Top 50 independent forecourt operator Motor Fuel Group has converted two fomer BP M&S sites to Mace, and plans
a major rollout of the P&H symbol format within its 70-strong network over the next year.
The latest sites – one in Loxford, Essex and the other in Wednesbury, West Midlands – were acquired by MFG in April, and were closed for just one week before being relaunchced in the blue Mace livery. The openings bring the group’s current tally of Mace stores to four, but it has plans to convert a further 26 forecourts to Mace, which will be achieved through a mix of acquisition and new sites.
Mace undertook significant market research into the locations to ensure that the shop and category mix were suitable and appropriate to the area, according to Tony Head, MFG’s operations and development director. As a result, like-for-like sales in the first month of opening have been maintained, and margins have significantly improved due to improved waste management: “The Mace branding looks fantastic and so far we’ve had a positive reaction from customers," he said.
"Mace offers best in class retail formats while retaining flexibility for its customers, helping to provide us with a comprehensive local convenience alternative for consumers. Through Mace, our sites receive expert advice on range and merchandising, marketing leading store floor plan and planogram recommendations, and competitive prices. In addition, the stores have access to excellent channel- focused promotions and marketing materials, making it a central service for the local community”.
MFG opened its first two Mace stores in 2009 - one in Upper Bedding and one in Autoport, Paisley Road, Glasgow. Tony said the Upper Bedding site, previously a Spar, had experienced a 27% increase in sales year-on-year, and a 40% increase in footfall since the Mace conversion.