Always look on the bright side of life, as the famous Monty Python song goes, and what a jolly philosophy that is. Easy to sing at a knees-up maybe, but hard to stick to at all times, especially when someone nearby sneezes in a suspiciously swine-flu way, and you can immediately feel your temperature rising...
Yes there’s always something to worry about, and the non-stop media flow of negative tales issuing forth from all channels does nothing to help the cause. But look in the right places, and there are some positive vibes. This month’s magazine, for example is full of them.
There are retailers expanding and developing their businesses - Elite Fuels is opening its first forecourt café in conjunction with BB’s Coffee & Muffins. Euro Garages is buying three sites, with further acquisitions in the pipeline.
Then there’s Duns Service Station in the Scottish Borders (see page 21), where the owners have absolutely NO plans to change or expand their traditional-style forecourt - and are more than happy about it. They say they don’t want to tread on the toes of other local businesses by adding a grocery store. "If we all jump on the bandwagon and start selling everything, I don’t think anyone benefits," says proprietor Graham Walker. Hopefully the local businesses continue to reflect that view (oh sorry, cynical me).
Elsewhere retailer Carol Smith of Ashdene Service Station managed to drag an MP onto her forecourt and bend his ear about her concerns. Excellent stuff.
Meanwhile wholesale distributor Palmer & Harvey has been busy developing retailer initiatives, particularly its new Mace format displayed at last month’s Pro-Retail. In fact the exhibition itself was buzzing with retailers on the lookout for the right deals to enhance their businesses.
On top of this the BEN motor trades charity is holding a Petrol and Oil cricket tournament at Lord’s on June 22. You can all get involved by calling 01344 620191.Ooh, I’m really excited now!