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Tracy West: Retail commentator

A recent survey of 1,000 consumers across the UK (undertaken by SOTI who say they are the world's most trusted provider of mobile and Internet of Things device management systems in the world), found that 80% of people would be 'comfortable' in a retail setting where only self-checkout tills were available. Immediately, upon reading this, I thought those 1,000 consumers would have to be younger people but apparently respondents ranged from 18 to 60-years old.

Merril Boulton: editor

Consolidation continues to be on trend as yet more giants, this time Sainsbury's and Asda, come together to create a mammoth grocery, general merchandise and clothing retail group with a combined revenue of £51bn. And let's not forget about the 630 or so service stations they have between them, meaning they will collectively hold a 17.9% share of the fuel market. Imagine the impact that could have if the Asda approach to leading fuel prices down is rolled out across the Sainsbury's network too.

Stephen Marcos Jones: director general, UKPIA

The eighth high-level meeting of the EU Refining Forum was held in April in Brussels. The Refining Forum was first established in 2013 in recognition of the need to address the cumulative impact of policies on the EU refining industry. This important annual meeting brings together representatives from industry, Member States, the Commission, European Parliament and other key stakeholders to discuss planned and future regulatory proposals with potentially significant impacts on the EU's refining industry and on the security of supply of petroleum products. This year's event represented an important opportunity to discuss the refining industry in the context of energy transition, its enduring relevance and the role of innovation to make the most of opportunities ahead.

Charlotte Blum: analysis editor, Argus Media

Brent crude futures at this week topped $75/bl for the first time since November 2014, pushed up by tensions in the Middle East that are exacerbating the underlying effects of strong demand and producers' output restraint. UK drivers are not yet feeling the pressure of the latest $6-7/bl rise as retail prices are slow to catch up.

Ray Blake: PRA technical director

How communication and technology have changed and keep changing never ceases to astound me. In the field of fuel dispensing into vehicles we first heard the term 'payment app' about five or six years ago. For the past couple of years, forums in which I participate have been trying to resolve the conflict of how to allow payment on the forecourt for fuel from a mobile device, while prohibiting the use of the same device while dispensing petrol. The guidance is now drafted to the effect that the mobile device can be used to make the payment while the customer is inside their vehicle, but it must not be used while they are dispensing.

Tracy West: retail commentator

With plastic currently 'pubic enemy number one' it was interesting to read about eco brand Ecover's recent pop-up Rubbish Cafe in London. If you wanted to go inside, you had to 'pay' with recyclable plastic rubbish but once inside, you could savour goodies from a zero-waste menu from eco chef Tom Hunt. The stunt coincided with the arrival of Ecover's new washing-up liquid range which now comes in 100% recycled and 100% recyclable bottles.

Merril Boulton: editor

Good to see hydrogen getting a bit of media coverage as a worthy contender for powering vehicles in the future. There has been such a powerful onslaught from those pushing the electric agenda that anyone would think the future of fuels has been decided, despite the many challenges and limitations of living with battery-powered vehicles.

James Lowman: ACS chief executive

We recently published our annual Crime Report, looking at the overall scale and impact of crimes committed against the convenience sector, covering everything from staff theft and fraud, to robberies and ram raids. The headline figures paint a stark picture with almost a million incidents of shop theft reported by retailers over the last year and the total cost of crime amounting to almost £200m, equating to a 7p crime tax on every transaction in the sector.

Charlotte Blum: analysis editor, Argus Media

Demand growth and a strong commitment by Opec and its partners to their continued production cuts have supported prices even as worries of a potential US-China trade war are casting a shadow over expectations of strong demand growth.

Kevin Eastwood: BOSS - executive director

Last month BOSS was able to report that crime on Britain's retail forecourts fell by 12.2% during the final quarter of 2017. Despite this success, crime on forecourts remains at an unacceptable level.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 17 February 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East128.5163.90137.39125.07
East Midlands128.1460.80138.82124.96
London128.61139.13125.52
North East126.40136.83123.08
North West127.4666.90138.32124.30
Northern Ireland125.32131.10122.38
Scotland127.4253.70135.93123.71
South East129.3462.40139.01125.86
South West128.2663.90136.08124.49
Wales127.05135.90123.20
West Midlands128.2166.90137.48124.77
Yorkshire & Humber127.5855.70137.36124.09

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