Well, despite what seems to be an ongoing stream of insurmountable grief whether it’s fuel pricing, the weather, business rates or some other impending legislative gloom it seems that underneath it all, you’re really quite positive about the petrol retailing business.
Yes, we’ve been incredibly nosey recently, not just compiling the latest listing of the Top 50 independents, but also commissioning a research company to delve a bit deeper, to find out what you’re all thinking particularly about oil companies. This covered not just the retailers with large numbers of sites, but a cross-section from the smallest to the biggest and anyone inbetween.
What emerged was that the majority of independent retailers have one site, they also sell Texaco fuel, and not only that, but they plan to stick with Texaco in the near future. Is this surprising? Obviously not if you are a loyal Texaco dealer who has been well-served by the company’s services and approachable management style that is, apart from the damaging blip in the ’90s when the retail division was under the control of a lady our Mogas columnist famously referred to as ’Manic Hen’. But since then much has been done to repair the damage and there is even a new brand image being rolled out. It’s long overdue and should give the forecourts a much-needed fillip.
Elsewhere in the survey it was revealed that more than seven in 10 retailers are confident about the future of their business albeit more of them ’fairly’ confident, although one quarter of you are ’very’ confident. I would say that’s a very positive reflection of the industry, considering everything including the recession!
In terms of the Top 50 Indies, the over-riding message there too was positive, if understandably and sensibly cautious. But back to the daily onslaught that is the stuff of business why not take a break and come to IFFE to see what’s new and network with your peers. See you there.