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

Peregrine Retail opens striking new forecourt

Dorset-based Peregrine Retail has opened its second forecourt – a main road with an innovative canopy designed to look like the wing of an airplane.

Yorkshire retailer Jos Richardson & Son acquires site from Escrick Ltd

Goole-based family business Jos Richardson & Son has purchased BP-branded York Road Garages with Costcutter shop on the A19 at Escrick, near York from Escrick Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

BOSS launches ‘no means of payment’ scheme

BOSS has introduced Payment Watch, a scheme to help UK fuel retailers recover losses incurred by ‘no means of payment’ incidents.

Slough police tackle drive-offs linked to number plate thefts

Thieves who fill up and drive off from service stations using stolen number plates are the target of a new scheme launched by police and partners in Slough, Berkshire.

RMI Petrol rejects RHA’s call for 5ppl price cut

The Road Haulage Association’s (RHA’s) demand for an immediate 5ppl cut in fuel prices has been dismissed by RMI Petrol.

Oil 4 Wales joins forces with Dragon Rescue

Independent oil distribution company Oil 4 Wales and breakdown rescue company Dragon Rescue have joined forces to develop a 24-hour fuel stop at Cardiff Docks.

PSD Codax helps MRH improve security of car sales

Top 50 Indie MRH Retail has called on PSD Codax, the developer of token-free control systems for car care equipment, to help tighten its control of carwash sales.

Madderson calls for more evidence of ‘unfair pricing’

RMI Petrol is calling for more evidence of ‘unfair pricing’ by oil companies and supermarkets following an invitation from the Office of Fair Trading to make an ‘informal presentation’ of its claims.

ACS welcomes riot relief package

The Association of Convenience Stores has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement of a package of measures to help communities and businesses affected by the recent riots in England.

ACS meets with Home Secretary to discuss response to disorder

ACS has called for government to promote the message that ‘people are more important than property’ in a meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday afternoon.

Three jailed for bulk fuel theft

Three men have been jailed for a total of eight years and eleven months after admitting conspiracy to steal tens of thousands of pounds worth of fuel from petrol forecourts across the Midlands.

Tax and red tape seen as barriers to environmentalism

Small businesses believe going green can boost their bottom line – but see tax and red tape as major barriers to becoming more environmentally friendly, according to Forum of Private Business research.

Hit-and-run driver kills three at Jet site in Birmingham

A Jet petrol station on Dudley Road in Winston Green, Birmingham has become a crime scene following the death of three men after they were hit by a car in the early hours of this morning.

Forecourts caught up in London riots

Riot police broke up an attack on a Texaco-branded site on Mare Street in Hackney last night and other petrol stations around London were forced to close as rioting intensified.

AA poll shows cost more important than speed

Speed is not an important factor for 97% of motorists in considering whether they would use High Speed Rail, according to an AA/Populus poll of 16,850 Automobile Association members.

AA poll shows cost more important than speed

Speed is not an important factor for 97% of motorists in considering whether they would use High Speed Rail, according to an AA/Populus poll of 16,850 Automobile Association members.

ACS urges retailers to stay away from counterfeit alcohol

HM Revenue and Customs are to clamp down on stores suspected of selling counterfeit alcohol with a series of raids across the UK.

Amscreen Group acquires Digicom sales operation

Lord Sugar’s Amscreen, the UK’s largest nationwide digital out-of-home network owner, has announced that it has acquired the entire sales and marketing operation of Digicom.

Online shoppers embrace flexible parcel service

Customer data from Collect+ reveals that people are increasingly using the service to send and receive parcels outside working hours.

Subway set to treble its non-traditional network

The Subway chain has announced that 3,000 jobs will be created in the next five years as part of its plans to treble the number of non-traditional outlets across the UK and Ireland.

Euro Garages opens £12.3m M61 site

Top 50 Indie Euro Garages has completed the redevelopment of Rivington Services on the M61. Previously called Bolton West Services. the £12.3m project represents the group's biggest investment to date.

Car usage falls 4.3% in two years

Households with one car are getting behind the wheel 4.3% times less often but cutting mileage by 1.8% compared to two years ago, according to the AA's analysis of new figures from the Department of Transport. The National Travel Survey reveals that households with one car made 43 fewer trips and drove 119 fewer miles in 2010 than in 2008. Those with two or more cars made 26 fewer trips (down 2.4%) and drove 380 fewer miles (down 4.2%) compared to 2008. Edmund King, president of the AA, said: "After the Department for Energy and Climate Change figures revealed that one billion fewer litres of petrol were bought in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2008, yet more figures show how badly record fuel prices and recession are taking away people's mobility."

Welcome Break launches first 'electric highway'

Welcome Break's South Mimms services on the Junction of the M1 and M25 has become the first site on the motorway to offer an electric car-charging point for electric vehicles.

Funding fails to ignite electric sales

Just 215 electric cars were bought under a government scheme to encourage the take-up of green vehicles in its second three months of operation, according to a new report by the RAC Foundation. The figure compares to 465 in the first three months. Under the Plug-In Car Grant scheme, which began on January 1, motorists can apply for discounts of up to £5,000.

Harvest signs 16-site group

Harvest Energy has announced a five-year motor fuel supply and branding agreement with the 16-forecourt Cornwall Garage Group.

Awards voting starts now

Voting is underway for the Forecourt Trader and Mace Retailer Champion award.

Results of this month's online poll:

Does it concern you that Shell will own more sites considering its aggressive fuel pricing strategy?

in brief

FT awards finalists

Perils of allowing hand car washing on-site

Forecourt owners should be wary of installing hand car wash operators on their forecourts, Dave Lindon, business development director at Istobal, has warned.

