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

Massive new player to enter UK market

A massive new competitor, which is a major player in North America, is set to enter the UK with a discount fuel offer.

PRA warns about surge in prices

Prices for petrol could surge up to 140 pence per litre (ppl), with diesel rising to 144ppl, due to currency fluctuations pushing up wholesale fuel prices, the PRA has warned.

MPs call for action over refining cost

MPs have urged the Government to take action to maintain the health of the UK oil refining industry. The House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee's report on UK Oil Refining, called for government action to address the burden of UK and EU legislative requirements that affect the competitiveness of UK refineries.

Petition handed in to OFT

A petition calling for a full and transparent inquiry into the oil pricing process was handed in at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) by Quentin Willson of FairFuelUK, Robert Halfon and other MPs from all parties last month.

Welcome for cap on card charges

The PRA has welcomed the European Commission's intention to cap 'interchange' fees for credit and debit card transactions.

Results of this month's online poll:

Do you agree with the PRA's assessment that rising charges for processing card payments are a serious threat to your business?

in brief

Alfred Jones sells stores

Top indies share best practice at ACS seminar

Top 50 indies Patrick Sewell of Sewell Retail and Jeremy Clarke of Motor Fuel Group shared their philosophies on running a petrol retail business at the annual Forecourt Seminar organised by the Association of Convenience Stores and Petrol Retailers Association.

Shelving of plain packaging welcomed

The PRA has welcomed the Government's decision to shelve proposals for standardised (plain) packaging for tobacco products.

chris Hunt

The House of Commons Energy Select Committee published its findings from its short inquiry on UK Oil Refining on July 26. UKPIA, along with some other downstream organisations and companies, submitted written evidence and gave oral evidence back in June. The key conclusions of the ECC are reported in the news story on page four. My response is progress indeed, but what we need is action, as time is not on our side.

Susie sells award-winning site

Top 50 Indie, Simon Smith Retail, has sold its award-winning Barnwood Budgens site in Gloucester.

£1.5m boost to security

Brian Donaldson, chief operating officer of The Maxol Group, has welcomed the announcement that an additional £1.5m will be spent on new surveillance equipment and additional staff as part of a heightened offensive against criminals involved in fuel laundering in Northern Ireland.

Rontec opts for Tokheim IT to help with growth

Rontec, the secondplaced operator in Forecourt Trader's Top 50 Indies, has decided to install Tokheim's Fuel POS solution at 125 sites to support the strategic growth of its business in England and Wales.

New website with extra features for Fairbanks

Wet-stock management specialist Fairbanks has launched a new website,

Static electricity help

The Energy Institute (EI) has updated its guidance for the petroleum industry on dealing with the hazard of static electricity.

Istobal grabs opportunity to fill a gap in the car wash market

Car wash chemicals company Istobal is stepping up its efforts in the UK market to fill a vacuum left by some of its competitors, according to sales director Dave Lindon.

Honesty and transparency pays off for Xmo

Sign installer Xmo Strata is celebrating a landmark in the publication of its weekly Health, Safety and Environmental Bulletins on its website, having reached its 360th issue.


In my last column, I spoke of an exciting new technology 3D printing. Well, not 10 days after the item, plans for a gun were published on the web and a model made and fired with live ammunition.

Drop by drop

With fuel margins so low, it's easy to understand why many retailers would want to keep investment in the forecourt side of their business low as well. But failing to properly monitor fuel stocks and ensure pumps are dispensing accurately could be nothing short of a false economy.

Filling stations

You have to be careful when you're selling sandwiches. The reason? Everyone can make a sandwich so we all know what's good and what's not. Quality, freshness, choice and availability are the watchwords according to Andy Valentine, head of brand marketing for Ginsters. And he should know, as Ginsters remains the number one branded sandwich supplier in the UK.

Stock up early to make Christmas a sales winner

Stick to the big brands and ensure you stock the right range throughout the entire season. That's the message from Nestlé for this Christmas.

Storming the market

No Fear's new tropical storm and blue storm varieties tap into the fast-growing 'flavours' sector of the energy drink market.

New faces on shelf

Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo is bringing new faces to the confectionery fixture with the launch of Freddo Faces. The new fun product features 10 individual faces made from Cadbury Dairy Milk, with five different expressions happy, in love, grumpy, confused and cheeky to ensure there's a Freddo Face for every occasion.

Fragrant freshener

P&G is refreshing its Febreze in-car range to offer consumers a more compact product and a greater range of scents. Using the car's air flow, the new format gradually releases fragrance as air passes through the device and into the vehicle itself. Advanced technology incorporating an intensity control ensures that the scent is not overpowering by delivering consistent fragrance release.

Bags more lines

New Cadbury Dairy Milk Pebbles are little pebble-shaped bites of chocolate in a sugar shell. The innovation joins the Cadbury bitesize bags range which already includes Twirl Bites, Bitsa Wispa and Cadbury Crunchums.

