Over the past 12 months the Gulf network has grown to over 425 sites and the average annual volume of recent conversions is more than 3 million litres, but one of the latest conversions says Gulf is also showing a strong commitment to small rural forecourts.

Pexall Service Station, situated on the A537 at Henbury, near Macclesfield, Cheshire, is a family-run business with an annual throughput of 900,000 litres. The forecourt recently converted from Power to Gulf as proprietor Keith Deaville looks to the future of a business that his father started more than 50 years ago.

“As a small rural filling station that has experienced the impact of supermarket domination, it is an ongoing struggle to make a living from fuel,” says Keith. “Thankfully we also offer servicing, repairs and MOTs, although we rely on fuel to attract motorists to our workshops.”

The forecourt, which is equipped with four pumps and a large canopy, had previously been Total-supplied before moving to Power.

Keith says: “Around the time of the move to Power, Certas Energy became our supplier and, while the Power brand may not have the kudos of Total, there was a noticeable improvement in the quality of service and support.

“It felt like we had turned a full circle when our Certas Energy area manager offered us the opportunity to switch to Gulf,” adds Keith. “It means that we are back with a major brand and a much stronger corporate image. The site looks revitalised, our customers are happy and customer service remains good. It’s a positive move for the business; we have enjoyed some uplift in volume and now have the benefit of taking both Gulf and Shell cards.

“That doesn’t mean that petrol retailing is any easier. It remains a tough business to make ends meet and requires us to put in the hours and go that extra mile for our customers.”