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

Xmo Strata wins National Business Award

Sign installation and maintenance company Xmo Strata, which numbers several of the leading oil companies amongst its customers, has added to its already groaning trophy cabinet. The firm (which is based in Kent but operates across the UK) won the Health, Work and Well-being Award for small business in the South of England in the National Business Awards Regional Programme.

ASDA drops fuel to 99.9p a litre

Asda has dropped the price of both petrol and diesel to 99.9p per litre at all its 176 forecourts. The supermarket chain made the move today, with its commerical director David Miles saying there was "no justification" for fuel to be on sale at above the £1 a litre mark. In a statement the company said: "UK motorists have become

Retailers warned over shoplifting surge

Independent retailers have reported an increase in the level of shoplifting due to the recession. Many have also seen worrying rises in break-ins and credit-card fraud. According to online insurance comparator, almost half of retailers (47%) said they had experienced an increase in shoplifting

ACS urges caution over national ID card

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has urged the government to be cautious over claims that a national ID card would make a “significant difference” to preventing underage sales. ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Retailers face a tough job preventing underage sales; this is

Aldi launches first petrol stations

Aldi has launched its first petrol stations offering cut price fuel. IGD Retail Analysis reported that the three trial sites in Austria had initially been selling diesel at 52 cents a litre. The petrol stations, located in the store car parks of the discount supermarket in the Salzburg area, were said to me unmanned, self-service facilities.

Leading from the front – a great read

Well, it was certainly a day to remember when I met the great man Gerald Ronson - who is known as much for his hairdryer treatment (he doesn't suffer fools) as he is for his legendary entrepreneurial prowess. Luckily for me he was perfectly charming, and it was fascinating listening to him chat about his passion for petrol retailing, and his great early days in the business, when he stuck two fingers up at the major oil companies and transformed petrol stations forever.

M&S puts brake on indie franchise trial

Marks & Spencer has called a halt to its pilot of a Simply Food franchise at Jonathan James' site in Ely, Cambridgeshire. BP announced it had picked Witchford Road Service Station, of James Graven & Son, for the trial at its Dealer Convention in Oman in November.

Book your seats now

It's that time again - the Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards 2009 are well under way. This year's '70s-themed award ceremony takes place at the London Hilton on Park Lane Hotel on September 24. Tickets cost £210 each or £1,900 for a table of 10. Call 01293 846587 or email

Shaping up for business

While stylish branding and fascias can attract a customer to a store in the first place, it's actually what goes on behind the scenes that can dictate whether that customer comes back. Pricing, promotions, efficiency of supply and delivery are all key elements that will keep a store performing at its peak. Which is why Phil Smith has been heavily occupied since taking up his role as managing director of Musgrave Retail Partners GB 18 months ago.

Better safe than sorry

The credit crunch means everybody's cutting costs - poring over their accounts to see where savings can be made. Maintenance and service contracts could jump out as areas where money could be saved, however saving a few hundred pounds on a contract could cost you far more if something goes wrong.

Perfect partnership

A tailored package that's at the forefront of innovative solutions for the professional independent retailer, which offers superb value and service combined with the best retail support and knowledge available in the industry. That's how Palmer & Harvey (P&H) describes its Partnership Plus initiative.

Keep it sweet

Sugar confectionery is one category which is staying sweet despite the recession.

BEN bowled over by first oil industry cricket match

The first ever Motor Oil Industry Cricket Tournament was held at Lord's, the home of cricket on Monday, June 22. In perfect conditions, three teams from the oil, petrol and forecourt industry battled it out and competition was fierce. John Lewis, Forecourt Trader's executive director put on a star performance, but

Budgens boycott forces switch to Spar

Jonathan James has been forced to convert his two sites in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, to Spar following public outrage at the opening of a third Budgens store in the centre of the town.

Ronson - in his own words

Gerald Ronson, the man who revolutionised the petrol retailing business in the '60s, has launched an autobiography entitled 'Leading from the Front - My Story. The founder and chief executive of Heron International, which operates the Snax 24 chain of service stations, is described as one of Britain's most successful businessmen, and one

Move to lower carbon future is key challenge for refiners

Keeping the wheels of the UK economy turning while also meeting policies that aim to move the economy to a lower-carbon future remains a key challenge for the UK oil refining industry, said Janet Ashdown, president of the UK Petroleum Industry Association, as she launched the 2009

Brobot opts for Londis and targets £10m sales

Brobot Petroleum has confirmed Londis as its long-term retail partner. The northern-based family-owned business - which includes fuel distribution and 21 sites in the East Midlands and Yorkshire - is expecting to achieve in excess of £10 million sales a year as a result of the deal.

Shell launches UK's largest service station

Pictured below is the new Shell Beaconsfield site on the M40 - which the oil company claims is the UK's biggest service station. With 36 forecourt pumps and six dedicated high-speed HGV pumps totalling 152 nozzles, the site in Buckinghamshire can serve several hundred customers an hour. It also has

Major own-brand launch for Spar

Spar is relaunching its own-label brand as it steps up its focus on customers and growing store sales. Spar UK's marketing director Susan Darbyshire, told around 800 delegates at the recent Blakemore Spar Retail Conference at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole that the company would use its own brand to create a point of difference between

in brief

== AA signs to euroShell ==

Fuel prices - June 24, 2009

Results of this month's online poll:

Do you consider the arrival of two new fuel brands in the UK - FCL Petroleum and Solo - to be a positive development for the petrol retailing industry?

