ROADCHEF is rolling out a new format for its forecourt shops, following a six-month consultation with retail consultancy Breathing Space. Analysis of sales at trial sites – Watford Gap and Clacket Lane – have shown that while fuel volume is remaining static, basket spend is up by 5%. Mike Hobbs, director of Breathing Space, explained: “We’ve looked at product and category placement, ease of layout and signage so customers can identify very quickly what’s on offer. ” The new concept will be rolled out to all RoadChef forecourt shops in the next two months, but the capital investment is being phased in later on.

FORECOURT RETAILERS are being urged not to delay their applications for alcohol licences any longer. All applications must be lodged by August 6 if licensees are to benefit from grandfather rights, but to date, very few applications have been received by Councils around England and Wales. Licensees who fail to convert their existing licences by this date will need to apply for the new premises licence if they want to continue to sell alcohol – or provide hot food and drink between 11pm and 5am – after the second appointed day, which is currently November 6, 2005.

A VENDING MACHINE for forecourt windows and outer walls has been launched to the UK market, allowing forecourts to operate unmanned 24 hours a day. The Backloader, which is merchandised from inside, can hold up to 60 selections and more than 1,000 products, including chilled food and fragile goods.