Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Esso on the hunt for new dealers

Esso is embarking on a recruitment campaign in the new year to sign up new dealers.

Money spinners

Car washes can offer retailers high margins of up to 80%, but many retailers don’t give the car wash the attention it deserves – perhaps because it lies outside the shop, which has become the focus of many forecourts these days. As a result, many machines aren’t being used to their full potential, with factors such as maintenance and inadequate marketing hampering what should be a straightforward profit generator.

Let me entertain you

British consumers are spending more money than ever on entertainment – and not just on eating out or drinking down the pub. They’re shelling out to be entertained in their homes and cars. As such they’re demanding DVDs and CDs at an astonishing rate. Market forecasts estimate that 196 million DVDs will be sold this year as well as 179 million albums.

A healthy profit

With the Met Office predicting a big freeze and cold and flu rates set to soar, over the counter medicines (OTC) will be vital this winter.

BP Connect takes the franchise route

BP Retail has launched a franchise trial of its BP Connect and Wild Bean Café. The first two sites are Crow Orchard Connect in Wigan and Maynestone Connect in Ashton under Lyne. Both are now operated by Wembley-based Motor Fuel Limited. The company is run by S Sejpal and S Raja – known as Sej and Raj respectively.

IFFE show is back

Forecourt Equipment Show (IFFE) is back from March 19 – 22, 2006. Last year’s show was so successful it has now been made an annual event. Held at the NEC, Birmingham, more than 50 companies will be exhibiting, covering all aspects of the forecourt industry and supported by the major trade associations. Forecourt Live will again be a top attraction, featuring a series of informative presentations and discussions on hot topics.

Site numbers dip below 10,000 mark

The number of forecourt sites has dropped below 10,000, according to latest figures published by Catalist in its Market Summary Report. The total number of petrol stations in the UK is now 9,994.

Arval-only new cards

Fuel card company Arval is consolidating its Allstar, Dialcard and Overdrive brands.

Sims woos US with 'Simply' great tales

BP retail director Graham Sims and M&S’s head of food formats Jill Bruce were among the speakers at this year’s National Association of Convenience Store’s (NACS) show held in Las Vegas last month.

Gordons scores a century

Few service station businesses can claim to have been operating for over 100 years, but Gordons Ford in Lancashire is one of them. The family-owned business operates three Texaco petrol stations at Bolton, Horwich and Walkden, and has recently celebrated 70 years of working with the oil company. Starting out as a horse-drawn carriage builder in the 1800s, the business began selling and maintaining Ford motor cars before the First World War. It began selling fuel in the 1930s under the Regent brand, now part of Texaco.

Gulf sign means fuel is back in West Wales

Gulf has returned to West Wales in an impressive way – in conjunction with the area’s largest convenience store. Siop y Frydiau, which translates into Shop by the Falls, on the busy A484 at Cenarth, has been subject to a £500,000 rebuild which included the reintroduction of fuel after an absence of more than 20 years.

High cost of drive-offs

Drive-off fuel thieves stole £1.2m worth of petrol in Leicestershire last year, a survey has revealed.

Hazelgrove invests in people

Hazlegrove Services in Sparkford, Somerset, has received a coveted Investors in People Award after completing a rigorous assessment process, involving management and staff training and business development.

Turnover doubles with Mace fascia

Forecourt owner Nandan Kumar, who has two sites in Peterborough, has doubled the turnover in one of his stores since embracing the new-look Mace Express. Nandan’s success coincides with news from Palmer & Harvey McLane’s symbol division that the number of Mace Express members is up 20% on last year to 200. In addition, 50 outlets have been rebranded with the new-look fascia which was introduced earlier this year.


The LP Gas Association has re-launched the Boost LPG website with all the latest news on the alternative fuel. The website is an independent consumer guide to LPG autogas and includes information on the benefits of the fuel, getting an LPG vehicle and filling up both in the UK and abroad. Visit
Data supplied by Catalist
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Fuel prices: November 28, 2005

Time for pay at pump

There may still be teething problems, but now that the rollout of Chip & PIN is well under way, a seminar last month suggested that it was time for forecourts to fully explore pay-at-pump technology. The question was raised at a ‘Chip & PIN at the Pump’ seminar, organised by payment specialist Trintech. The aim of the event was to bring a number of partners and industry experts together to explore the issues and challenges in deploying Chip & PIN in the forecourt and share their international experiences. The seminar also looked at the latest technology trends and certification requirements. It was attended by more than 40 delegates from across the industry including fuel retailers, pump manufacturers and forecourt system integrators, as well as oil companies and supermarkets such as Shell, Sainsbury, Somerfield and Tesco.

Shop Doctor: BP M&S Simply Food, Hammersmith

Can 1 + 1 = 3? Yes, I am certain it can. For example, when two enterprises come together the result may well be greater than the some of the original two parts.
Data supplied by EKW group
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Database: No time for paperwork

It is becoming evident that as more retailers find themselves urged into multi-site operation, the one aspect of running these ‘site groups’ that seems to have been neglected is the administration and paperwork. The assumption seems to be that it’ll take care of itself – the sites have modern PC-based pos/bos systems so who needs a bookkeeper?

Pinning down fraud

Pinning down fraud
Martin Todd
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Esso gets back on track

Much has been said about what Esso may or may not be up to in the UK – is it staying, going, losing its way? So who better to tell us than the proverbial horse’s mouth – Martin Todd, the company’s executive director of fuels marketing in the UK and Ireland.
Sharon McKenna
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Emerald-isle hat trick

Rural winner of the year 2005 - Sharon McKenna

Dynamic technology

Panasonic System Solutions has unveiled its latest range of equipment including CCTV, IP cameras and EPoS solutions, as well as iris recognition and digital signage.

Delightful eggs

Cadbury Trebor Bassett’s Easter 2006 range focuses on special gifts, while the ever-popular Creme Egg is back in store and on TV screens from January 1.
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Weekly retail fuel prices: 20 May 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands135.28141.26129.82
North East134.06140.71129.20
North West134.87139.96129.27
Northern Ireland131.95135.90127.71
South East135.9463.57142.34130.70
South West135.01139.53129.65
West Midlands134.83141.89129.64
Yorkshire & Humber134.1257.70141.27129.10

Most read

Following last month's London protests and damage to Shell's UK HQ, do you believe forecourts should be preparing themselves in case of possible attacks by climate change campaigners?