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

Applegreen teams with Subway

Applegreen, Ireland's leading independent forecourt retailer and Top 50 Indie, has announced a new partnership with Subway. The deal will see new Subway stores open next month in two of Applegreen's key service stations Uckfield in East Sussex, and Gorey in the Republic of Ireland, with more sites due to open later this year.

Money Talk: Don't automatically think you're ready for Real Time

This April will usher in a major change affecting all employers in respect of how they provide employee, pay and deductions information to HMRC. Forget 'once-a-year' payroll reconciliations: from April 6 onwards, employers will need to supply information to HMRC each time they pay their staff either before, or on, the day of payment.

Service Centre: Jac Roper looks at Hassle with fuel cards plus a staff problem of a more unusual nature

Allstars? Nul point more like

A number of Texaco retailers have given 'no stars' to Allstar fuel cards following its migration of all card and IT systems from its previous owner's platforms (Arval) to the new platform (Fleetcor) the weekend before the start of the New Year.

Printers inspire new way to deal with chemicals

Car wash equipment specialist WashTec is pledging to introduce a first to the UK market at the Forecourt Show, at the NEC in Birmingham, on April 14-16.

Fairbanks rolls out Shell's wet-stock management

Fairbanks has implemented a range of wet-stock solutions in more than 1,500 Shell forecourts across 14 countries. Services include statistical inventory reconciliation, intelligent web reporting and real-time data collection and analysis using the Fairbanks ibank device.

David Charman

The snow has gone and the sun is out at last. The car wash suddenly springs into action. I think 2012 was one of the toughest years the car wash industry has known; we had some good times, but my goodness we saw some tough weeks as well. Last year was officially the wettest year on record.

PSD Codax working with Shell on car wash sales

PSD Codax, the developer of token-free control systems for car care equipment, is helping Shell to strengthen control of car wash sales.

Upgrade adds to uses

Franklin Fueling Systems has enhanced the 662 Series Emergency Shut-off Valve to allow full compatibility with petrol, gas/alcohol blends, diesel and biodiesel.

New touchscreen offering is launched by J2

J2 Retail Systems, the manufacturer of PC-based touchscreens and point of sale (POS), has launched a new integrated touchscreen computer.

Washer reduces costs

Wilcomatic will be launching the latest addition to its range of automatic washing equipment at the Forecourt Show at the NEC, Birmingham, on April 14-16.

Future-proof service

Take two former oil company executives with time on their hands, add in a chance meeting, and the opportunities presented by a rapidly changing oil industry, and what do you get? A new management and consulting company called Fuel Supply Solutions Ltd. Patrick Hudson most recently retail marketing manager at ConocoPhillips; and Keith Guppy holder of many senior management positions at Elf and Amoco, and founder of Big Oil can muster a mighty 60-years industry experience between them.

Working at the margins

Fuel retailers, who were already operating in a very tough market, are facing increased downward pressure on the prices they can charge, according to the annual Global Pricing Study conducted by strategy and marketing consultants Simon-Kucher & Partners (SKP).

Best Hot Beverage outlet - Costa Express

Having a member of staff dedicated to the hot beverages category is the key to a successful coffee offer, says Lauramay Castle, who manages Moto's Leigh Delamere east-bound forecourt on the M4 in Chippenham, Wiltshire.

Best site Manager - torex

There are lots of things that make a successful forecourt manager but attention to detail is one of the main ones, says Jason Tamplin, who manages Symonds Forecourts' Budgens of Wells in Somerset, the overall winning site in the 2012 awards.

Tasty new campaign for Red Bull Editions range

The introduction of Red Bull Editions to the UK is supported by a £3.5m campaign. Its aim is to raise awareness among the 4.5 million people in the UK who reject energy drinks because of their taste, as well as broadening consumption with current drinkers.

More fruity flavours

Heineken is strengthening its range of Bulmers ciders with the launch of two fruit flavours: bold black cherry and pressed red grape.

New generation baccy

Imperial Tobacco is relaunching Golden Virginia Smooth as GV Smooth "a new generation brand for a new generation of adult smokers".

Anchor's home run

New advertising for Anchor showcases the entire brand portfolio for the first time butter, spreadable and squirty cream.

Oreo now in freezers

Fredericks Dairies has partnered with the number one biscuit brand in the world, Oreo, to manufacture the brand's first UK ice cream.

Vanilla is back

Vanilla Coke is returning to soft drinks fixtures nationwide this spring for the first time since 2003. The brand is available in 330ml cans and 500ml bottles as well as 1.5ltr bottles and 330ml can multipacks. Price-marked packs specifically for the convenience channel are on offer too: 330ml cans at 59p and '2 for £2' 500ml bottles. When vanilla Coke first arrived in the UK in 2003, it generated sales of £54m and delivered penetration of 3.2 million households in its first year. The flavour has also delivered the highest volume of any flavoured cola launch.

Turbulent times

Wrigley 5's 12-stick envelope pack has been replaced by a smaller seven-stick format with a "more appealing" recommended retail price of 59p. In addition, a new turbulence (watermelon) flavour joins electro (spearmint) and flood (berry).

This slice is right

Premier Foods is hoping to deliver growth in the sweet treats segment of the £943m cake category with the introduction of two limited editions: treacle & custard slices and jam & custard slices, both in packets of six.

