ has reacted. Wanting ...

  • Analysis

    Ray Blake: PRA technical director

    2020-02-10T00:00:00Z

    As chairman of the Petroleum Enforcement Liaison Group (PELG) I had to postpone a meeting that was due to have taken place at the beginning of January. The reason being that Brexit, followed by the pre-election purdah, had meant that the Health and Safety Executive was unable to agree the ...

  • Analysis

    Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

    2020-02-10T00:00:00Z

    When China sneezes, the oil markets catch a cold. Mirroring the effects of the SARS crisis in 2002, oil markets shed more than $8/bl in January on the back of the potential impact on oil demand from the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak. The apparent calming of the Middle ...