Differential derby

Soaring fuel prices kept forecourts in the headlines last month. The average price of petrol rose almost 4.98ppl between mid-May and mid-June, according to the latest AA Fuel Price Report, making it the second-highest monthly increase ever recorded - the rise was only two-thirds of a penny short of the 5.61ppl record at the same time last year.

In the surgery this month - Texaco, Hornsey Rd, Islington, London

GENERAL APPEARANCE: On the busy Hornsey Road, just a stone's throw away from Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, is my stealth check target - a Texaco filling station and shop. The Texaco-branded pole is fairly visible and boldly announces that the site offers a car wash, off licence and the National Lottery.

Does not compute

Help and advice from Jac Roper

== With the right location and enough drive ==

Leader of the pack

Most people remember 1966 as the year England last won the football World Cup. But those in the fuel industry (at least those with enough grey hair to have been around at the time) will associate it with another significant event.

The colour of money

When retailer Ron Perry realised his two petrol stations in Hartlepool were in urgent need of modernisation he had one small problem: how to pay for the work.

JTI going for gold with new premium tobacco

JTI introduces a new premium Benson & Hedges Rolling Tobacco to the market this month.

Lucozade backs BB

Lucozade is sponsoring the 10th season of Big Brother. The sponsorship, which covers the main show on Channel 4 as well as the E4 spin-off shows, is supported by a £12m marketing campaign. Brand owner GlaxoSmithKline expects the activity to drive "significant sales" for the drink over the key summer sales period.

FIFA tour kicks off

The Coca-Cola Company and FIFA have announced details of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour which takes place in anticipation of the 2010 World Cup.

Bikers hit Battersea

Battersea Power Station in London will play host to the Red Bull X-Fighters World Series Finale in August. According to Red Bull, the event will see 12 of the world's best Freecycle Motocross riders perform in front of a 17,000-strong crowd. Not only is it the first time the X-Fighers have performed in the UK, but it's also a first for Battersea Power Station because the inside and outside of the building will be used as part of the set.

Getting in a pickle

Premier Foods has launched a 'Summer of Branston' campaign to promote its range of relishes as well as a new addition - Branston Mayo with a Twist.

Britvic holiday offer

Britvic and PepsiCo are launching a summer holiday offer on 7Up where consumers get £10 off a holiday with Thomas Cook.

Will you love these?

Unilever is building on the success of its Marmite snacking range with the launch of Marmite crisps and oven-baked cashew nuts.

New look at Bendicks

The Bendicks brand is being relaunched with new flavours, formats and packaging. The company says the move will "extend the brand's relevance to a wider group of younger consumers and expand the number of usage occasions".

Getting a square meal

UBUK is launching its new Go Ahead! Oat Squares range. There are two variants: apple & blackberry and mixed berry; which include oats, sultanas and fruit-flavoured pieces.

WKD on the radio

WKD is currently backed by a nationwide radio and regional poster campaign. The posters say: 'WKD sponsors the BBQ season. 'Cos the football season's way too expensive'.

Say my name

Henri Wintermans Cigars has changed its name to that of its parent company, Scandinavian Tobacco Group United Kingdom Ltd. Contact details remain the same.

Getting the Balance right

Müller is relaunching its Corner Healthy Balance brand with new recipes and pack designs, all backed by TV, press and online advertising. The recipe has been adjusted to make it less sweet.

It has to be Heinz

Heinz Tomato Ketchup is backed by a £2m advertising campaign in a bid to remind consumers that when it comes to ketchup, 'It has to be Heinz'.

Organic oats in an instant

New Grasshopper Porridge is a delicious organic instant porridge in a one-portion pot.

Easy American donut solution

The Boston's Coffee and Donut concept is the latest addition to Country Choice's range of food-to-go solutions. To celebrate, the company is giving away one counter top Boston's donut unit and £203-worth of stock - which together are worth more than £500. The unit measures 540mm wide x 610mm deep x 485mm high, requires a standard 13 amp plug and should sit comfortably on any standard counter to encourage impulse sales.

There are no snags here

The Wales-based Retail and Commercial Supply Company has manufactured a product which it says protects vehicle wipers when they go through a car wash - and at an economic price.

Jam today for five retailers

Premier Foods is launching a new range of 250g Hartley's jam in its best-selling flavours: strawberry, seedless raspberry, apricot, and blackcurrant; each with a rrp of £1.09.


Write your name, address and phone number on a postcard or sealed envelope stating what you want – Grasshopper,  Boston's donuts, Anti  Snag Bags or Hartley's jam – and we'll do the rest, including delivery. Send it to us at Forecourt Trader, William Reed Business Media, Broadfield Park, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 9RT by July 31, 2009.

An irreverant view from the network

It's 1988 - Maggie Thatcher and Ronald Reagan rule the roost; the Russians decide to pull out of Afghanistan; the Iraq-Iran war is drawing to a close; house prices rocket by 28% in a year; Wimbledon win the FA Cup; and petrol is 34.9p a litre. And, oh yes, the first Mo'gas column appears in Forecourt Trader.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 10 June 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands134.59140.57129.69
North East133.19142.40129.15
North West134.1363.90139.73129.13
Northern Ireland131.34135.32128.05
South East135.2562.40141.74130.52
South West134.5167.90140.57129.57
West Midlands134.34140.64129.70
Yorkshire & Humber133.72140.40129.24

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As ESSO and BP join Shell and Gulf in launching new loyalty programmes this year, are such schemes a key tool for businesses today?