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

Prize sites

Up to 4 MLPA

Paul Merriman

Gulf Kiln Park Service Station, Tenby

Kiln Park Service Station at Kiln Park Holiday Centre in Tenby is as much a hub for holidaymakers as it is for the local residents.

The site has undergone some big changes recently.

All the pumps were replaced with Tokheim Quantium 510 dispensers, giving customers a cleaner, faster and more reliable service. In addition, a Tokheim Slim Touch Crypto Unit outdoor payment terminal (OPT) was added and an Express Lane created to increase the flow of traffic at busy times. The OPT means customers can fuel up 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, a service that's not provided by other sites within the area and has gained Kiln Park some favourable feedback from local businesses and emergency services who benefit most from this new facility.

A new Co-op in the area impacted store sales so Kiln Park took the opportunity to change its shop layout and switch from a typical convenience store to more of a food-to go outlet with availability for much of the day.

Sales of pump-top products from Fasttrak and mobile accessories from Gadjet are good, plus promotional activities, customer loyalty schemes and competitions via Facebook are helping to drive sales.

Outside retail sales are on the rise thanks to three modular pods which improve the visibility of the products on sale and incorporate seasonal lines.

more than 4 MLPA

Philip Powell

Lock's Garage, Hereford

Lock's Garage has been a hub for the local farming community for around 100 years and owned by the Powell family for 50 years.

Joining the Shell network over 25 years ago, the site has continued to thrive and develop as a 'trading stop' for all types of fuel (four grades of road fuel, kerosene, paraffin, Red Diesel and LPG), groceries, farm supplies and country pursuits' accessories. The site additionally incorporates a Post Office.

Trading under the Londis fascia, as well as the usual range carried by a small supermarket, the store stocks locally produced meat and vegetables with the beef and potatoes coming from the Powell's own farm and pork, lamb and mutton supplied by a local master butcher. They also stock a range of locally produced bread, cakes and savoury pastries. Locks is legendary for its fresh whipped ice cream, with customers coming from many miles around on sunny days just to purchase it up to 2,000 customers can be served on a Sunday.

The thriving forecourt is equipped with four islands of quad-hose pumps to dispense FuelSave main grades, with a significant proportion of sales coming from Shell's VPower unleaded and diesel.

In addition to the main forecourt, the site has an HGV canopy incorporating high-speed dispensers selling both FuelSave and VPower diesel.

Up to 4 MLPA

Thianis Marcelene

MFG Catford Service Station, London

This 24-hour site operates to the highest of standards, with customer service at the core of everything it does. It's described by MFG as a clean and welcoming site, with a great range of services and well maintained facilities.

The site uses the successful MFG formula, catering for all customers' needs and providing good standardised facilities.MFG Catford in busy South London needs to cater for a a wealth of shopping missions including people on their way to work as well as walk-on trade looking to ddo some top-up shopping.

The Awards' judges were impressed by the big, spacious, modern site. They said that despite it being very busy, everything was clean and tidy, and the staff were still very friendly.

On the forecourt all the pumps were working and the gloves dispenser was full. Air and vacuum services were offered and there's a fast HGV pump. There's also a coin-operated launderette at the side of the store.

Judges liked the spacious Budgens store. It was well-merchandised with representation in all key categories and a great promotions package to deliver value to customers.

There's a Costa Express machine with a Savoury Pastries unit next to it and a protein/energy bar stand next to that. There is also a busy Subway and, for those who want to take something home for dinner, there are Cook freezers.

more than 4 MLPA

Jonathan and Nick Fraser

Fraser's BP/Budgens, Three Mile Cross

Fraser's BP/Budgens of Three Mile Cross's aim is to make the fuelling and shopping experience a real pleasure. This starts with clean and modern pumps advertising in-store promotions and ample parking for shop-only customers. Then in-store there is bright LED lighting, a three-metre ceiling height with pendant lighting and wide aisles providing excellent accessibility for those shopping with children in buggies, or with mobility or visual impairment.

The store also has two parent and child parking bays and a disabled parking bay by the entrance to make their shopping experience that bit easier.

The breadth of range in-store is much wider than a typical forecourt convenience store, extending far beyond the basics (although they are still there), to cater for the full gamut of shopping missions.

Throughout the store a selection of locally made and artisan products from small, independent suppliers give a point of difference and local relevance, while for the value-led customer the own-brand Euro Shopper range offers a cohesive choice of over 70 key fresh and grocery lines.

With over 37.5m of chiller space, the fresh offer includes a full bay of locally sourced meat and a selection of prepared foods. There is also a 'shop within a shop' exclusively for Cook frozen meals.

best forecourt innovation

Sanj Kular

Shell Beaconsfield

Last March, Shell Beaconsfield on the M40 was the first site in the UK to bring hydrogen under the same canopy as petrol and diesel, providing drivers with a range of fuel choices to co-exist with traditional transport fuels. This was a first in the UK and recognises hydrogen as a long-term fuel alternative.

The hydrogen is generated on-site using an electrolyser that requires only water and electricity to generate the hydrogen gas.

The team at Shell Beaconsfield focuses on customers, explaining to them the benefits of future fuels.

The opening of the hydrogen station followed a number of Shell initiatives to support the UK's transition to low-carbon transport. These include the launch of Shell ReCharge, Shell's on-forecourt rapid electric vehicle charging service; an agreement with charging network operator IONITY to offer charge points across 10 European countries; and the acquisition of NewMotion, one of Europe's largest electric vehicle charging networks.

best forecourt loo

Mohan Yogarajah

MFG BP Crow Orchard Service Station

MFG BP Crow Orchard's distinctive fish graphics in the toilet facilities are a real talking point. Customers love them, particularly the children.

When asked why the loos have a fish theme, site manager Mohan Yogarajah says he thinks it's because MFG boss Jeremy Clarke likes fish!

Joking aside, it does take a certain amount of effort to keep loos looking as good as these and Mohan says they are checked regularly every hour, 24 hours a day.

"We make sure the loos are well looked after and all staff take their turn on the rota even me. It's not everyone's favourite job but I think it's good to set an example so I can say 'If I do it, so can you."

Mohan believes customers judge the overall store on the cleanliness of the loos. "If I went into a restaurant and their toilets were dirty, I wouldn't go back there and I think it's the same for forecourts nowadays as we sell such a lot of food," he explains.

The facilities include a baby changing area plus there is disabled access for those who need it.

best forecourt team

Joanne Walker

EuroSpar Carrowdare

EuroSpar Carrowdare is known as much for its high standards as for its inviting and friendly atmosphere.

Manager Joanne Walker says some of the team have a natural flare for this and an engaging way about them but for those who find this more difficult, they 'buddy up' and have one-to-one coaching to develop these skills.

To maintain high standards, the team carries out 'ready-to-trade' checks in the mornings and afternoons to ensure the right things are prioritised, with the customers needs always coming first.

The team has also provided the local community with some fantastic events over the past year.

These included coffee mornings, dress-up events, giveaways, Facebook competitions, involvement in the school sports day and school fayre. The team bonded during fundraisers such as an '80s night, quiz evening and Family Funday.

Not only did the events bring the community together, they raised valuable funds for charity.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 14 October 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East132.12139.79127.55
East Midlands131.62139.76127.57
London131.82140.67128.38
North East131.03141.66126.72
North West131.3657.70141.67127.65
Northern Ireland129.55131.90125.63
Scotland132.15138.51127.55
South East132.5757.90140.14128.33
South West131.8867.90138.74127.41
Wales131.2464.90135.72126.82
West Midlands131.33140.68127.66
Yorkshire & Humber131.0784.90140.64127.33

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