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

Sainsbury Local, Muswell Hill & Tesco Express, Camden

I was due to be in North London and knew there was a fairly new Sainsbury Local/Shell site in Muswell Hill on Colney Hatch Lane and thought it would make an interesting visit. So I logged on to the Sainsbury website and used the store locator facility to identify its exact location. That achieved with ease, I logged onto Tesco’s website to find a Tesco Express/Esso in the area that I could visit and so compare both offerings.

Look on the brightside

For the past few months we’ve seen our Database figures looking fairly depressed in terms of sales and profitability growth, and anyone listening to the big High Street names reporting their ‘disappointing’ Christmas season (which these days seems to cover anything between the beginning of September and the beginning of the New Year) results will hardly feel inspired. Yes, the retail trading environment in the UK appears to be somewhat difficult at the moment and petrol retailing is no exception. Or is it?

A widening gulf

One might say that the gulf has widened in the dispute between retailer Owen McKay and his supplier. In our November issue I recounted the story of a strained relationship between Owen, who runs Smithy Garage at Warrington in Cheshire, and Gulf Retail. Owen had nothing but praise for the image Gulf had given his business but he wasn’t finding the petrol prices competitive enough for him to hold his own against a nearby BP. He says he had a verbal agreement with Gulf for better prices. When these were not forthcoming, he bought elsewhere.

Keeping track

f you sell newspapers supplied by John Menzies and are trying to keep manual track of sales and returns you have probably noticed that the handy diary and sales control annual is no longer available from them.

Watch your backs

I’ve written a couple of reports on the success of Kent Police’s Forecourt Watch scheme – and went so far as to ask why can’t the rest of the country follow such an impressive example.
Welcome Break's newly appointed director of retial, Nabil Subuh
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Changing lanes

Promotional activity is going to be high on the agenda for motorway operator Welcome Break in the coming months, according to newly appointed director of retail, Nabil Subuh.
The Rashid family (l-r) Clare, Sarah, Karl, Maggie and Karim
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Frilford gem

Success does not happen overnight, and the Rashid family has worked hard for many years to build a business that does it proud. Shortly before Christmas saw the official opening of the family’s superb, newly developed site in Frilford, Oxfordshire. It has all the attributes of a modern, well-equipped site, and plays a key role in the life of the local community, as well as providing a good service to its growing transient audience.
Winner of Best Main Route category; Sam Hawkes
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On the main route

Winner of the year

Scramble for sales

Unfortunately the grocery multiples have taken a lot of the profit out of Easter for convenience retailers, either with or without a forecourt. The reason is that the multiples have done so many cut-price promotional deals that in a lot of cases Easter eggs have become a commodity. Of course you’ll already know this but what you may not know is that the major confectionery manufacturers still believe forecourts have a huge part to play in the Easter egg market. It’s just a case of picking and choosing your eggs carefully – stocking the impulse filled egg lines along with luxury gifting lines and leaving the smaller, lower price eggs for the mults to fight over.

Fighting back

Security has always been a big issue for forecourts and retailers today must contend with an ever-widening range of crimes – from drive-offs and theft to credit-card fraud and, even, staff fraud.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 30 March 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands119.01131.46114.46
North East116.33131.57110.86
North West117.71131.66113.21
Northern Ireland113.94120.90108.13
South East120.0368.90132.46116.19
South West118.30130.34113.27
West Midlands118.8857.90135.85114.78
Yorkshire & Humber117.69131.84113.09

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