Pop art packs a punch

Republic Technologies is celebrating the 130th anniversary of Swan with a range of limited-edition packaging for its top-selling products. The new pop-art style designs are available on Slim loose filter tips, extra slim Pop filter tips and slim Pop filter tips. Retailers are being encouraged to capitalise on the brand's heritage, and the new designs, by using Swan to signpost their roll your own (RYO) fixture. The company says that by stocking the limited-edition packaging, retailers can reinvigorate interest in the fixture and create a talking point.

Musical attractions

Relentless' first-ever on-pack promotion gives the brand's core audience of 18-29-year-olds the opportunity to win a "money-can't-buy experience" to attend an intimate 250-capacity gig hosted by Radio 1 presenter Zane Lowe.

Value sweetie packs

Wrigley is launching price-marked packs (PMPs) of Skittles and Starburst, designed to capitalise on the growing consumer demand for value.

Candyland is open

Tangerine Confectionery has created the Candyland brand to bring together smaller brands under one name. The 44-strong range includes iconic products such as Wham and Dip Dab, which now also have the Candyland name on packs. These are flashed at 65p but there is a '2 for £1' offer supporting the launch through the impulse and wholesale channels.

Three suspected cigarette smugglers arrested

Three men have been arrested in Peterborough on suspicion of smuggling an estimated 8.3 million cigarettes into the UK and evading about £1.5m in excise duty.

Global ATM provider buys Cardpoint

Global ATM company Cardtronics has acquired Cardpoint, which trades as ATM services provider Cashzone in the UK.

New car sales growing strongly

New car sales figures have shown strong growth with month-on-month sales up 12.7% compared with July last year. Private registrations increased by 11.9%.

FPB welcomes Bank of England guidance

The Forum of Private Business has welcomed Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s comments on the merits of forward guidance alongside the bank's quarterly economic forecasts today.

PRA welcomes plan to extend rural fuel rebate

The PRA has welcomed moves by the Treasury to extend the rural fuel rebate scheme.

Manager critically injured in drive-off attack

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a forecourt manager was critically injured during a drive-off. A 19-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl were arrested in Chatham in the early hours of this morning.

Costcutter signs £35m refinancing deal

Costcutter Supermarkets Group has signed a £35m refinancing deal with Barclays.

First new generation Spar branded forecourt opens

The first of a new generation of Spar-branded forecourts in the UK has opened following the development of the concept by Spar and Harvest Energy.

Fuel thief sent to prison

A man has been sent to prison for 12 weeks following a drive-off in Northamptonshire last month.

Water contamination strands Morrisons customers

A Morrisons supermarket in North Wales was forced to shut down one of its unleaded petrol pumps after fuel became contaminated with water and cars which had just been refuelled broke down on the forecourt.

Supermarket sales surge in heatwave

The July heatwave contributed to sales growth rates almost twice that achieved by the UK’s leading supermarkets during the London 2012 Games – one of last year’s peak sales periods – according to the latest retailer performance figures released by Nielsen.

Attempted murder charges after forecourt fire

A thirty five year old man from Devizes, Wiltshire, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of arson with intent to endanger life after a van with two occupants was set alight on a petrol station forecourt.

Rates revamp for Northern Ireland petrol stations

Forecourt businesses in Northern Ireland are being urged to submit forms needed for the revaluation of business rates in the province.

Armed robbery at Total garage in Derbyshire

Two men have robbed the Total petrol station in Mickleover, Derbyshire.

Police CCTV van targets crime at Tesco forecourt

Police in Watford have been deploying a police CCTV van at a Tesco petrol station to deter drive-offs and detect other car crime, according to a report in the Watford Observer.

Number planning to use franchised dealers increases

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has welcomed a report showing the number of consumers planning to use a franchised dealer for servicing is increasing.

BAT launches e-cigarette in UK

British American Tobacco (BAT) has become the first tobacco manufacturer to launch an e-cigarette in the UK.

Police hand mini cameras to vulnerable retailers

Retailers in Edinburgh who have been subjected to a series of hate crimes are to be given mini body cameras by police to capture images of their attackers.

Merril Boulton: Card charge

Top of the agenda this month has been the move by the European Commission to limit the scandalous and excessive charges retailers pay for processing credit and debit card payments (see News page 5, and News Extra on page 10).

Change on the cards

The news that the European Commission is to introduce limits on the charges retailers pay for processing credit card and debit card payments has been welcomed by the PRA, but chairman Brian Madderson said a lot more still needs to be done to address problems in this area.

Shop Doctor: In the surgery this month: Applegreen Fairies Cross, Oakpark Road, Tralee, Co Kerry

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Applegreen Fairies Cross is located in the Republic of Ireland on the outskirts of Tralee, the county town of County Kerry. It is a corner site with a lot of passing traffic and is near the Kerry Technology Park and the Tralee Pitch & Putt Club.

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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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