GB Oils has completed a series of roadshows for its Total dealer network to discuss the challenges and opportunities for retailers, along with the oil company’s vision for the future.

More than 110 retailers – including many of the Top 50 Indies – attended the events in Birmingham, York and Windsor where Ramsay MacDonald, retail director for GB Oils, presented a “compelling” case for the Gulf brand as part of the company’s growth strategy.

Guest speaker Brian Madderson, chairman of RMI Petrol, discussed topical issues, the changing face of petrol retailing and how the RMI is working to support the UK’s independent fuel retailer.

Madderson acknowledged the importance of working closely with an organisation that now accounts for around 25% of the dealer market’s 5,500 sites. He also welcomed GB Oils’ commitment to supply dealers across the whole of the UK.

“The GB Oils strategy is good for the industry and good for the independent,” said Madderson. “There are very few brands that are truly pan-UK and available to every type of dealer. Even the big brands such as BP and Shell are increasingly selective in terms of both geography and size.”

Madderson made reference to Arthur Renshaw of Experian Catalist, who has predicted that the future will comprise three major brands, BP, Shell and Gulf.

“With further investment planned in products, infrastructure and growth, the Gulf brand has huge potential,” continued Madderson. “Most importantly for dealers is a recognisable, reliable brand that provides an all-inclusive deal, offers a full range of products including premium grades, a convenience shops programme and a comfort factor for the consumer. We face so many challenges but now is the hour for the good dealer, backed by a supportive fuel supplier.”

Some 15 Total dealers had already agreed to convert to Gulf and following the road shows around 45 sites are expected to rebrand Gulf by the end of the year.

Ramsay MacDonald said: “We know that these events have to be worthwhile to justify customers taking time out away from their businesses and we are delighted with the response from our retailers, they attended in large numbers and with real enthusiasm.

“It emphasises the importance that dealers attach to open and honest dialogue and we shall look to build upon this type of initiative in the future. There was a great deal of intelligent debate and I will now ensure that we act on the points raised.”