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

Sunshine, blue skies and country roads there couldn't be a better build-up to seeing the new Murco branding. Driving round a bend on the A30 in Stour, Dorset, and there it is, standing out in all its freshly-installed, star-spangled glory, attracting the attention of motorists surprised by the colourful transformation.

Being served

Rachael Hockmeyer runs a mighty fine petrol station for someone who drives an electric car! Yes, she is teased particularly at Texaco meetings but she is more than comfortable squaring the financial and environmental benefits of her car, with running an excellent forecourt convenience store and workshop business, serving the needs of her hungry and carbon fuel-dependent motoring customers.

Cheeky chappie

The entrepreneurial spirit is certainly alive and kicking on UK forecourts nationwide, and none more so than in the north east in Darlington to be precise where independent retailer Nick Baker of NJB Services has been working hard launching his own brand of coffee.

Fortunes on the Rise

Suci and Aruna Sucindran own and operate Yari Petroleum Ltd, known as Bishops Rise Service Station, a 3.9mlpa modern freehold site situated in Hatfield, Herts. It recently rebranded to Gulf, the first of a number of important steps the couple are taking as they look to the future. Formerly a flagship forecourt for Harvest, the move to Gulf and supplier Certas Energy has resulted in unleaded and diesel volumes both rising by around 1,000 litres a day. The site now benefits from a more competitive pricing structure and a renowned fuel brand.

All Hans on deck at Ravensthorpe

Ravensthorpe Service Station recently distinguished itself by being recognised as the 500th Gulf-branded forecourt. But it is also making a name for itself in its local town of Dewsbury, having been transformed into a leading edge forecourt and convenience operation following a four-month knock-down-rebuild.

Redditch rejuvenated

The sale of Brooklyn Motors, Redditch, in 2009 signalled a crossroads in the career of Jackie Braziel. She was the forecourt manager but unfortunately the new owners, Bristol Street Motors, had no plans for a filling station.

Passing the baton

Susie Hawkins always knew she was going to join the family business Top 50 Indie the Simon Smith Group but she joined sooner than she'd intended.

Winning legacy

Winning Forecourt Trader of the Year was amazing," says Jay Gohil, managing director of the Gohil family business, centred in Cosford, Albrighton, Wolverhampton. "It opened a lot of doors for us. The fact we won the award meant people like the Lakeside Group asked us to join. That changed a lot of what we did Subway came along which enabled us to open more stores. Where we are today, (a growing business employing 80 staff, with the original two forecourts, plus one standalone Subway, two Spar stores, and another in development) can be tracked back to when we won the award."

Ups and downs

The past year has been a high-profile one for fuel, with volatile petrol and diesel prices often making headlines, including claims in January that average petrol prices might even fall below £1 per litre.

Allied for success

In 1988, Peter and Pat Bellini bought a piece of land and set about building a forecourt and shop. Today, Bellini's of Ilkeston is a flag bearer for small businesses; a multi award- winning site (the couple won Forecourt Trader of the Year in 2004) and the last remaining independently owned forecourt in a town dominated by hypers.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 9 December 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East130.4761.40138.28126.22
East Midlands130.01140.66126.05
London130.41139.39126.85
North East128.45138.66124.29
North West129.1663.90138.34125.49
Northern Ireland127.22130.90123.29
Scotland129.84136.07125.15
South East131.04138.34126.93
South West129.9167.57137.18125.74
Wales129.00135.78124.71
West Midlands129.94138.53126.11
Yorkshire & Humber129.21138.68125.42

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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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