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

Manor - flying high with airport deal

Manor Service Stations, number 19 in the Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies 2008 listing, has won the contract to run the two service stations at Manchester Airport. The two sites, at Terminals One and Two, will be run by the Macclesfield-based business for 10

in brief

Harvest Energy has signed up three Jet-branded forecourts owned by Sectorsure Limited. The sites, Grange Filling Station, Rayleigh in Essex; and London sites Cricklewood Broadway Service Station and Goldhawk Road Service Station, will be rebranded over the next couple of months.

Fuel prices - June 25, 2008

Would you credit it?

Customers can no longer fill up at the pumps using their Arval fuel cards at Nuns' Bridges Filling Station in Norfolk. Due to rising fuel costs pushing up the amount of commission he was paying, the site's owner, Steve Jones, found he was running the service at a loss. But as there was still plenty of demand from

In the surgery this month - Oakdene Service Station, Ulnes Walton, Leyland, Lancs

Oakdene Service Station is situated at Ulnes Walton, Leyland (between Chorley and Preston). It pumps Texaco fuel and has a Londis shop but what sets it apart is its prize-winning off licence.

Control freakery

There's a sense of panic on many forecourts these days with customers fuming at prices, blaming the retailer, but then queuing up if your prices stay a penny or two cheaper than the ones down the road for a few hours. Then there are tanker drivers threatening to cut off supplies and pumps covered as sites run out of fuel. There are epidemic quantities of drive-offs. A fortune in cash to count and bank every day. It's no surprise then that many operators say they feel totally stressed out trying to run their businesses 'as normal' in times that feel very far from 'normal'. The worst part of it is that there's no end in sight - welcome to the new reality of petroleum retailing.

Service Centre with Jac Roper

== Accepting cards can be a costly business ==

level headed

While major oil companies tend to hog the headlines with their various activities - sometimes good, sometimes bad - some of the smaller players in the market enjoy less of the limelight. One such company is ConocoPhillips - with its Jet-branded, dealer-only network - which, according to the company's dealer business manager, Patrick Hudson, has been busy working away seemingly behind the scenes, but focusing strongly on its core market of 'locally-based' service stations. Its network has 425 Jet dealer sites - that's more dealers than Shell (309), Esso (265), and Total (341).

Be prepared

Last summer's floods taught the industry one very important lesson: invest in a good insurance policy, or be prepared to pay the penalty. And those retailers who had prepared for the worst and had made sure they had a sturdy insurance policy in place fared best, no doubt heaving a huge sigh of relief that they hadn't just plumped for the cheapest premium.

Cleaning up your act

UK company Ecologia has developed what it calls a "ground-breaking remediation technique", which can be used to clean up forecourts.

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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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