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

NFRN and Guardian to meet

The NFRN is to meet with senior executives from the Guardian to discuss face to face the newspaper publisher’s recent decision to cut retailer percentage terms.

DCC buys Total distribution assets from Rontec

DCC plc, the sales, marketing, distribution and business support services group, which owns Gulf Retail in the UK, has reached conditional agreement with Rontec Investments – Gerald Ronson’s Snax 24-led consortium – to acquire certain oil distribution assets currently owned by Total in Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Operators become indies with acquisition of East Sussex forecourt

A service station in East Sussex has welcomed new owners following the freehold sale by retail business advisors Christie & Co.

Euro Garages became the latest winner of the Forecourt Trader of the Year awards when its Beehive Service Station site in Blackburn, Lancashire, emerged as the best forecourt in the UK, following a tough judging process.   >>See the Video Interview

Texaco brand scoops Co-op supplier award

The Texaco brand has beaten nine other suppliers to scoop the Best Branded Supplier in the Non-foods, Fuel and Drinks category of the recent Co-operative Retail Trading Group (CRTG) Charity Supplier Awards Dinner. It came in at the top of the field ahead of industry leaders that included Diageo, Imperial Tobacco, Hallmark and Coca-Cola.

Health Lottery set to boost lottery category

A new draw-based lottery game with a top prize of up to £100,000 is now rolling out into thousands of retail outlets across the UK.

New Spar forecourt combines state-of-the-art services with family tradition

A Lincolnshire Spar retailer is already seeing sales at his new forecourt store rocket, thanks to its combination of cutting-edge services and a focus on family history and the local community.

October date for Cardiff RMIP meeting

RMI Petrol has named the date for its Cardiff retailer meeting. It will take place on Tuesday, October 11 at the Legacy Hotel, Merthyr Road, Tongwynlais, Cardiff CF15 7LD.

Welcome Break opens two more EV chargepoints

Two more electric vehicle charging points have been opened on Welcome Break’s motorway services network this week.

Former Forecourt Trader of the Year Jonathan James has been appointed chairman of the Association of Convenience Stores. He will chair the organisation from November 2011 to November 2013. ***See the Video Interview

Costcutter unveils new look for stores

To celebrate its 25th anniversary Costcutter has launched two new store fascias that will be rolled out across the group early next year.

Calling all Scottish and Northern Irish retailers

Independent retailers are invited to attend RMI Petrol’s upcoming regional forums in Inverness and Belfast this month.

Spar appoints Henderson MD as chairman of SFD

Spar UK has announced that Martin Agnew, joint managing director of the Henderson Group, will take over as chairman of the Spar Food Distributors (SFD) Board this month.

Palmer & Harvey announces fundraising evening to help shops affected by riots

Palmer and Harvey is calling on the retail industry to join them in raising money for retailers devastated by the recent riots.

Topaz agrees exclusive supply deal with Card Connection

Major Irish fuel and convenience brand, Topaz has agreed an exclusive supply deal with greeting card publisher and franchisor, Card Connection. Card Connection’s four franchisees based within the region will now deliver and merchandise the company’s range of greeting cards to 120 Topaz forecourts throughout the Republic of Ireland.

BP launches digital marketing platform for UK stores

BP is claiming a 'first' with its newly launched digital marketing platform for its forecourt stores.

Town centre policy is crucial to success of new planning framework, ACS tells MPs

The Association of Convenience Stores has called for the support of the influential Communities and Local Government Select Committee as it calls for Ministers to make crucial improvements to the new National Planning Policy Framework.

Name and shame scheme puts brakes on drive-offs

A West Yorkshire independent retailer has almost eliminated drive offs by naming and shaming suspects on posters outside his forecourt.

Service stations see footfall boost over bank holiday

Footfall at motorway service areas increased by more than 12% over the August bank holiday weekend, according to new research from car insurance expert and MSA Extra Service Stations.

Shoppers expect higher food prices, claims IGD

Nine out of 10 shoppers expect food prices to be more expensive in the year ahead, according to the latest research from IGD ShopperTrack. And they are planning to use several strategies to help them manage their budgets.

Topaz signs distribution deal with Q8Oils

Ireland’s largest fuel supplier, Topaz, has announced a new distribution deal with Q8Oils worth almost €12.8m.

Spar and Red Bull take over streets and skies of Cardiff

Spar is gearing up to support world-reigning motorsport champions and their vehicles as they take over Cardiff for Red Bull’s Speed Jam event.

Simon Smith wins planning permission for next redevelopment

Top 50 Indie Simon Smith Group has set a date for the start of its next knockdown rebuild forecourt development.

Truckers resent lack of access to hypers

As Sainsbury's announced another 15ppl fuel promotion campaign over last month's Bank Holiday weekend, RMI Petrol chairman Brian Madderson continued to speak out on behalf of fuel retailers.

Chevron sale to Valero completed

Valero Energy Corporation last month completed the purchase of Chevron's Pembroke refinery in Wales, as well as extensive marketing and logistics assets throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. The purchase price was $730m, excluding working capital, and was funded from available cash.

