We were excited to view this new knockdown rebuild for MFG near Warmington

Our mystery shopper on a mission visits one of MFG’s latest sites, which opened this spring, off the A605 between Peterborough and Oundle. It is the group’s first knock-down rebuild this year.

Time of visit: 1:50pm on a Saturday.


Kerb appeal

The 24-hour Esso and Londis site, near the village of Warmington, is not visible from the A605 dual-carriageway, but a “Services” sign directs drivers off a roundabout. The forecourt itself is spacious and neat, with plenty parking, and the glazed-front shop, which has Londis and Greggs fascias, looks modern and inviting.

Pump action

The site felt relatively quiet when we visited, although there were a handful of other motorists, including some using the two Power Foam Jet Wash bays. In front of the shop are four islands, with the latest Axon pumps, with which customers can pre-select the value of fuel required, with eight nozzles, and four fuel grades.

Behind the building are two additional islands, with a total of six nozzles, for vans and trucks, offering AdBlue and diesel. Other features include a free-withdrawal ATM, displays of newspapers as well as car care and home fuels products, and InPost parcel lockers at the back of the premises. The new site is festooned with promotional advertising for Greggs, the Power Wash, and a £5.49 lunch deal. There are 16 parking spaces in total, with one reserved for disabled.


The two jet wash bays were busy when we visited

Store style

Although quite imposing from the outside, the inside felt relatively compact, the opposite of the Tardis effect. The Greggs concession, on the left as you enter, takes up almost a third of the area. The store was tidy and well merchandised with stock immaculately faced up. Around half a dozen staff were busy filling shelves and tending to customers.

The stock mix is heavily skewed to food to go, with an extensive range of soft drinks, crisps and snacks, including a healthy Tooty Fruity fruits, nuts and seeds selection, and confectionery. There is also a Costa machine, as well as Dunkin’ doughnuts and Rollover hot dogs units, and a display of reduced-to-clear products. Interestingly, there is a large choice of chilled and un-chilled alcohol. A nice touch is a Red Bull-branded mini-chiller of beverages under the payment counter.


A nice touch was the drinks fridge under the cash desk


The site had a major focus on food to go


A Greggs, with seating area overlooking the forecourt, seemed popular with motorists


Categories were impeccably faced up and tidy


There was a modest ambient fruit and vegetable offer, but there was more in the fridge


Multi-buy deals ran throughout the store


All the essentials were catered for

The food is convenience led, but the outlet has most essentials, from nappies to greetings cards, pet food to household cleaning products. There is a two-door freezer with a range of meal choices and a modest display of ambient fresh fruit and vegetables, although more produce was in the chiller.

Our impression was of a slick, well-run retail operation, albeit very corporate – it did not feel like a local, community business. However, it clearly serves a market niche.

On a mission

We were intending to use the toilets and buy a bottle of wine and we were not disappointed with either. The toilets – with separate ladies and gents and a disabled/baby changing cubicle – were pristine. Aquarium-style décor was a pleasant surprise. On the wine front, we opted for a £9.25 La Vieille Ferme white.


We were impressed by the big wine selection


The toilet had the wow factor with its aquarium decor

Anything else

This is an outlet very much aimed at passing traffic rather than walk-in local customers, and the stock mix and feel reflects this. For a supposedly next generation site we were surprised at the lack of EV facilities, although this is perhaps part of plans.

Thumbs up

Spotless throughout

Spacious with plenty parking

Contactless payment jet wash

Thumbs down


The business does what it sets out to do, providing an essential service on a tried and tested formula to passing motorists. There are few innovative touches and little in the way of wow factor, but maybe MFG does not feel that would be right for this market.


A compact store, but it covered all the basics