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Merril Boulton: Duty-bound

Something of a blow for those pursuing the case for duty deferment, is last month's overturning of a landmark tax verdict that could have brought a significant cashflow boost to many retailers (see News page 4, and News Extra, page 10).

Chris Hunt: UKPIA director general

The implications and effects of the nation's decision to leave the European Union will take some time to unravel, and for the UK's negotiations over 'Brexit' to begin.

Peter Harding: business development director Htec

This month I'd like to cover self checkouts. There are basically three types. Card only, as the name suggests, is a unit that only accepts debit and credit cards. These units can be pole-mounted or shelf-mounted. They're a much lower cost unit than a traditional self checkout as seen in the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury's.

Shop Talk: Tracy West

A colleague asked me the other day if I was some sort of brand ambassador for Coke. His reasoning was my knowledge of the brand and the different sub-brands. Unfortunately, I'm not, but I'm a massive Diet Coke fan and drink far too much of the lovely bubbly stuff. As I write this, I have a fridge filled with cans under my desk.

Merril Boulton - editor: Never a truer phrase

Whoever said a week is a long time in politics (prime minister Harold Wilson in 1964 apparently), could not have coined a more apt phrase for what's happened in the past seven days (writing on July 1). Chaos and skullduggery appears to be the order of the day as the so-called ruling classes are too busy indulging in a right old battle of their own, to actually rule the country. And those that put them there us can only look on in sheer horror and amazement. Just who are these people with their ideologies, giant egos and personal agendas, and will we ever believe what any of them say again? It's like one of the more outrageous episodes of Yes, Prime Minister. But 'twas ever thus.

James Lowman: ACS chief executive

Over recent years, the forecourt and convenience sectors have been merging closer together, with more stores now considering themselves to be 'convenience plus fuel' rather than primarily traditional fuel retailers. This has led to the emergence of hundreds of fantastic new store formats that often lead the rest of the convenience sector in growing categories like food to-go, in-store bakeries and top quality coffee. As a result, the forecourt convenience sector (without including the value of fuel sales) is now worth over £4bn to the UK economy. For the first time this year, we have produced a forecourt report looking specifically at the makeup of these stores.

Kevin Eastwood: executive director BOSS

We now know where we stand with Europe, while the performance of the home nations in the Euro football championship has kept us all on a knife edge. And we're delighted to have recovered a massive £500,000 for forecourt retailers during the first six months of 2016.

Shop Talk: Tracy West

I have a confession. Despite being a middle-aged woman, I really like McCoy's. I know they're principally aimed at men but just as I love action films made for men, so do I like McCoy's. It's the flavours they're so strong. No subtle 'hints of', just full-on flavour. That said, I was a bit skeptical when the launch of McCoy's Thick Cut was announced. Why mess with something that works so well, I thought. However, since trying the BBQ Chicken flavour, I've realised I'm wrong and am now a Thick Cut convert.

Merril Boulton: Let's focus on the certainties

The EU referendum vote looms large this month, and despite all the talk, nobody seems any the wiser about the outcome. Even the forecourt sector seems to be as evenly divided and undecided on the matter as the rest of the nation (see News Extra page 10). But one thing is for sure, this time next month it will be behind us.

Brian Madderson - chairman PRA

As I travel around the UK meeting and talking to independent forecourt retailers, I have been struck by their enthusiasm to embrace the shopping revolution which has seen increasing demand for 'top-up' visits to good, local convenience stores. Fortunately this enthusiasm has been matched by symbol groups willing to improve their offer.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 2 December 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands129.9982.90139.43126.05
North East128.54136.77124.41
North West129.2561.90138.14125.60
Northern Ireland127.29130.90123.52
South East131.0865.90138.76126.97
South West129.90137.19125.67
West Midlands129.85138.70125.98
Yorkshire & Humber129.2763.90138.21125.38

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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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