When Top 50 independent fuel retailer - Motor Fuel Group (MFG) -decided to redevelop the shops on two of its newly-acquired sites, the decision to assign them to Palmer & Harvey’s (P&H’s) new Mace symbol package was a no-brainer. "We have a long-standing association with P&H, but in particular a close working relationship with the company’s account manager Julian Howitt," explains MFG’s joint managing director Sharad Raja, known to everyone as Raj. "He was a key reason we decided to go to Mace on both sites, and while it’s still early days, we are very pleased with the results so far."

P&H relaunched its Mace symbol offer at its Pro-retail exhibition in Telford in April. The brand is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the relaunch included a new identity and a greater range of benefits and incentives designed to add more value for both existing and potential new members. It promises ’best in class’ retail formats while retaining flexibility for its customers, helping them provide a comprehensive local convenience alternative.

"The Mace branding looks fantastic," says Raj. "We have been reviewing all our 71 sites and decided to install it on our forecourts in Glasgow, Scotland, and in Upper Beeding, West Sussex - both have fuel volumes of around 5mlpa.

"But it’s the behind-the-scenes guidance we’ve had from P&H - with demographics and understanding our customers’ needs - that has been key, and has helped us to make sure we have the right categories in the right place.

"So far we have had a very positive reaction from customers, some of whom have thought they were in M&S!

"Since we installed the Mace offer, shop sales have increased 25% in the Glasgow store, and 30% in Upper Beeding. The way the format works also gives you good control over margins.

"So far Mace has been a very positive experience for us - so much so that we are currently in discussions to move more of our sites to Mace."