David Charman’s award-winning BP site in Kent was the focus of a seminar at the Retailer Hub at last month’s National Convenience Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

In a presentation entitled ’Making a customer stop and shop’, Blake Gladman, HIM’s research and insights director, showed extracts from interviews he and Forecourt Trader editor Merril Boulton had conducted, quizzing customers about why they chose to shop at Spar Parkfoot which is located on the busy A20 near West Malling.

Amid glowing reports about the range of products and services instore, the fantastic customer service, and great food to go, the majority of David’s customers were either unaware or unconcerned about the price of fuel on the forecourt, or the fuel brand, but were drawn to the site because of the strength of the store.

However Gladman stressed the importance of driving awareness of the offer, to keep encouraging new customers to come to the site. HIM recently completed research talking face-to-face to 20,000 forecourt and convenience shoppers in the UK, which showed that food and drink-to-go is becoming even more important for future shoppers.

PRA chairman Brian Madderson and James Haigh, business consultant at Experian Catalist, provided a comprehensive review of the market and the challenges and opportunities for fuel retailers.