Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community
Ian Woodcock, regional manager at Total
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Total bucks crime trends

Total claims to have bucked the trend of rising violent crime, cutting incidents of robbery and assault on its forecourts by 56% over the past two years.

Crime down at motorway site

An initiative between motorway service station operator Welcome Break and Stroud District Council to combat crime at Michaelwood Services and the surrounding towns has been hailed as a success.

Forecourt in murder hunt

A service station in North Yorkshire became the focal point of a week-long murder hunt after the owner recognised a man who police wished to question about four horrific deaths.


I read with interest in the July edition that Sainsbury’s is rather reliant on sales growth from buoyant trading in petrol to show the City the company is alive and well. Who is it deluding? The City, its shareholders or the management itself?

News in brief

The deferral of September’s petrol duty increase is good news for petrol retailers and will relieve the anxiety created by rising oil prices during the past few months, said Ray Holloway, director of the Petrol Retailers’ Association. The Government has announced that the fuel duty increase due to take effect on September 1 will be postponed and looked at again in November.
Frank Hamill
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Highland sting

The launch of the PRA’s fighting fund to tackle the integrity of wet stock deliveries has certainly struck a nerve – particularly on a forecourt in Scotland, where the owner, Frank Hamill, has been struggling to sort a serious problem out with his (now former) fuel supplier, Shell, for the past 10 years. Frank has been a petrol retailer for 20 years, building up a good business on his Pheonix Filling Station, which covers a large area on the Keppochhill Road in the heart of Glasgow. It has an average fuel volume of about 140,000 litres a week, but Frank claims he has been losing an average of 2,500 litres per month through delivery shortages.

Parkfoot garage, London Road, West Malling, Kent

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Located on the busy A20, Parkfoot Garage looks a busy, but tempting place to stop with its Spar shop, cash point, off licence, car wash, strong BP branding and spacious parking area.

Record breakers

Virtually the first question most newcomers to running their own business ask us as their professional advisers is “What paperwork do I need to keep, and for how long?” – followed by a long sigh when we tell them that most of their accounting records need to be kept safe for at least six years, and that some paperwork should never be destroyed. Increasingly we are being asked the same question when site operators want to install computerised accounting systems. The basic requirements are the same, although some details are obviously related to the technology in use at any particular time.

Stamp, stamp, the sound of jackboots

Trading standards officers in Norfolk would appear to be armed with magnifying glasses and an I’m-going-to-get-you-no-matter-what attitude.

For whom the tills roll

It’s an old rep’s trick, the agreement-seeking question: ‘You DO want to buy this, don’t you?’

No longer a 'Hot Shot'

A couple of retailers have rung to ask what’s going on with Hot Shot Beverages, supplier of the ‘Shake and Stir’ tea and coffee machines. They had been promised sale or return on unused product and weren’t getting any joy from the company. I enquired at head office and Robert Joubert, head of sales, has told me that there has been a buyout of the company and that there will shortly be a relaunch with enhanced product. All customers should be taken care of. If you have any service issues with the company you can call 0800 031 9075.

Party time

Jet is not the only brand to be celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Greenthorpe Darnall Central Garage in Sheffield, is also enjoying a big anniversary. It is planning a special day on its forecourt to commemorate half a century of selling fuel. And it also happens to be a Jet retailer.
UKPIA boss Chris Hunt wants to create a federation to bring all parts of the industry together to tackle common causes
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Trade union

In recent months a couple of key publications have been made available to the UK petrol retailing industry – one is a straightforward guide for service stations to help them conform to the Disability Discrimination Act; the other is on future road fuels. Both are available free in a downloadable format. Both come from UKPIA, the United Kingdom Petroleum Industry Association. “It’s all part of the service,” says Chris Hunt, who moved up to the position of director general of UKPIA in March. He joined the organisation in 1997, on secondment from Elf (which was then going through a merger) where he was head of retail operations; and in 2001 became UKPIA’s commercial director and company secretary.

Suits you, SIR!

ATMs are popping up everywhere these days – the local c-store, the off-licence and even the post office. And it’s no wonder – the closure of many high-street banks and their hole-in-the-wall facilities has prompted a huge demand for local cash dispensers, while innovation of the types of machines available means there’s now a model to suit almost every type of convenience outlet. Even recent warnings about ATM security seem to just drive customers to use machines in locations perceived as more ‘secure’ than those on the high street.

