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

Mixed market of the good and bad

The petrol retailing sector is revealed as a mixed market of winners and losers, but is certainly no worse than any other industry, according to a new report by Plimsoll Publishing Ltd.

South suffers worst card fraud on fuel

Petrol stations in London and the south east are victims of more than half of all UK fuel-related card fraud, according to a report by Arval PHH, the fleet and fuel management company, and operator of the AllStar fuel card.

Cut LPG tax break says IPPR

The Institue for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published a report which argues that tax incentives should benefit biofuels instead of LPG.

Six Total sites in chip and pin trial

Total will this month become the first forecourt retailer to take part in the chip and pin trial, launched in May. In preparation for the trial, Total has made

Fuelforce re-signs Key Lekkerland

Fuelforce has reappointed Key Lekkerland to supply its 170-strong network of sites under the Jet brand.

Mercury joins the Torex Retail group

Torex Retail has acquired the entire share capital of Mercury Petroleum Systems Ltd, a leading supplier of wet stock management services to the retail petroleum industry. Its customers include Sainsbury’s, Statoil and Fuelforce.

New cars for Texaco shoppers

Texaco has rewarded three of its customers with a new Mistubishi Space Star worth £10,995 on the road in a competition to celebrate the launch of its Global Club WE.O.U loyalty card. The winners are among 1.5 million members of Texaco’s Global Club loyalty programme. But the WE.O.U scheme – launched in February – means customers can instantly receive rewards without the need to redeem points.

Stand by for Licensing Act

The new Licensing Bill is expected to be enacted this month – making it even tougher for forecourts to secure an alcohol licence.

Back to the future?

The big oil companies will be out of shop retailing by 2010. It sounds a ludicrous statement considering the money many of the majors have been throwing at developing convincing c-stores on their sites. But that’s what Harris International Marketing (HIM) predicts for seven years’ time.

Give us a break

You wouldn’t have wanted the mini break I’ve just had. Most of the self-catering shopping I did on a four-day break in Cornwall involved visiting various Safeways, which seemed to have the supermarket monopoly in most places. We were offered leaflets at every entrance – cheap petrol etc. This didn’t work for us, you’ll be pleased to hear, as we weren’t spending much, but the man in front of us in one queue spent £140. The checkout lady said that spending another tenner would get him half-price petrol. “I’ve got a full tank,” he said. “It’s valid for seven days,” she said. So he went running off to pick up two more bottles of wine. As he settled the bill he told her he’d probably have to do more driving than he’d planned in the next week to take full advantage. I’m not sure where false economy leaves off and perceived value starts, but I know who’s losi

Screw the customers - a bank's charter

Banks are hardly the most loved of institutions and when you read the following, it will remind you why.

Have you been dealt with yet?

The number of calls I’ve received from retailers about DVD supplier Deal Direct is now just shy of 60, so here’s an update. One of Deal Direct’s recent tactics for delaying payment of sale-or-return money was the excuse that the accounts lady was off sick. It had been offering therefore to pay people back via their credit cards. This worked for some, although Chris Wardle at Wardle Service Station was told by Visa he couldn’t get a refund unless he’d paid with Visa in the first place.

Terminal Decisions

Although our database figures seem to paint quite a rosy picture of ever-increasing fuel volumes and shop sales, common sense tells us that this is at least partly due to the ongoing closure of smaller, less profitable sites across the country. Faced with imminent closure of a site, there are a number of factors operators should bear in mind – particularly if the closure of the site is also the closure of your entire business. EKW’s eastern regional manager Mark Crampton has highlighted some of the things you should consider if you find yourself in this situation:

Solid ground

Shell has taken a bashing over the years – and justifiably so many might think. A trawl through the press cuttings reveals a traumatic time with the fallout from mishandled retailer relationships, unsustainable contracts, nasty court battles, slumping market share, major network rationalisation and several rethinks over how its retail business should be run. That was the 90s, a bumpy ride for all as the industry adjusted to changing market forces.

Brand new start

The momentous internal and external changes experienced by TotalFinaElf over the past three years are now finding their way onto the forecourt.

Site smart

Maintenance is a crucial, but often neglected, part of running a forecourt site. Maintaining the equipment on your site can seem like a tedious chore and it is difficult to quantify the effect that it has on your business, but ignoring day-to-day maintenance can have long-term damaging effects.

Bottle bank

Mounting competition in convenience retailing means that forecourts are under increased pressure to rival the range available in traditional c-stores and multiples – and this includes offering alcohol.

Snack attack

Even some of the most health conscious consumers find it hard to resist the temptation of a packet of crisps. In fact, according to Information Resources (IRI), 95 per cent of households buy crisps, snacks and nuts, making the category a lucrative money spinner for retailers.

Grab a pizza the action

Mono Equipment’s new PX point-of-sale pizza oven has been designed to tempt consumers once they get to the counter. It operates as part of an integrated system with one or more of Mono’s BX bake-off ovens. The stainless steel units are built for heavy commercial use and measure 1000mm wide and 3880mm high. The PX is stackable with either Mono PX or BX bake-off ovens and requires a single phase 13 amp, 3kw domestic socket connection. The one-piece ceramic baking oven has been designed to give a traditonal, even bake, with individually controllable heating elements and a maximum temperature of 400ºC. The oven can hold four 93/4” pizzas, two 11” pizzas or one 193/4” pizza.

