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

Opportunity in a grim market

Our latest database figures simply highlight the depressing reality that Ray Holloway mentioned in his column in last month’s issue – that retail is in a bit of a mess right now unless you happen to be Tesco. For the first time since 2001, February’s fuel volume was below that of the equivalent month a year earlier, and by quite a large amount (6.8%), while shop sales did little better – down by 1.2% in cash terms, which is really a drop of over 4% in volume terms if we adjust that figure for price rises. Continuing high pump prices are not helping make forecourts attractive places for consumers; and as has been mentioned before, the state of many forecourt shops these days is quite pitiful – many fuel vendors seem to have completely given up trying to be retailers.

A hot topic

I think we would all agree that Pot Noodle would taste terrible without the addition of hot water (and I’m not going to make any cheap jibes here even though their press office didn’t ever get back to me despite their voicemail promises and me leaving three messages).

Hello! I'm at the petrol station!

A new study by Dr Adam Burgess entitled ‘Cellular Phones, Public Fears and a Culture of Precaution’ says claims about risks of using mobile phones on forecourts have crossed into ‘the realm of urban legend’. There is no risk. According to The Observer, BP fire safety officer Richard Coates agrees: “Mobile phones pose no petrol station hazard.”

How to be a winner

Do you think your site has got what it takes to win a prize at this year’s Forecourt Trader of the Year awards? If the answer is yes, we want to hear from you.
Management team of the Sewell Group's retail division: (l-r) managing director Patrick Sewell; operations director David Craven-Jones; and chairman Bob Craven-Jones
  (Photo:  )

Northern charm

Whether or not you’ve heard of the Sewell Group before, a few hours spent travelling around the city of Hull in a Porsche will ensure that you never forget it. The name is everywhere – on schools, buildings, promotional panels, and, more importantly, on some extremely smart forecourts.

Fuelling in the future

Pumps are at the heart of the forecourt business and the choice of pump is crucial if business is to prosper. Inevitably, as technology improves, pumps become ever-more sophisticated – consumers are already getting used to seeing screens and hearing audio instructions as they fill up as well as using pay-at-pump facilities.

Lets get fizzical

Mother Nature had a lot to answer for last year. Dismal weather for most of the summer months didn’t just make for a rather dull season, it also led to a disappointing soft drinks performance.

Sunshine days

Think summer and you think sunshine, short sleeves, cool drinks, ice creams and holidays. Plus there are all those outdoor eating opportunities for picnics and barbecues.

Live film drives sales

Stella Artois is driving summer beer sales on forecourts with its biggest-ever consumer promotion – Live Film – giving consumers a unique chance to act out their movie fantasies.

A choice move

BAKE & BITE HITS THE SPOT

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 18 November 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East131.0157.70138.30126.81
East Midlands130.59139.47126.61
London131.00140.06127.56
North East129.23139.06125.25
North West129.8364.92138.07126.36
Northern Ireland127.82133.40124.44
Scotland130.4852.70137.39126.25
South East131.4769.90139.42127.48
South West130.5064.90136.17126.41
Wales129.68135.94125.44
West Midlands130.33140.40126.46
Yorkshire & Humber129.8099.90138.58126.25

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Following a deal agreed with Harvest Energy, do you think it will be good to see the Total brand returning to UK forecourts?

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