Yogan continues to build business with sons Sukanth (left) and Priyanth by his side

Top 50 Indie JP&S Services has refurbished its recently-acquired forecourt at Bicester as part of a £10 million improvement programme of its 14 stores which will be complete by 2025.

Managing director Visvanathan Yoganathan, aka Yogan, started the seven-year push to upgrade his outlets in 2018, and has included Jet in the process, with all of his network switching to the brand by October.

He hopes that the investment will leave the business in top condition for when he hands it over to his two sons – Priyanth and Sukanth – on his retirement in the next couple of years.

The latest £500,000 refit at Bicester in Oxfordshire took nine weeks to complete before it was re-opened last week. Some £100,000 of expenditure was made externally, which included the installation of four islands of Madic’s Tatsuno pumps, with each having eight nozzles dispensing unleaded, diesel, super unleaded and super diesel. There is a new jet wash, and vacuum and airline units. An Istobal rollover carwash is due to be fitted by mid June. Currently the site, which Yogan purchased in March, is BP branded but this will change to Jet in October.


Bicester’s mayor Damien Maguire joined Yogan with his sons Sukanth (left) and Priyanth at last week’s opening of their Bicester site

The shop, which had a £400,000 complete refit with new flooring, ceiling, shelves and refrigeration and freezer equipment, was previously a Spar and has been switched to Londis. Yogan has been loyal to the Londis and Budgens brands for the past 30 years.

Other brands to be introduced at Bicester include Tchibo coffee, Calippo Slush and the National Lottery. And the outlet has its own-brand Lawton Road Sandwich Bar, which includes hot food to go in the mornings.

Other changes include the introduction of an off-licence and extended opening hours to 6am to 10pm daily, instead of 7am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, and 7am to 4pm on a Sunday.

Yogan bought the site from the Jobling family, who he says are retiring from the forecourt industry. He says that it is important to him to stamp his company’s brand on business acquisitions.

Upon acquiring the site, he immediately closed it for the work, which he expects to have created a business turning over five million litres of fuel per annum, and £25,000 a week in shop sales within six months.

“A number of people were interested in the site, it’s a good location with lots of housing nearby, but the Jobling family came to me,” said Yogan, who operates mainly in London and the south east.


Yogan spent £500,000 on developing his newly-acquired Bicester site

“We focus on the shop and fuel. Availability of fuel, not having to wait for deliveries, and also keeping petrol and diesel at value for money prices is important to us,” said Yogan, “also cleanliness, a good quick service, which keeps customers coming back, are all really important to us,” he added.


The Bicester refurb took nine weeks

Before the transition to Jet, the business focused on Texaco and BP sites. It aims to match the cheapest fuel prices within 10 miles of its outlets, with four of its outlets selling unleaded at 139.9p and diesel at 149.9p, when we spoke on Wednesday of this week. The other sites were charging 142p for unleaded and 151p for diesel.

The business is also expecting to start work on a £1m-plus knockdown rebuild of Ockford Road Service Station at Goldalming in Surrey this August. This site will be one of the first to install Jet Charge ultra-rapid chargepoints: it is planning two bays. The 500sq ft shop will be extended to 2,500sqf ft, it will include the Londis fascia, and will take all of the brands already in place at Bicester. Also included will be a sandwich bar and hot food area. Yogan expects the re-development will increase shop sales from £20,000 a week currently to closer to £35,000.

The business is also in the process of purchasing a site in Winchester, Hampshire, from BP, the only one in its network which will display the BP name, and that will be for at least the next five years.

Yogan is planning to invest £600,000 on developing this site, which includes a Londis store, once he completes on the sale.

In the next five years the business has a couple more projects underway, says Yogan, and it is starting a property development company too, JP&S Properties. His aim is to step aside in the next coupe of years to hand over to his sons, both in their early 30s and with a career at leading financial institutions before they joined the family business a few years ago.

“I’m at an age that I am starting to think about stepping back,” said Yogan, “and my two sons Priyanth and Sukanth will be in a good position to take things forward with me in the background.”