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

The best of both

A recent visit to the Hammond Group's stunning Three Elm site in Tonbridge, Kent, filled with Co-op-branded products, prompted further investigation into the Southern Co-op's Welcome franchise.

Symbols of success

While talking about the Londis brand's 60th birthday earlier this year, Martin Swadling, Londis brand director, revealed that 49% of its retail stores are in the forecourt sector. The estate is a mixture of independent retailers and groups, but a huge chunk belongs to number one Top 50 Indie, MFG.

The cable guys

The size of the prize when it comes to the gadgets and gizmos category for forecourt retailers is huge, according to Craig Walker, operations director at Fifo. "Our top stores can turn over up to £1,000 per month in accessories alone," he says.

Nisa launches World Food promotional event

A new promotional event is being launched for Nisa retailers to help them tap into the popularity of the world food category.

Pet potential

Today in the UK, 13 million households have a pet. Our pet population includes nine million dogs, eight million cats, 900,000 rabbits, 400,000 snakes and lizards, and 100,000 rats. Most owners will no doubt shop at specialist stores such as Pets at Home or buy their petcare items along with their supermarket shop. However, with so many forecourt stores today acting as the 'local' shop there are always distress purchases to cater for.

Brand leaders

Best-One in town

At the start of the year, Certas Energy reached agreement with Bestway Wholesale to be a preferred retail partner across its independent Gulf and Pace-branded sites. Six months before that, Top 50 Indie, Park Garage Group, also allied itself with Bestway Wholesale by signing an exclusive distribution agreement.

The name attraction

Filling up your car with fuel has got to be one of the dullest chores going. Distractions are there with pump-top offers, advertising on pump handles and sometimes, if you're lucky, digital screens with messaging, but that's about it. However, across the pond in North-east Ohio, drivers will soon be able to fill their cars while watching music videos thanks to the opening of the first ever Hard Rock-branded service station which is scheduled for September. Called the Rockstop Gas & Wash, it will feature a 3,500sq ft retail/car wash building and six double pumps with 12 nozzles. The pumps feature Hard Rock-style lighting effects and LED TVs for music videos and commercials. The forecourt will be adjacent to a Hard Rock casino aka Rocksino. It's not so much a brand alliance but more of a brand extension but it illustrates the power of branding and how this can be harnessed in the forecourt arena.

Pump up the profits

Pump-top promotions are great for taking a customer's attention away from the high price of the fuel they're pumping and onto a value-for-money product that they just can't live without. Okay, that last part might be pushing the point a bit too much, but there's no doubting these promotional items are popular, as DSL reports that some of its best customers are turning over £40,000 a year on pump-top promotions. Roy Landa, director of DSL, says that some lines out-perform even their own best expectations: "A good example is our recent car dash cam which has done extremely well, selling over 150,000 units in the past few months."

Brand watch

Unaffiliated independents still make up the lion's share of the convenience store market but the gap is quickly closing with symbol stores snapping at their heels. Many of those symbol names can be found on forecourt sites, particularly as many of these groups now have dedicated forecourt teams.

  • Weekly
    Retail
  • Weekly
    wholesale
  • Daily
    Average
Weekly retail fuel prices: 15 July 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East
East Midlands
London
North East
North West
Northern Ireland
Scotland
South East
South West
Wales
West Midlands
Yorkshire & Humber

Most read

As the smaller/family owned independent forecourt businesses continue to be acquired by the big operators, do you think now could be the right time for you to sell up?