Free for all

Heinz has launched a free online planogram tool for the convenience sector. The service enables retailers to prepare online core range planograms, tailored to the exact dimension of their fixtures. The project has been undertaken with independent c-sector space planning consultant Shelfmax. The website helps convenience retailers produce individual merchandising plans based on the latest convenience sector market data.

It's the dogs

Rowlett Rutland has a new range of hot dog machines that it says are quick and easy to use. The units hold up to 40 sausages in a heated glass container, keeping them at the correct temperature. There is a choice of options: steamer only, steamer with heated spikes for baguettes or rolls, and steamer with heated wedges for open baguettes or rolls. The machine is fully insulated with non-slip feet, stainless steel water reservoir, four-section divider and lid. A choice of colours is available.

Chyps with everything

The Chyp Retail Alliance – a body that will advise retailers on installing and using chip and pin technology – has been launched by Consult Hyperion, Strategy Partners UK and Business Strategy Group (USA).

Seeing double

Kraft Food’s Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Dime and Toblerone bars will be double their usual weight this summer.

Three new kings

Pot Noodle has introduced three new flavours in its King Pot range – Bombay bad boy, sweet & sour, and chow mein.

Anthea heads up Buxton ad

TV presenter Anthea Turner is the face of a new TV ad campaign for Buxton water.

New size for Yop

Yogurt drink brand YOP has launched in a 330g plastic bottle. Aimed at

Two-in-one cleaner

Waxfantastic is a new all-in-one car wash cloth that cleans and waxes paintwork, chrome and exterior vinyl without the need for a bucket of water or shampoo.

Rollup, roll up...

Gallaher has repackaged Old Holborn 12.5g in laminate pouches, which

New Sunny D focus

Procter & Gamble is splashing out £7.5m on a six-month campaign to support Sunny D.

Magic Tree goes nuts

The Magic Tree air freshener brand has launched a coconut fragrance. The distinctive orange trees have a bold coconut design on the pack. Rrp is £1.49.

New look for Pringles

Pringles is relaunching its 50g can as a more substantial impulsive snack, under the Big Snack umbrella.

The Italian job

Country Choice has added three pizzas to its Bake ‘n’ Bite range. The 10” pizzas – ideally sold as one-person hot takeaway meals – are stonebaked, giving them a crispy and authentic texture.

Get Active

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare’s breath-freshening strips Listerine Actives are launching a two-tiered display unit to help retailers boost sales of the brand.

Rennie soft chews back on TV

Rennie is back on the small screen in a £2m TV advertising campaign to support Rennie Soft Chews. The four-week campaign breaks on July 1 and features characters ‘Jeffrey and friends’.

Make a meal of it

Heinz has repositioned its core range of beans and pasta meals as an inspiration for quick and easy family meals.

Rizla celebrates

To celebrate 500 years as the number one rolling paper, Rizla has a number of marketing activities up its sleeve this year.

Low fat treats for dogs

Pedigree has added two low fat snacks and treats to its healthy Light & Tasty range. Light & Tasty Twisters are chews with two meaty flavours twisted together and sold in a three-stick pack (rrp 99p). Light & Tasty Meaty Bites are bite-size, two-flavour treats. A 14-piece pack has a rrp of 99p.

Sampling Boost

Cadbury Trebor Bassett is carrying out one of the biggest ever sampling campaigns for its Boost Guarana brand.

Sharing opportunity

Mini Cheddars will now be available in a 150g sharing tub.

The power of Tic Tac on TV

Tic Tac is back on air this summer with a new TV ad to support its newest flavour, Extra Strong.

Mo'gas: An irreverent view from the network

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO the government’s ‘tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime’ stance? Someone seems to have forgotten to tell the boys in blue about it. The most common forecourt crime now is the drive-off or the persistent no-means-of-payment customer. And do the police care? Not in most areas. The response is likely to be: ‘Sorry, haven’t got the resources – suggest you get better CCTV – or why not make everybody pay first. That’ll solve your problem and reduce our crime figures.’ There seems to be only a handful of areas where the realisation has dawned that the drive-off merchants are usually up to lots of other crime too. Instead of viewing forecourts as a nuisance, the police ought to look at them in the same way as a game hunter would consider a watering hole. Why go running all over the place looking for your criminal when you can wait for him to come to you?

Fuel prices July 2003

Data supplied by Catalist Ltd
  • Weekly
  • Weekly
  • Daily
Weekly retail fuel prices: 10 June 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands134.59140.57129.69
North East133.19142.40129.15
North West134.1363.90139.73129.13
Northern Ireland131.34135.32128.05
South East135.2562.40141.74130.52
South West134.5167.90140.57129.57
West Midlands134.34140.64129.70
Yorkshire & Humber133.72140.40129.24

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As ESSO and BP join Shell and Gulf in launching new loyalty programmes this year, are such schemes a key tool for businesses today?