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

Customer pays up at gun point

A customer ignored an armed robber and paid for his petrol during a filling station raid - despite having a gun pointed at him and being told to go away.

Ray Holloway

It's impossible to write this column without commenting on the fuel quality problems of last month, although I'm sure the supermarkets would prefer that the subject was 'parked'. The facts are, however, that whatever happened to cause the contamination problem, it did call into question the quality issue of a high-value commodity that cannot ever be actually viewed by either retailer or user. While the motorist's acceptance of consistent and even superior quality fuels existed, it undoubtedly helped the supermarket sector to promote its price-focused offers, but changing perception and raising suspicion about quality linked to price changes 'the game'.

Sushi: arriving soon at service stations

Forecourts need to swap Coke and crisps for sushi and smoothies, according to a new report from Datamonitor.

grocery digest

The two main newsagents' trade associations could be on a collision course after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced that it would consider referring the newspapers and magazines supply market to the Competition Commission for a market investigation. The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) requested a review under the Enterprise Act 2002. But the Association of News Retailing (ANR) has warned that an inquiry could delay progress towards the objective of achieving a more open supply chain.

In the surgery this month - Chicklade Filling Station

During my visit to IFFE 2007 at the Birmingham NEC last month, I spent some time at the impressive - and busy - Pace stand. Pace is keen to sign up more dealers, and claims a 'marketing support package that you might only expect to get from an oil major'. Having never used a Pace filling station and shop before, I was then determined to 'stealthcheck' one. It was difficult to plan my visit as the Pace website does not include a site-locator facility. However, the Sunday after IFFE, while driving west to east on the A303 in Wiltshire, I came across one at Chicklade.

Budgeting for the future

The usual form of this column, every April for the past 10 years, has been to peer behind the 'smoke and mirrors' of Chancellor Brown's annual Budget speeches and prise out some of the nuggets. Well this time it seems pointless as we'll have several years to analyse this budget. You see, this year the Chancellor has really gone into the futurology business. He hasn't simply delayed a few measures (such as the 'fuel duty escalator') until later this year; he's actually laid down a series of fiscal measures which are intended to take effect at various times between now and 2010.

Service Centre with Jac Roper - Tony Barlow beats the Saxon invasion

Last April I put my money on Tony Barlow, who runs The Mount Service Station in Shrewsbury, to win his battle with Saxon Paper and I'm pleased to say I won the bet (although as it was a bet with myself, I'll now have to pay up).

Awards start here

So you think you're a top retailer? Then get your pens and cameras out now and start filling in the forms and taking the pictures that will put you in the running for the top award in the petrol retailing industry - Forecourt Trader of the Year.

Changing faces

One of Shell's newest dealer sites, the Winford Road Garage on the outskirts of Bristol, has come a long way since 1967 when it opened as a local vehicle service centre employing just three people.

Showing the way

Visitors flocked from far and wide for the three-day International Forecourt and Fuel Equipment (IFFE) show at Birmingham's NEC last month. Running alongside the Convenience Retailing Show (CRS), the event gave retailers the chance to check out the latest products and equipment for both the forecourt and the shop.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 20 January 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands132.93141.67128.44
North East131.55139.57126.67
North West132.1066.90140.54127.58
Northern Ireland129.82134.61125.46
South East133.80141.93129.03
South West132.9567.90139.13128.12
West Midlands132.7866.57142.07128.26
Yorkshire & Humber131.9963.90141.14127.34

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