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product news: DSL introduces new air freshener range

Forecourt promotions company DSL Group has joined forces with confectionary giant Millions to launch a new range of branded air fresheners.

What a real Pro!

The Pro Elite (rrp £59.99) is the latest addition to the Stoplock security lock family.

Don't be fooled by counterfeit lube

The Verification of Lubricants Specifications (VLS) was set up in 2013 to protect end users and safeguard against counterfeit lubricants. It recommends three simple steps to ensure it can maintain product quality when it comes to car lubricants:

Enhanced JetMax range suits up to 75% of cars

Jet has just launched its new enhanced JetMax range of engine oils. Stuart Cufflin, transport and retail contracts manager at the company, explains the rationale behind the enhance-ments: "We first introduced JetMax in 2009 and the products have always been popular across our dealer network, but we wanted to further enhance the range to reflect the latest sales trends. Our latest range should suit up to 75% of cars. It has now been streamlined into five products to free up shelf space and make selection of the correct product easier and more accurate for customers and sales staff. We've also introduced striking new packaging to help distinguish the new and improved products in our dealers' stores. We review our range and formulas regularly to ensure the products offered are the best sellers and we're confident that this latest enhanced offering will be well-received by dealers and consumers alike."

A tailored approach

Tailoring your offer to your individual location is the key to a good car care offer, according to Graham Sims, chairman of Top 50 Indie HKS Retail and he should know as the company has over 70 sites across the country.

Top gear

Fraser's Budgens of Marlborough took the top prize for Best Car Care and Lubricants outlet (sponsored by Convenience Distribution Group CDG) at last year's Forecourt Trader of the Year awards and it's easy to see why.

Scraping a living

At this time of year, car care is more about de-icer and screen wash than shampoo and a chamois. Graham Tissiman, sales and marketing manager at the Convenience Distribution Group, advises retailers to make sure they're adequately stocked up with winter products. "Consumers are usually caught unawares by the weather," he says. "They're busy and only realise they need de-icer when they wake up to a frost, so stopping and getting some at the local forecourt is what many will do. And the grit on the road will leave residue on the windscreen so screen wash is important too. If a driver's screen wash has run out they need it there and then. Bigger forecourts often have a pallet display but all sizes of forecourts should stock it. It's a good cash sale with 5ltr selling at £4.99."

Polish sales

Where else do you go apart from Halfords, if you want something for your car in a hurry, says Rakesh Sharma, one of the managing directors of the Sharma Falcon Group, when asked why he still carries car care items across his 14 sites. While many forecourt retailers have been tempted to turn their backs on car care displays in favour of more chillers, Rakesh is still keen on the category. Indeed he allocates anything between 2m and 5m of display space to car care in each of his forecourt stores. These each have six shelves and a peg board backing for even more products.

Driving sales

The severe weather this winter has been a boon for the car care industry. The Highways Agency, with its Make Time for Winter campaign, gave drivers a checklist of items they should have in their cars before making any journeys. The list comprised: ice scraper and de-icer; warm clothes and blan­kets; torch and spare bat­ter­ies  or a wind-up torch; boots; First Aid kit; jump leads; shovel; road atlas; and sun­glasses (because the glare off snow can be dazzling). Most of these items, barring the boots, warm clothes/blankets and sunglasses, could probably be found in most forecourt stores.

Motor money

Fuel prices may be at record levels and motor insurance sky high but, according to the car care companies, motorists are still willing to spend money looking after their vehicles.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 2 October 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East120.5363.90127.17119.00
East Midlands120.03127.76118.80
London120.3757.90128.81118.85
North East119.80129.71118.46
North West120.19127.87118.63
Northern Ireland119.22125.23117.53
Scotland120.2463.80126.78118.50
South East120.7259.90129.39119.48
South West120.39128.00119.02
Wales120.0459.90126.47118.61
West Midlands120.0865.90128.12118.84
Yorkshire & Humber119.73127.02118.57

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As many forecourt operators continue their quest for expansion - driving up forecourt prices - could you be tempted to sell your business?