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

Outcry over shop theft downgrade

Angry retailers fear it will be 'open season' for thieves if plans to cut jail terms for shoplifters go ahead.

Space for Pace

It's nearly two years since Kuwait Petroleum GB was bought by Refined Holdings and became Pace Petroleum, prompting the demise of the Q8 signage on UK forecourts.

growth spurt

As Spar announces its intention to boost its forecourt estate to 600 stores over the next two years, you could be forgiven for thinking that one of its wholesalers, Capper and Co, is trying to achieve that single-handedly.

Building a brighter future

Forecourts have come a long way in the past 10 years, with small, basic kiosks being transformed into large modern c-stores, with hot food and quality coffee. Led by oil company investment in high-level offers like Esso's On The Run and BP's Connect, the distinction between the old-fashioned 'oily' filling station and the more appealing grocery-style offer has never been greater.

Shining example

The supermarkets are always there to spoil the party aren't they? With the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury now selling more non-food items than ever before, car care has become yet another area where forecourts face extra competition from the multiples. But they are perfectly placed to rise to the challenge, says David Rogers, sales director of premium valeting products company. Autoglym. "Car care products are big sellers, and their increasing popularity is illustrated by the fact that they are now readily available in supermarkets. Forecourts should be capitalising on this trend, rather than seeing their market share decline as the supermarkets and car accessory stores seize the potential."

Conference covers future of forecourts

A conference entitled 'Future Fuels & Forecourts' will take place at The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London, on September 21, followed by the Forecourt Trader of the Year awards 2006 evening.

Fraud investigation doesn't deter Aleef

Forecourt Trader top 10 independent retailer, Aleef Garages, is under investigation for a large-scale tax fraud. However company director, Anis Patel, said it was business as usual for the forecourt and newsagents chain, and trading was strong. The company operates 29 forecourts and 26 CTNs in the north west.

Site figures drop again

The number of forecourt sites has dropped to 9,626, according to the latest figures published by Catalist.

Anger as reclaim kits 'bought in vain'

Car wash operators have been forced to waste money on unnecessary water recycling systems, following the drought orders by water companies which were threatened but never imposed, according to David Charman of Parkfoot Garage in Kent. He is now demanding an explanation from his supplier, Mid Kent Water, who he says has 'misled' businesses and left them in limbo by not implementing the drought order granted in May.

ACS wants to hear your views

Forecourt retailers are being urged to voice their concerns about rising employment costs, as the government prepares to introduce a number of employee-friendly measures.

Health tick for Esso

Esso is responding to the nation's growing obesity concerns by launching a new labelling scheme and a series of promotions to highlight healthier product choices in its company-owned stores.

An industry date for your diary

The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) annual exhibition and conference will next take place on April 18 and 19, 2007 at the Telford International Centre.

Own-label alliance to rival the mults

Two major convenience store players - Spar and The Co-operative Group - have joined forces in an own-label buying alliance, in a bid to make them more competitive with the grocery multiples.

in brief

Following a successful trial at six sites earlier this year, BP's Ultimate 102 'handmade' unleaded petrol is being made available on a further 30 forecourts. The fuel is designed for highly-tuned, high-performance cars and is therefore premium priced at £2.42 per litre.
Data supplied by Catalist
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Fuel prices, August 28, 2006

Poles Apart

Two major oil companies, two major fuel-related launches on the same day. One rolls out a leading environmentalist. The other unleashes a Formula 1 car onto the streets of London. Their mission - to entice more customers onto their forecourts to sell them more fuel?

SHOP DOCTOR: Eurospar, Newtownclough, Newry, Co. Down

On the B113 and heading towards Newry is a new EuroSpar store and Spar-branded forecourt. EuroSpar claims to be a 'large supermarket format aimed at fulfilling weekly shopping needs'. The advertising strapline is 'Expect a little more'. I did!

Working capital

one of the very stirking features of many sites at the moment appears to be just how empty some of the shops are - not of customers, necessarily, but of stock.

Service Centre with Jac Roper

The latest from Nisa-Today's and Costcutter is that, following board meetings on August 10, all directors unanimously agreed, subject to due diligence, to proposals to combine the two organisations, thus creating a new company.

Glad tidings

Just how badly the Cadbury salmonella scare has affected the chocolate market is hard to say but that, on top of record summer temperatures and consumer concerns over health and obesity, have all been bad news. However as we head towards the autumn - and more importantly - towards Christmas, there are glad tidings ahead as the manufacturers wheel out their festive ranges.