Fuelling brekkie sales

Liquid Fuel is a new ambient milk-based breakfast drink, designed to be merchandised in the cereal aisle. Primarily targeted at 'breakfast skippers' and described as a 'boosted breakfast', the drinks offer 10% more fibre than a 30g serving of All Bran and twice the protein of two Weetabix. There are three flavours: strawberry, chocolate and caramel latte.

Chewits gets into gum

The Chewits chewy sweets brand is expanding into gum territory with the launch of Chewie gum. Aimed at eight to 11-year-olds, recommended retail price is 39p.

Lightly does it

Dairy Crest has introduced Utterly Butterly Lightly, which has 80% less saturated fat than butter. It is aimed at consumers looking for a healthier, value-for-money offering.

Cool as a cucumber

The Gordon's gin range has three new lines: Gordon's crisp cucumber, designed to go with tonic, and pre-mixed Gordon's & Tonic with a hint of cucumber, and with a dash of elderflower.

Silk appeal

Iconic screen and style icon Audrey Hepburn is the face of the new advertising campaign for Galaxy, which is reviving its signature strapline 'Why have cotton when you can have silk?'.

Day in the Life: David Chittenden

My day generally starts around 6am with a stroll with the dog in Warley Woods; or Royal Warley Woods as I like to call it! It is a good way of starting the day, getting your head clear for the challenges ahead. You also meet some interesting characters and it's amazing how often the owners resemble their pets ours is a black Cockapoo (pictured below) so I will leave you to make your own judgement!

The age of the indie is upon us, Owens tells Top 50 retailers

The fuel supply chain is going through incredible change, but change drives opportunity and creates a level playing field for everyone, Greenergy chief executive Andrew Owens told an audience of the UK’s biggest independent fuel retailers this week.

ACS calls for rates change

The Association of Convenience Stores has called for an overhaul of business rates increases after the results of its latest survey revealed the destructive impact that unpredictable rate hikes are having on local shops.

Bentley driver steals fuel

Police in Lancashire are hunting for a Bentley driver who filled his tank at two petrol stations and failed to pay up.

Hounslow heads fuel thefts in capital

Hounslow has more thefts of fuel from vehicles than any other London borough, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Partnership deal benefits Murco members

Murco Petroleum has found a way to cut through much of the red tape involved in dealing with numerous local authorities over petroleum licence and other regulatory compliance matters involving its service stations.

New car sales up

New car sales have risen every month for the last year, according to figures released today by the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

RMI in card protection deal

The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) and Phoenix Managed Networks have signed a deal to provide the RMI’s 7,000-plus membership with protection for their card payment systems.

Merril Boulton: Plug for Best Forecourt Loo 2013

As usual there are many things to talk about in this dynamic industry of ours, but first let me unabashedly plug our Best Forecourt Loo 2013 competition, which is running for the next few weeks.

Freedom and flexibility

Last month, leading fuel supplier Greenergy came good on its promise of a multi-format offer for independent dealers, with the announcement that it has added the Esso and Nisa brands to its portfolio. The Greenergy offer now combines fuel supply with a choice of oil major, convenience, independent and dealer own-brands, as well as a range of support services.

Morrisons Petrol Station Feb 2013GENERAL APPEARANCE: Just south of Bridport, on the B3157, is a Morrisons. But my stealth check target was the supermarket's petrol station and shop.

Servicing the sector

Oil Company initiative Shell

Shell's desire to improve customer experience sparked the re-introduction of forecourt attendants on nearly 300 company-owned sites last summer, a move that has hugely impressed motorists.

best soft drinks outlet - coca cola Enterprises Ltd

Strong winter promotions keep soft drinks selling all year round at Top 50 Indie The Brookfield Group's site in Morley, West Yorkshire, which won the award for Best Soft Drinks Outlet.

Energise sales

The UK's thirst for sports and energy drinks is seemingly unquenchable. According to Mintel, the market saw a rise in volume sales of more than 60% between 2007-12, reaching 578 million litres. And value wise, it was estimated at £1.2bn in 2012, which equates to a 64% increase between 2007-12. This is around 8% year-on-year, which Mintel puts down to consumers switching away from the more expensive on-trade channel to the less expensive at-home environment.

Cocoa nuts

The UK's love of chocolate means that sales have been largely unaffected by the country's economic situation. It seems cash-strapped consumers can always find money for their favourite choccy bar.

Driving sales

The severe weather this winter has been a boon for the car care industry. The Highways Agency, with its Make Time for Winter campaign, gave drivers a checklist of items they should have in their cars before making any journeys. The list comprised: ice scraper and de-icer; warm clothes and blan­kets; torch and spare bat­ter­ies  or a wind-up torch; boots; First Aid kit; jump leads; shovel; road atlas; and sun­glasses (because the glare off snow can be dazzling). Most of these items, barring the boots, warm clothes/blankets and sunglasses, could probably be found in most forecourt stores.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 20 November 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East123.5862.15130.21121.10
East Midlands123.21131.97120.77
London123.5556.90131.47121.21
North East122.7764.90132.16120.46
North West123.1057.80131.29120.64
Northern Ireland121.8564.20125.57120.27
Scotland123.3352.20129.79120.83
South East123.79131.06121.50
South West123.42130.49121.01
Wales123.15129.94120.50
West Midlands122.8761.90132.62120.73
Yorkshire & Humber122.9956.90131.53120.82

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As many forecourt operators continue their quest for expansion - driving up forecourt prices - could you be tempted to sell your business?