Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community
All water from household car washing is lost down the drain, says the ACS
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ACS challenges water restrictions

Drought Orders could have a devastating impact on forecourt businesses unless there is some dispensation made for car washes, says the Association of Convenience Stores, which is arguing the case against Thames Water on behalf of retailers. The water company has applied for a Drought Order covering London and the Thames Valley, but ACS public affairs director James Lowman said the proposed terms were extremely strict.

'allo 'allo

The expertise of independent dealers in running successful 'local' businesses is being sought by Total following a review of its company-owned network.

Giving it some welly

The Green Welly Stop has become a traditional and popular stopping point for travellers heading out of Glasgow towards Fort William and the Highlands. Situated on the A82 at Tyndrum, Perthshire, in one of the most beautiful parts of the British Isles, it was formerly known as Clifton Service Station. The name change came from the introduction of a specialist outdoor clothing shop on the premises some years ago - green Wellington boots were, and still are, an integral part of its range.

At your service

They're a demanding bunch those consumers - not only do they want a their c-store to offer a comprehensive product range and long trading hours, they also want things like ATMs and PayPoint. Indeed, according to new research from HIM's Convenience Tracking Programme*, 66% of shoppers expect their local c-store to have a cash machine.

Keeping up appearances

First impressions count in most walks of life and in the forecourt business it's no different. A regular wash and brush-up and a regular lick of paint are basic, but essential, maintenance tasks, which will reassure passing motorists that you are a well-run business worth stopping for.

The munch bunch

With fears about the nation's expanding waistlines increasingly dominating the headlines, the overall market for traditional crisps and savoury snacks has been pretty flat over the past year.
BP has put its Coryton refinery up for sale
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Coryton for sale as BP targets bio fuels

BP is selling its last remaining UK oil refinery - Coryton, in Essex - so it can invest more in its other European refineries so they remain "top class assets".

Cadbury confident over recall

Cadbury is confident the recall of seven of its products over a salmonella scare will have no long-lasting effect on sales.

Crime costs rise - but it's not all bad

Forecourt crime rose by 1.9% last year, according to the 2005 Forecourt Crime Statistics compiled by BOSS - the British Oil Security Syndicate campaigning to reduce crime on Britain's forecourts.

Staff tip-off puts driver in the dock

Staff at a Shell forecourt have helped to bring a banned driver back to court. Mobile hairdresser Anne Davis was given a three-year ban in January for a string of motoring offences, but 72 hours after being banned, 45-year-old Davis, of Deeping St James, Lincolnshire, was behind the wheel again,
Denise Andrew (right) with Jim and Wendy Bamford
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Bank helps couple live their dream

A couple from Stevenage are now running their own forecourt after securing six-figure funding from Bank of Scotland Corporate.
Data supplied by Catalist
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Fuel Prices: June 26, 2006

In brief

Statoil has reached agreement on the terms of the sale of Statoil Ireland, its downstream Retail and Commercial & Industrial business, to Topaz, a financial consortium led by Ion Equity. Topaz is an established national forecourt retailer, based in Dublin, which acquired the Shell Ireland service station network in 2005. It operates a network of over 150 service stations under the Shell brand.

Emission impossible?

After years of consultation, smaller sites have been given a reprieve as the government finalises new legislation to curb vapour emissions from petrol pumps. Final plans for implementing stage II vapour recovery - officially known as Petrol Vapour Recovery II - mean that service stations selling more than 3.5m litres of petrol a year will be required to fit expensive equipment by a deadline of 1 January 2010 - and the Petrol Retailer's Association has warned that those unable to meet the installation and maintenance costs could close.

Shop Doctor: Keystore/BP - Clerkenleap Service Station, Broomhall, Worcester

With competition increasing each year it has never been more important for retailers to demonstrate that customer service is ingrained in every part of their business. With this in mind, I was keen to see if the recently re-opened Clerkenleap Service Station at Broomhall, Worcester was applying this philosophy.
Data supplied by EKW group
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Database: DIY?

A growing number of forecourt retailers are finding that retailing isn't actually now expected to be their main role at all. In days gone by they were told by the oil companies that their main function was 'front of house' but today they are often finding themselves expected to do another job altogether - namely the paperwork and administration for five or six sites, and some DIY accounting in their 'lunch break'.

Service Centre with Jac Roper

Some of you - those sterling few who never procrastinate and applied for their 'grandfather' licensing rights early to beat the rush are now finding they are being billed for their renewal fees early too. Councils are making up their own policy on this one because central government didn't spell out this precise little wrinkle in the new Licensing Act.

Sweet & sour

Toxic Waste, Atomic FireBlast and Gum Powder can all be found on the shelves of the Murco garage in the Willesborough suburb of Ashford, Kent, and manager, Roberto Di Duca, says he can't get enough of them. Of course they are not as bad as their names suggest, but are just the latest in a long line of kids' sweets. Roberto says the 69p Brain Lickers are particularly popular: "They come in boxes of 12 and I sell between seven and eight boxes a week." Brain Lickers are described as a 'sour candy drink' and delivered in a roll-on deodorant-style dispenser. The Murco garage is situated within yards of two large secondary schools and is also en route to several other schools. Roberto recently put in a 1m sugar confectionery display (six shelves deep), supplied by Bonds, right next to the till to satisfy the demands of the sweet-toothed children. This is home to dozens of gaudy novelty sweets with names like Mega Mouth candy spray, Snot Shots, Garbage Trolley and Fizz Bombs. Bonds supplies the bulk of the sweets but Roberto also goes to the Booker Cash & Carry depot in Folkestone to see what's available. His wife Lucy is his secret weapon: "She comes with me and picks out what she thinks will sell and she's always right," he says.