Peace jump

Staff from Top 50 Indie Sewell Retail recently took part in a skydive to raise money for the charity Peace One Day adopted in 2001 by UN states as an annual day of ceasefire and non-violence. It is currently working towards a global truce on Peace Day 2012. Sewell Retail's operations manager David Craven-Jones (pictured right in blue strapped to the instructor, jumping from 14,000ft) said the team was delighted to have raised £500. "Would I do it again? NO," he said.

Peregrine opens new site

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. The former greenfield site on the A38 Bristol Road in Bridgwater, Somerset has a 2,300sq ft Budgens store and 400sq ft adjoining Subway.

MRH site relocates

Top 50 Indie, MRH, is having to relocate one of its forecourts in the West Midlands because Sainsbury is extending one of its stores.

Fuel-stop development

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.

in brief

Indie group up for sale

Brian Madderson

The last quarter has seen yet more turbulence in the retail fuels market with Brent crude prices behaving like equities and quickly falling from $117 to $97 during August.

Payment Watch aims to recover losses from sites

BOSS has introduced Payment Watch to help UK fuel retailers recover losses incurred by 'no means of payment' incidents.

Three jailed for fuel theft

Three men have been jailed for a total of eight years and 11 months after admitting conspiracy to steal tens of thousands of pounds worth of fuel from garage forecourts across the Midlands.

Plates scheme

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

Yorkshire indie expands in Escrick

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

Shop Doctor: The Co-operative Service Station, Ingleton, Yorkshire

GENERAL APPEARANCE: The A65 Leeds to Kendal road is a busy main route, particularly during holiday periods. From the north west, The Co-operative Food Service Station is clearly visible but access is from the south east. From there, the pole is the first sign.

The relevance (or not) of those crude oil prices

Look at any discussion about fuel prices or dealer margins and you'll find an immediate reference to crude oil prices and then, in slightly more specialist articles, a reference to Platts prices. There's a general assumption that both are so obvious and/or well understood that no further explanation is necessary. But when a commission retailer who was about to join the ranks of dealers quietly asked for an explanation of Platts pricing from an oil company representative, there was a lot of awkward fumbling for answers in plain English.

Jac Roper offers advice on a major employee sickness headache and cracking the egg code

The art of letter writing

Reaping the harvest

From slow beginnings, the Harvest Energy brand is now the fastest-growing fuel brand in the UK, according to Simon Davis, the company's head of sales and logistics.

Future proof

Putting the first spade in the ground for a knockdown rebuild just days before the birth of a first child wasn't the best of timing, but after four years in the planning, John Stevenson, owner of Total-branded Stevenson of Oxbridge in Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, was relieved his long-awaited redevelopment was under way. The site opened last November, just in time to become the location for Nisa's first-ever TV ad, which is due for a second burst this month.

The road ahead

Novelty value

The days when the confectionery companies each launched dozens of new lines for Christmas are long gone but there are still some new product extensions to look out for.

Daily grind

A headline in the national press last month announced that us Brits spend more on coffee each year than on our annual electricity bill. According to a study by espresso makers VillaWare, a heavy coffee drinker consumes more than 21 cups each working week, which means they spend as much as £2,000 a year on cappuccinos, lattes and espressos. But even the average consumer spends £452.28 a year on drinks bought from coffee shops, compared with a typical £424 household electricity bill.

PSD Codax helps MRH control car wash 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 car wash sales.

Value epos solution

EPoS Distributor has launched Posiflex's new XP Series which includes the XP-2312H and XP 3315H-E (pictured below). Both are integrated point-of-sale systems featuring built-in touch screens and thermal printers as well as optional integrated magnetic stripe readers.

Shelving on the web

European storage equipment manufacturer Constructor Group has launched, an online source for products, services and printing. The company says it has removed the confusion associated with loads of choice by simply selecting only the best quality and value shelving products in each range. Items include retail shelving for in-store display as well as solutions for bulk storage in storerooms. Also on offer is office shelving for books and files.

Clips make a packet

PepsiCo has invested in pre-filled 'ready to sell' clip strips to help impulse retailers grow their Walkers crisp sales.

Shoppers are once again seeking cheaper brands

Cash-strapped shoppers are "re-adopting a strategy of switching to cheaper grocery brands to help stay within their budgets", according to Chris Morley, managing director at Nielsen for the UK and Ireland. His comment came after the latest Consumer Confidence Survey (CCS) revealed that the proportion of British shoppers who feel they have no spare cash has reached a new all-time high of 32%. According to the survey, which is a joint study from Nielsen and the British Retail Consortium, 71% of people say they have changed their shopping habits to try to cut down household expenses, with 65% of them switching to cheaper grocery brands.

More stars from Galaxy

The Galaxy range is being extended with five new lines. Following the successful addition of Galaxy orange & shortcake to the More To Share range earlier in the year, the variant is now available in 45g bar and 120g large block formats.

Energizer helps Heroes

Energizer is running a 'Be A Hero' on-pack promotion to help raise £100,000 for the Help for Heroes charity. In research, the company found that shoppers were particularly attracted to brands that deliver both performance and a "responsible contribution to society".

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 17 June 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands132.8782.90140.07128.54
North East130.88139.09127.62
North West132.1562.90139.28127.89
Northern Ireland129.57133.57126.60
South East133.4265.90141.12129.16
South West132.7160.90139.02128.34
West Midlands132.55141.25128.31
Yorkshire & Humber131.61140.87127.82

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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?