A switch to Spar, a refurbishment and the introduction of an off licence have led to a 20% increase in shop trade for a forecourt business in Newquay.

Penhallow Filling Station was built more than 50 years ago by Garfield Hawkey. It was taken over by his daughter Elizabeth and is now run by her son, Andrew Morris. He explained his switch from Mace to Spar: "We wanted to get an upmarket, leading name over the door in order to take the business forward and moved to Spar last summer, carrying out a refit shortly after a Texaco 24-hour garage closed down the road.

"Spar’s west-country wholesaler, Appleby Westward, co-invested with us so we had a complete refit and introduced an off licence for the first time. We needed to understand how to promote it properly but now we’ve got the hang of it, it’s going very well."

Appleby Westward has built up quite a record for successfully obtaining off licences for forecourt stores. The company helped Richard Harris, who owns the Jet garage on the edge of Honiton, Devon, get an off licence too. He said: "It has generated new trade as customers come in for a four-pack of beer or a bottle of wine and buy other items at the same time." In his first month of trading as a Spar, with a new-look store and new off licence section, Richard’s sales increased by nearly £9,000."

It was a similar story for Frank and Julie Tebbit, who run Bodmin Moor Services on the A30 near Launceston - a month after a refurbisment and a new off licence, shop sales were up by £11.000.