Gold goes to Ashdene for local retailing

Ashdene Service Station in East Sussex has become the first forecourt in the UK to win the My Shop is Your Shop Gold Award for Community Retailing.

August column

In an industry so environmentally sensitive, the car wash sector must prove that it is leading the way in the drive to regulate itself. To this end, the Car Wash Association (CWA) launched the 'WashMark' accreditation scheme at IFFE, to reassure motorists that every car wash whether automatic or hand is fully insured, registered with the authorities, uses safe methods and chemicals, has correct drainage in place with fully trained staff and is safe for both the car and the environment. A number of major petrol retailers as well as most of the leading manufacturers and operators of car washes in this country are now members of the CWA.

Londis invests £4m in fresh food business

Londis is investing £4m to expand its fresh food business, including giving its entire fleet full chilled capacity for the first time. The symbol group said the new fleet will speed up the journey from manufacturer to depot, to shop, and ensure that retailers manage their fresh offering more effectively.

Gohils help local schools with new voucher scheme

Forecourt Trader of the Year winners Bhupa and Lata Gohil are supporting two of their local schools with a loyalty voucher scheme similar to the ones run by Tesco and Sainsbury.

Onwards and upwards

By all accounts Jet retailers in the south west have had nothing but praise for the service they have received from ConocoPhillips.

Snax 24, Reading, Berkshire

GENERAL APPEARANCE: My chosen target was the Snax 24 site at Richfield Avenue, Reading. Just out from the city centre, the Snax 24/BP forecourt on the A4155 is close to the busy Caversham Bridge across the Thames. The pole, BP corporate canopy and Snax 24 fascia clearly identify the enterprise.

Why expansion plans need not be a headache

It's always a pleasant surprise when clients tell you that they need a bit of help because their business is expanding rather than contracting. That's because one of the trends in this industry over recent years has been consolidation, not just at the level of the (ever-fewer) major oil companies, but also at group operation level of individual petrol forecourts. There are still successful forecourt retailers out there who are increasing the size of their networks, but sometimes they start to wonder just what they've let themselves in for. The following are just a few of the questions that we're asked when clients see expansion opportunities:

This month Jac Roper looks at staff theft, 'seepage' insurance and a call to arms!

Staff putting their fingers in your till

Time for indie pennants

Top 50 indie Peter Brough has called for independent retailers to join together to form their own fuel brand and cut out the expensive middleman the oil companies. In a presentation to a packed audience at the ACS Forecourt Seminar run in association with RMI Petrol at Leicester City Football stadium last month Peter, managing director of Cheshire-based Manor Service Stations, which runs 12 sites, said he believed the industry was going through its biggest fundamental change since the 1960s.

Heart of the community

Queues of local residents were snaked along Bath Road as BP-branded Symonds' Budgens of Wells in Somerset poised to open its doors to the public for the first time last month, leaving Top 50 Indie retailer Symonds Forecourts thrilled at its most successful launch to date.

Drop goal

Record fuel prices and the economic downturn mean the temptation for motorists to drive-off without paying for fuel taken from your forecourt has never been greater. And with confirmation from the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS) that cash losses from drive-offs rose 19% last year, keeping careful track of the fuel in your tanks has never been more critical. Which is why the role of a comprehensive wet-stock management system on a busy forecourt has become even more essential, because among its many benefits is its role in detecting and minimising fuel theft.

Easy pickings

The forecourt channel is a very important one for Ginsters and this is illustrated by the brand's prominence in forecourt stores.

Gain from pain

It's a painful time for the over-the-counter (OTC) remedies market. According to Mintel, the OTC pain remedies market was worth £617m last year, which is down 4% in real terms since 2008. And the OTC cold/flu remedies market, which was worth £505m in 2010, has also declined in real terms since 2008, by 7%. The research company says the main reason for this is aggressive discounting and multibuy offers that have helped grow volume at the expense of value sales. In addition, the recession has resulted in consumers looking to cut costs, with over half of them happy to purchase cheaper own-label OTC medication over branded products.

Movie promo

Mars Chocolate is running a Bag A Million Movies promotion across its bitesize range. The activity is backed by a £1m spend including TV ads fronted by the M&M's characters.

Premier boosts cake range

Premier Foods is launching new cakes including Double Choc Mini Mini Rolls, Cadbury Boost and Cadbury Turkish cake bars. The entire Cadbury cake bar range has new-look packaging.

Fresh new name

Magic Tree air freshener is changing its name to Little Trees this month to bring it in line with the US. The Little Trees brand offers over 60 fragrances and a variety of designs.

Oreos with attitude

Kraft Foods is bringing out its first-ever Halloween limited-edition of Mini Oreos. Packs feature creepy designs while the vanilla flavour cream has been coloured orange.

shop talk

I've been looking out for new products and, lo and behold, several dropped right in my lap.

Cadbury set to make more Wishes come true

Following the successful launch of Cadbury Wishes in time for last Christmas, the confectionery company is introducing a gift pack containing 14 mini Wishes.

From Creme to Screme

The Cadbury Creme Egg will turn into the Cadbury Screme Egg for Halloween. The product sold so successfully through one of the grocery multiples last year that it is now being made available to all grocery and independent outlets. It has "the same great taste" as Creme Egg but green goo and packaging. Another Cadbury Halloween line Dead Heads was the highest-value novelty line last year, according to AC Nielsen data. For 2011 the mini milk chocolate heads filled with blood red caramel get a new pack design.

New Sensations

Mexican fiery sweet chipotle is the latest flavour to join Walkers' Sensations range. Brand owner PepsiCo reckons the flavour will be popular at 'summer sharing occasions' such as barbecues and picnics. It is available in a 40g impulse bag, rrp 67p, and a 150g sharing bag, rrp £1.92.

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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?