A new report released today by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has revealed the essential part that petrol forecourts play in the UK retail landscape.

The 2016 Forecourt Report has shown that UK consumers are increasingly flocking to their local petrol station to refuel themselves and their families, not just their cars. Hundreds of stores now provide full food service solutions, from coffee and sandwiches to meals for the rest of the week.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Forecourts have seen significant development over the last 10 years, giving customers the opportunity to get food and drink for now, for later and for the rest of the week, as well as a host of other goods and services.

“Some of the best convenience stores in the UK are located on petrol forecourts, and there is still huge potential in the sector for growth. Many consumers consider their local shop to be on a petrol forecourt, and we anticipate this trend to continue in the coming years.”

Some of the key findings from the report include:

• Coffee is a major part of a modern forecourt. 70% of stores have a coffee machine in store, from standalone vending machines to full barista services

• Forecourts are a major source of investment in the UK. On average, each store invests over £16,000 a year on developing its business

• The forecourt sector creates over 117,000 jobs in the UK, with more than 8,700 stores serving customers across every community, town and city

• Excluding sales of petrol, the forecourt sector generates more than £4bn annually in sales.

The Forecourt Report is being launched today (Wednesday July 6) at the ACS/PRA Forecourt Seminar in Coventry.