The independent sector is alive, well and doing rather nicely, some would even say resurgent, John Lynn,

Chevron’s vice president of marketing in Europe, told a packed house at the Top Indies dinner in Coventry on March 6.

"The death of the independent has been much heralded down the years - firstly the oil companies would see them off, then the hypermarkets, or Pricewatch, would be the final straw, or environmental legislation and so on. But what tonight’s dinner recognises is that the sector is alive and well. The pairing of effective entrepreneurs with supportive and proactive oil company suppliers is still a potent one - and one we will be advocating at Chevron," he said. "Independent entrepreneurs are better at serving customer needs than oil companies, whether single or multi-site operators. At Chevron we are grateful for that."

The dinner marked the publication of the latest Top 50 Indies listing which was headed by Graham Peacock of Malthurst. Independent retailers gathered for the event at the Forest of Arden Hotel, and a great time was had by all.

The occasion coincided with the International Forecourt and Fuel Equipment (IFFE)show 2007. (See review p29).