Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community
Data supplied by Catalist
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Fuel prices: May 31, 2006

Drilling for water at the back of David Charman's site in West Malling
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It's a bore

What could turn out to be the driest summer for 100 years has given many petrol retailers in the south east some sleepless nights. With car washing one of the three main profit centres of a petrol retailing business - alongside petrol and the forecourt shop - the merest hint of having to shut down this key part of their operation, has sent some retailers into a blind panic.

In the surgery this month

I had to be in France for a few days and thought it would be interesting to make a 'stealthcheck' on a French forecourt site. And, in order to be able to directly compare and contrast with the UK, I decided to visit a Bonjour/Total site as I'd reported on my visit to the Bonjour/Total site in Towcester for a recent issue of Forecourt Trader. My chosen location was Etaples, just outside Le Touquet, which is between Boulogne and Abbeville on the D940 coast road.
Data supplied by EKW group
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So much data so little time...

A couple of months ago we mentioned that despite the apparent myriad of information sources available to them, many operators seemed to be more in the dark about the state of their business than ever before. The point was that on many forecourts reports were being churned almost non-stop, but nobody had the time to read them - let alone try and form some coherent picture of what was really going on. The response from a number of retailers since that article has been 'so it's not just me then!'. No, you are not alone. Information overload might feature all across our culture, but it does seem to have hit petrol retailing pretty hard already. Take just one example.

Chips down at Shell

News that Shell has been hit by Chip & PIN fraud couldn't come at a worse time as it's just weeks after national adoption of the technology. However, the good news is the criminals did not get past the new Chip & PIN system itself, but instead used a skimming device to copy information off the magnetic strip. They then used cloned cards to steal money from accounts. Shell confirmed the problem and as a result has suspended the use of Chip & PIN at its 300 company-owned sites. Its dealer operated sites have also been advised of the situation.

Service Centre with Jac Roper

Last June I reported about the case between Sheffield Racial Equality Council (REC), acting on behalf of a black Caribbean customer and Ayub Karmada, who runs Beeston Service Station in Nottingham.
Ron Haacke, director and general manager at Petrol Express
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Man with a mission

As the mobile phone lying on the desk suddenly erupts into the theme from the film 'Mission Impossible', its owner - Ron Haacke, who runs Petrol Express Ltd - chuckles: 'Mission impossible - that's the game I'm in."

TV licences via Paypoint

Paypoint will become the sole provider of TV Licensing's over-the-counter licence payment services across the UK from July 31.

ReD on a roll-out

Payment card issuer Retail Decisions (ReD) has extended its partnership with Morrisons, meaning its fuel cards will now be accepted at all of the supermarket chain's 274 forecourts. Phil Maud, petrol director at Morrisons, pictured below left, with ReD's chief executive Carl Clump, said: "This development sees Morrisons becoming the first supermarket chain to fully embrace fuel bunkering." Clump said ReD had one of the largest independent site networks available.

Coffee servers

Two new pieces of kit are available for retailers looking to offer take away coffee. The new Nescafé Accolade Platinum Colibri (pictured below) is a compact vending unit which dispenses premium quality latte, cappucino and hot chocolate in branded 9oz paper cups. The self-service machine also serves up traditional tea and coffee and has been specifically designed for smaller environments. It has a capacity of about 100 cups and is available as a table-top unit or with a base to create a stand-alone machine. A coin validator can be attached and there is a change-giving coin mechanism available with the base cabinet.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 30 March 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands119.01131.46114.46
North East116.33131.57110.86
North West117.71131.66113.21
Northern Ireland113.94120.90108.13
South East120.0368.90132.46116.19
South West118.30130.34113.27
West Midlands118.8857.90135.85114.78
Yorkshire & Humber117.69131.84113.09

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