The Clean Air solution

Torex Retail has launched a new vapour recovery system, which it says will save retailers money, as well as ensure that they comply with new legislation.

Hendersons opts for outdoor payments

Northern Ireland's Henderson Group has rolled out a series of Outdoor Payment Terminals (OPT) on its forecourts.

Westop's free trial

Drive-off specialist Westop is offering free installation and operation of an ANPR system for six months without obligation, to promote its new solution for tackling drive-offs. Westop says the system allows the cashier to log an offence by simply pressing a button, which is linked to the pump. The ANPR system - linked to CCTV cameras - then tracks the vehicle and records the number plate.

Texaco's ATM tie-in

Cashbox has signed up to become the preferred supplier of internal cash machines to Texaco-branded service stations. This will see the company actively promoted as the provider of choice for Texaco's independent retailers, with the first phase of the programme involving 420 sites. Phillip Minns, Texaco category manager, says the deal is part of the new Bright Horizons strategy, which aims to give retailers access to a network of support services.

Camel count down

Gallaher is launching a new 14s pack for its Camel Subtle cigarette brand. The smaller pack size is said to provide the UK smoker's average daily consumption - which is 14 sticks - and follows the successful launch of the Benson & Hedges 14s last year. The tobacco company says the new format will be good news for retailers as it will encourage daily purchase, helping to drive store footfall.

Better-for-you by far

Leaf International, the company behind Chewits, is launching Red Band, a new range of 'healthier' sugar confectionery. UK consumers will be the first to have access to the new pan-European brand, which is available from this month.

Toblerone's adult move

Toblerone One by One five varieties, has a new pack design to give a more premium, adult look.

Sensational pricing

Walkers has introduced a pricemarked range of core Sensations lines specifically for the impulse channel.

Fresh bottle format

Mars Drinks has relaunched Galaxy and Bounty flavoured milk drinks in new 250ml bottles, replacing the old 230ml cartons.

Simply adds chicken

Birds Eye has added two new chicken recipes to its Simply frozen food range.

Winter gear already here

Car Plan's new winter brochure is now available and features essentials like de-icers, pre-icers, screenwash and anti-freeze. New for this season is the 'sub zero' range, which includes a powerful pink de-icer and premium pink screen-wash. There are also ice scrapers for all budgets, including a new man-sized super deluxe model.

Cadbury's new treat

Cadbury Trebor Bassett (CTB) is launching a new indulgent product, Cadbury Dairy Milk Melts. The product comprises eight individually wrapped two-segment bars with soft chocolate centres. There are three variants: milk, dark and praline. Rrp is £1.19. Available from September 25, the launch will be backed by a £2m marketing campaign.

Remedies are ready

Medicated confectionery brand Lockets will be spending £1m on a high-profile TV campaign during this year's coughs and colds season. The 'Proud Sponsors of the British Winter' ad aims to reach more than 85% of 25-44-year-olds. The brand was relaunched last winter with new-look packaging and is said to have seen its market share grow by 13% over the past two years.

Extra cool offer

Cadbury Trebor Bassett (CTB) has launched a new sugar-free mint, Trebor Extra Cool. Described as 'the ultimate taste experience', the new format combines a translucent boiled mint, made from pure mint oil, with an extra cool centre.

New look Vaseline range

The Vaseline skin care and deodorant range has been revamped and includes new packaging, improved formulations and the launch of a new moisturiser.

Germolene sales drive

Germolene is continuing its forecourt sales push by offering five more retailers £50-worth of product to sell in their stores.

Rustling up hot snacks

Microwaveable snacks brand Rustlers has invested £5m in a relaunch and is giving five retailers the chance to trial its new range by giving away £250-worth of product.

Mo'gas: An irreverant view from the network

ONCE UPON A TIME a time there was a concept called common sense. This was back in the days when men held doors open for women (who wore skirts), schoolboys wore short trousers and doffed their caps to their teachers and shops were shut on Sundays. In those days people sometimes suffered physical misfortune and some of those misfortunes were given the quaint, ancient name of 'accident'. This was generally applied to situations where something went wrong when performing a routine task that normally had no adverse consequences. A boy shinned up a tree but a branch broke and he fell down skinning his knee. Someone walking along a pavement, talking to a friend, didn't notice one of the paving slabs was raised, so tripped twisting an ankle.
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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

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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?