Mystery motorist on a mission

Spar winsford

Spar Winsford, Cheshire

pitstop score


Time of visit: 2pm

Kerb appeal

The site is easy to see thanks to the bright red and yellow Shell canopy and the Shell logo on top of the pole sign.

 Pump action

This is a very busy Shell forecourt. In fact, it was so busy when I visited that I decided to go inside the shop first, then queue for fuel afterwards. Apparently the site is always busy. There is competition in the town; there is a Morrisons where the fuel is typically 1ppl cheaper and also another forecourt but that is being redeveloped. There is a lot of pos material promoting Shell’s V-Power premium fuel.

Store style

It’s a James Hall G&E Murgatroyd store. It’s a good looking shop with wide aisles and one of those open ceilings where you can see the pipework.

All the shelves are well stocked and everything is faced up nicely.

Even though staff are busy stocking shelves, they are not blocking the aisles. They use narrow trolleys to bring out only what they need from the stockroom.

On a mission

I was looking for something for lunch. In some places, I might have missed out as it was after 2pm but there was still a lot available here.

There is nothing really fancy about the food-to-go range but there is a lot of choice around the shop. In the way of hot food, there is a Rollover hot dog unit as well as a hot display unit with pastries inside. Next to this is a Cheeky Coffee unit, with a ‘buy six cups, get a seventh free’ offer highlighted.

The majority of the food-to-go offer is made up of meal deal items. Here you get the basic sandwich, crisps and a drink for a very competitive price of £3.99. I was surprised to see higher value cold drinks such as bottles of Diet Coke and Frijj milkshakes included in the offer. The chiller was stuffed full of sandwiches and baguettes. However, there were quite a few items that were marked down. I know they need to cut down on wastage but this does put me off a little bit. Also available were hardboiled eggs; fruit pots (melon fingers and berry medley), lots of cheese snacks and Jake & Nayns’ filled naans. There was a huge display of cookies, flapjacks and cereal bars.

A breakfast meal deal was advertised outside for £3.50. Plus, there was a frozen meal deal for a fiver. I opted for a chicken tikka pasty (delicious), a cold drink and a banana.

Anything else

On the left hand side of the shop, next to the window and running up to the tills were stacks of beer, typically bottles in boxes. I wondered whether this was always used as promotional space or whether it had replaced the typical confectionery run up to the till in the light of the upcoming HFSS regulations.

At the counter there is a Fast Lane for fuel only customers.

It was hard not to be tempted by some good offers dotted around the shop. There was also an eye-catching Dunkin Donuts display near the till.

Unfortunately, the customer toilet was unavailable. It was blocked and they were waiting for someone to come and unblock it. These things happen but I wondered how long it had been blocked for.

Outside there is an ATM where you can make free cash withdrawals. There is also a defibrillator, which is always good to see.

It’s a large site with lots of parking spaces. There is a Domino’s pizza also on the site, which must drive traffic, as well as an empty unit.


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Out-of-order toilet

Lots of marked down fresh items