Simple safety solution

Tektroniks has developed a small, easy-to-use, food temperature control system specifically for c-stores and forecourts.

Free EPoS system in TV tie-up deal

Point4 is offering forecourt operators a free EPoS system if they sign up to take its new in-store TV concept. Described as 'shelf-edge TV', the in-store advertising medium uses small plasma screens, which sit on the edge of the shelf in front of the products. Point 4 says that when a retailer signs up to take the TV system, they will give them a free HTec HydraPos system worth £12-15,000 - which combines EPoS and pump control in one unit - as well as the screens.

Easy way to top up

Forecourts with PayPoint terminals will now be able to sell easyMobile e-vouchers. The payment collection network says it will be the first to offer the new vouchers and retailers will receive 6% commission for each one sold.

Point of sale now online

Retailers can order free point-of-sale material from a new website. Launched by sales-support company, the Shelfmax Group, the site allows retailers to browse POS items listed by different manufacturers and order the pieces and quantities they want all at the same time. The items are then delivered directly to the shop. Retailers can pick and mix their own kits and there are plans for an option to allow them to tailor pieces to their own store.

Core appeal

A new apple flavour is being added to the Lucozade Energy range.According to consumer research, apple is the favourite flavour after orange.

Shining sales success

Summer is a key selling period for torches, when outdoor activities such as camping and caravanning can boost sales by more than 40%. Manufacturer Energizer is therefore urging retailers to stock up. The company says it is important to stock up with branded offerings as consumers buy on the basis of quality and performance and are prepared to pay more for a brand. Energizer recommends that forecourts stock the following products: the Duo 4AA, a regular torch and lantern in one; the Headlight 3LEDs and the Waterproof 2AA.

Milkshake's berry good

Milkshake brand For Goodness Shakes is now available in super berry flavour, made with real fruit and enhanced with a multi-vitamin supplement. The new flavour combines blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and cherries and aims to attract more women to the range, which was first launched last year and includes big banana and great choc malt variants. Available in 500g bottles, Rrp is around £1.

Longer life for chilled fish range

Young's has launched the first in a series of chilled fish ranges with a longer shelf-life. The company says the new lines - which have an extended shelf life of at least 10 days - will help convenience and forecourt retailers to reduce wastage.

Calorie-count ads

Masterfoods will be reminding consumers that Maltesers are less than 190 calories a bag in a funny new TV ad. The £2m campaign will reassure consumers that Maltesers are the 'lighter way to enjoy chocolate'. It will be supported by wider PR activity.

Toblerone for girls

Kraft Foods is targeting female consumers with a limited edition 100g Toblerone bar. The exclusive bars feature a new pack design, with the traditional logo replaced on one side by the words 'To Myself' in pink lipstick letters. To encourage sales, retailers can order a special unit that holds 120 bars.

Try Froot for free

A 'try me free' money-back guarantee will feature on bottles of Minute Maid Froot Refresh for six weeks from August. Promotional neck collars will appear on 1.4 million 330ml bottles and will also communicate the functional benefits of the drink - said to count as one of the five recommended daily portions of fruit and veg.

New look for cigs

Imperial Tobacco has introduced new packaging across its Richmond cigarette range. Available now, the updated design aims to generate additional interest in the brand.

Christmas is coming

Cadbury Trebor Bassett has unveiled its new Christmas range, which includes innovation in novelties and cartons and new-look selection packs.

Maccess cares about cars

Car care products and accessories supplier, Maccess, has launched its new Forecourt and Retail Solutions catalogue.

Yazoo goes to zoo

Flavoured milk brand Yazoo is sponsoring new family film Garfield II, which is released on July 21, with an on-pack promotion.

Mo'gas: An irreverant view from the network

NOW, AS SOME OF YOU WILL REALISE, I've been around the petrol scene for quite some time. No, I wasn't about when the guy with the red flag had to walk in front of your motor, but it is true that I remember wind-up petrol pumps and shots of Redex. One of the advantages of longevity in this trade is that you quite often get to see things second time around.
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Weekly retail fuel prices: 13 May 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands134.3163.90142.71128.51
North East133.45141.14128.34
North West133.87139.66128.19
Northern Ireland131.69134.87127.12
South East135.1064.90141.55129.70
South West134.4267.90138.19129.02
West Midlands134.0264.90141.51128.62
Yorkshire & Humber133.3863.90141.59128.06

Most read

Following the response by Sainsbury's and Asda to the CMA's damning provisional findings on their proposed merger, do you agree with the PRA's assessment that their proposed solutions to the concerns could result in hundreds of forecourt closures?