Hot topic

With ever-tighter fuel margins never has there been a more critical time to know the status of your fuel stocks. You need to be able to track every drop, so you can see how much is vapour loss, how much could be leaking, and how much might be down to being short-changed on fuel deliveries. Those reading last month’s issue of Forecourt Trader will have seen that the PRA has launched a fighting fund to tackle the integrity of measurement for motor fuel deliveries.

Fast forward

As independent retailers continue to seek alternative ways to make money out of running a petrol station, fast food has become an obvious vehicle to do just that. Forecourts are well placed to cash in on the needs of hungry consumers, and the cash rich-time poor trend has been a big driver of the category.

Deli-cious bakes

Ginsters is bringing a new concept to the snacks market with the launch of Deli Bake – a lower calorie product that bridges the gap between bread products and pastry.

CDM adds wafer

Cadbury Trebor Bassett is extending its Cadbury Dairy Milk range with a wafer and chocolate bar following market research identifying the need for a product targeting younger consumers.

A sizzler from walkers

Following the success of Doritos Extreme Chilli Heatwave last year, Walkers is adding another Extreme flavour to the range – Tandoori Sizzler. It will be supported by a £1m TV campaign featuring TV presenter Vernon Kay, and repeating the link-up with Blockbuster, which will offer consumers the chance to win 5.5 million free movies. With a similar format to last years’ promotion, one in five packs of Doritos will contain a game card.

Bassett's new look on a roll

Bassett’s single roll packs are being given a new look following the successful makeover of Bassett’s hanging bags in January. Backed by a £3m advertising push, the new rolls will feature the same design as the bags, including a more prominent Bertie Bassett.

Unique chilling point

Interbrew UK is helping forecourt operators drive summer beer sales with the launch of innovative dummy pallets featuring branding of the fast-growing standard lager, Castlemaine XXXX.

Masterfoods unveils its festive goodies

Christmas is here with the unveiling of Masterfoods’ festive range, which will see a full re-launch of its core Selection Packs and Boxes which will now feature new red and green livery, with improved packaging designs to ensure the contents of each pack are more clearly visible to shoppers. Also new for 2004 is a Bitesize Selection Box (rrp £2.99); and in the ever-growing Tube category, there will be three additions to the range – Maltesers, White Maltesers and the Galaxy Minstrels Tube (rrp £1.39).

Weight Watchers Christmas lines

Anthony Alan Foods has launched new festive lines in its Weight Watchers range of foods.

Jacob's cracking duo

Jacob’s is launching two new products under its Thai Bites brand. The first is Fusions, bite-sized rice and potato crackers with Thai ingredients. The hexagonal crackers are available in three flavours – Thai Roasted Chilli and Sour Cream; Thai Sesame and Prawn; and Thai Red Curry and Coriander. Fusions comes in two bag sizes – a 150g sharing format and a 30g pack for impulse purchase.

Magnificent seven rebrand

Nationwide sign installation company Xmo Strata has completed a synchronised image change across seven service stations in Kent and East Sussex belonging to George Hammond plc.

Fit a chip and pin sheath

Oxfordshire-based Inpace Ltd has launched a range of covers to protect chip and pin units.

Dedicated BRC member

CCTV manufacturer Dedicated Micros has confirmed its commitment to the retail sector by becoming an associate member of the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Mo'gas: An irreverent view from the network

ITS REALLY QUITE IRONIC that a country whose citizens were once renowned for their reserve, and their ability to spend a three-hour train journey without ever saying anything to their fellow passengers, should these days be awash with people who can’t shut up. It seems that everybody and their dog is now an expert on how I should conduct my life.

Fuel prices August 2004

Data supplied by Catalist Ltd
  • Weekly
  • Weekly
  • Daily
Weekly retail fuel prices: 20 May 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands135.28141.26129.82
North East134.06140.71129.20
North West134.87139.96129.27
Northern Ireland131.95135.90127.71
South East135.9463.57142.34130.70
South West135.01139.53129.65
West Midlands134.83141.89129.64
Yorkshire & Humber134.1257.70141.27129.10

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Following last month's London protests and damage to Shell's UK HQ, do you believe forecourts should be preparing themselves in case of possible attacks by climate change campaigners?