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

Shop Talk - Tracy West

I always used to be impressed by US forecourts they always seemed so cutting edge, so ahead of the curve but on a recent trip to Florida the ones I visited were a bit disappointing. One was downright awful. Mr West and I only stopped because we needed a map we'd been too mean to pay the extra for the sat nav in the car hire package. That decision cost us dearly as a few days before I'd looked at a map on my iPhone and it cost me 40 quid! Anyway we used the stop to buy the map and to also fill up with fuel. As you know, you pay before you fill up over there and usually I don't mind this at all. But this time, I went into the shop and said: "Fill up on number six, please." I added that I had no idea how much this would cost and so the 'charming' lady behind the counter took my card and barked at me to stand close by. I was so scared, I froze. I gazed around the shop and it looked like the 'before' shot on a makeover show. Shelves were randomly stacked with goods, typically beef jerky and energy shots. And no, they had no maps!

Thankfully others I visited were better than that, but the only thing that particularly impressed me was the temperature of their cold drinks, as they were actually cold. Many had chillers that backed onto cold rooms a brilliant idea but only if you have the space and they have plenty of that over there.

While on holiday, I also managed to peruse some supermarkets Mr West and I particularly liked Winn Dixie. Their fresh fruit and veg displays were excellent and their bakery offer, well, let's just say that you couldn't leave it without buying something.

Fresh fruit and veg is something even the massive superstores can't get right over here. My local Sainsbury now has a bin in the fresh aisles where you can put damaged or over-ripe fruit/veg. Surely that's called quality control, and they should be paying someone to do that job?

Anyway I digress. Back in the good old US of A, I spied some great products in particular a big 'sharing' slab of Snickers. One giant Snickers bar that you take home and share. They also do packets of Snickers Unwrapped Bites small cubes of peanutty goodness. I also saw some Sour Patch Kids gum. I was quite excited about this as I love the sweets but the gum was not very sour but then I'm probably too old for it any way!

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 20 November 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East123.5862.15130.21121.10
East Midlands123.21131.97120.77
London123.5556.90131.47121.21
North East122.7764.90132.16120.46
North West123.1057.80131.29120.64
Northern Ireland121.8564.20125.57120.27
Scotland123.3352.20129.79120.83
South East123.79131.06121.50
South West123.42130.49121.01
Wales123.15129.94120.50
West Midlands122.8761.90132.62120.73
Yorkshire & Humber122.9956.90131.53120.82

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