Find out how one forecourt operator has boosted their lubricant sales and customer experiences.

Lubricants represent a strong avenue for profit generation, yet they’re often overshadowed by more prominent offerings like fuel and other convenience store products. However, with the right strategy in place, lubricant sales can become a valuable revenue driver.

One of the primary challenges retailers face within the category is the complexity of the lubricant market. With so many different brands, grades, and formulations available, customers are often overwhelmed by choice. So, without proper guidance or a clear store layout, customers may opt for cheaper or suboptimal products, sacrificing quality for cost-effectiveness.

“If a customer cannot quickly and simply ascertain the correct oil for their car, they may either walk away without a purchase or buy the wrong type of oil,” explains Zahir Islam, National Account Manager at leading supplier, Hydro Carbon Services (HCS). “Happy customers return and that is what every retailer wants.”

Yet one of the key challenges for forecourts is simplifying the often-confusing world of lubricants for customers.

Simplified product selection and store layouts play a pivotal role in fostering consumer loyalty, as when customers can easily navigate the forecourt store and quickly find the products they need, they are more likely to return for future purchases. By streamlining the purchasing process and eliminating confusion, retailers demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction, which, in turn, builds trust and loyalty.

But how can forecourt retailers address this?

RT_The Kay Group Dobshill SS

Simplifying the complex world of lubricants

It was The Kay Group’s desire to enhance its oil range and sales across the 15 Texaco branded sites within its portfolio that started a process of extensive discussions and review between the forecourt operator and HCS.

From day one, the HCS approach was to encourage Texaco brand affiliation in Texaco forecourts. And, thanks to a close working relationship with Texaco, HCS was able to demonstrate its understanding of lubricant sales at forecourts and how that differs from so many other lines on offer at a site.

HCS tackles this by working closely with Texaco Lubricants and offering the full Havoline range, ensuring product quality and brand consistency. Moreover, the business advocates for a single-brand strategy, which reduces confusion and streamlines product selection.

Bespoke planograms for maximised shelf space

A crucial element of HCS’s approach is to create bespoke planograms for each client site, to ensure maximum return on available shelf space.

HSC worked collaboratively with The Kay Group management and forecourt managers, collecting photographs of car care bays at every site, as well as carrying out site visits to discuss business needs with staff.

From the information gathered, each site was provided with a bespoke planogram to cater for the space available, with optimised choices based on the current UK vehicle car parc.

Once the planograms had been agreed upon and the stock delivered, every site received a visit from the HCS field sales team, who merchandised the bays to the agreed planograms to help maximise sales.

Finally, QR codes and shelf strips were strategically placed to explain the mechanics of the QR product selector. This empowers both customers and staff to select the correct lubricant for each vehicle, avoiding costly mistakes and ensuring optimal engine performance.

Suzanne Haslam, Key Account Manager, Texaco Lubricants UK said: “With most vehicles now fitted with after-treatment systems and particulate filters, communicating the importance of selecting the right oil, while simultaneously simplifying the customer experience, is vital. We support all our partners with the right knowledge, access to training and POS marketing solutions to allow consumers to make informed choices and retailers to maximise their margins.”

These curated relationships and discussions not only simplify the shopping experience for customers, but also encourage upselling and cross-selling opportunities.


“We believe that empowering the staff onsite, through training and product knowledge, is incredibly beneficial and well received,” says Zahir. “Everything we do has people at the forefront, so we can offer the right support to achieve the right results.”

And with the agreement between HCS and The Kay Group finalised in December 2022, the results to date have been impressive: a 17 per cent increase in lubricant sales during 2023.

Jacob Francis, Sales and Marketing Manager at The Kay Group, commends HCS’s “insightful, communicative” approach and highlights the “phenomenal” results achieved.

“HCS planned out and implemented a bespoke planogram and range per site that was dressed in POS to enhance and simplify the customer shopping experience. They made the whole process so easy and straightforward that we barely had to do anything.

“I found their pricing also extremely competitive. The overall results have been absolutely fantastic for a mature category that usually sees little growth. On a like-for-like basis, our sales grew by 17% and our margin grew by 28%, a phenomenal result.

“I cannot recommend HCS highly enough from our experience of working with them. Sajid and his team, especially Zahir, have been insightful and communicative, and the results clearly speak for themselves.”

Zahir Islam of HCS concluded: “We are delighted to have delivered on our commitments to The Kay Group. The feedback from them on the positive impact this has made to their business underlines that this offering works for both the retailer and the customer.”

If you are a Texaco retailer and would like further information on how HCS can support your business, please contact Zahir Islam – Or find out more details here: