Our mystery motorist on a mission visits BP Sholing in Southampton
BP Sholing, Southampton
Time of visit: 11.30am
Kerb appeal: The site is easy to spot thanks to its BP signage; the pole sign is highly visible from the road.
Pump action: Pumps were busy at the time of my visit. There is an LPG pump but it was out of order. There is a car wash, a jet wash, two ATM,s Amazon lockers and a 24/7 self-service Revolution launderette.
This is a Southern Co-op and it’s a lovely looking store, very spacious with wide aisles and good lighting. It’s very clean and tidy and well laid out but there were some empty spaces on the shelves. Around the shop there was imagery of Lawrences Garages from days gone by, which looked really good.
It has a nice food-to-go area with slush drinks (Coca-Cola, Fanta and Tango) , F’real shakes, Rollover hot dogs, Chicago Town pizza hot pastries and Lavazza coffee. The hot pastries unit highlighted a breakfast deal where you could get a large hot drink and a breakfast bap for £4. Screens above the food-to-go area highlighted items for sale such as Chicago Town pizza, however both the Rollover and Chicago Town units were empty. I asked an assistant and they went and got some hot dogs.
The American range in-store was interesting as it went beyond the usual candy and included things like Hamburger Helper and Macaroni Cheese.
On a mission: my mission at this site was to try the Pizza Rebellion vending machine which is located right next to the shop. It’s a standalone unit. You step up onto a platform and are greeted by a touchscreen display where you choose your pizza. You can have it served cold ie to takeaway and heat up or hot and ready to eat. You made your choice and then paid for it via the adjacent payment unit. The machine then got to work heating up your pizza. These pizzas are made by fresh every day and they did not disappoint.
I went for Pulverized Pepperoni and it came served in a heavy-duty cardboard box. It didn’t come sliced but I found (later) that there was a wooden knife underneath.
It has a crispy crust, lots of topping and was really good, especially considering it had come out of a machine.
According to staff in the Southern Co-op, the Pizza Rebellion unit is well used and was even being used at 5 one morning!
The toilets were the best-smelling forecourt toilets that I had ever been in thanks to a PHS AirScent Burst unit. Well worth the money, I would say.
Thumbs up for:
• store layout and ambience
• Pizza Rebellion
• Pleasant-smelling toilets
Thumbs down for:
• Empty spaces on shelve