Irish petrol retailing company Petrogas hopes to have a network of around 50-60 Applegreen-branded service stations in the UK mainly in the south within the next five years, according to the company’s managing director Michael O’Loughlin. During a presentation at last month’s Association of Convenience Stores annual Summit in Birmingham, he said the tag line ’low fuel prices, always’; an offer of a 3ppl promotional discount link to ’dressed up’ car washes; and a huge focus on coffee, were key elements of the Applegreen format that is pushing the boundaries in terms of service station operation. "We sell own-brand fuel, and don’t accept fuel cards," he said. "We have two sets of fuel prices on the price pole one showing the usual unleaded and diesel prices, and one showing the 3ppl discount that comes with buying a car wash. We also put coffee on the price pole, as well as ’deals’ we have in the off licence alcohol is a big earner for us."
Petrogas currently has 12 sites in the UK, and O’Loughlin said a lot of investment goes into the interior of the store particularly the toilets as well as restaurants and seated areas. The company also has its own distribution operations for both fuel and store products, and sells its own-brand of water, milk and orange juice; as well as financial services including motor insurance. Meanwhile ACS chairman James Lowman set out what local shops wanted from the new government. "For many it’s not about what colour the new government is, it’s about the specific actions they take to help or harm our ability to do business."