Gulf is driving change in the industry with its innovative approach that puts dealer profitability at the top of the tree, according to Richard Billington, retail director of Certas Energy, as the roll-out of the new Gulf branding gets under way.

“We are redefining the Gulf proposition and everything it stands for with consultation - backed by action - now a pillar of the brand’s evolution, “ he said. “The actions we have taken in a relatively short period of time are all designed to improve dealer profitability and these include the launch of a fresh new forecourt image and the roll-out of a first-to-industry fuel loyalty programme - Oomph. By the year end it is anticipated that around 350 forecourts will be participating in the scheme which utilises latest technology to drive new revenues to dealers, enabling them to strengthen customer retention. Both initiatives have been well received by the industry and are now available to every new Gulf dealer.”

Billington said the developments had been a major undertaking in terms of resources and costs. “As part of the retail overhaul to drive up dealer profitability we have also introduced uniform procedures across our company network to improve efficiencies and to ensure that we properly use our size and scale to reduce our own costs and those of our dealers. This is work in progress and as we renew contracts with our third party suppliers, we will continue to provide our dealers with more advantageous arrangements.”

The developments are already reaping rewards with more dealers showing interest in the brand, and recent signings including long-term Jet dealer Malcolm Blake, owner of Oasis Garage in Hull, and similar success stories in Scotland and Wales.

“We are also in meaningful discussions with more of the Top 50 Indie groups than at any time in our recent history,” said Billington. “There is recognition that Gulf’s business partnership approach has substance alongside the investment we have made and are continuing to make. I am particularly delighted that, despite a very aggressive marketplace where the leading suppliers are all competing for a diminishing number of sites, we are making real headway.”