MFG’s ‘dual-fuel’ flagship site in Putney took top honours at the Forecourt Trader Awards 2022 as it sets the template for the future.

MFG Putney 1 L-r Store manager Indre Aulaseviciene; area manager Thomas Chung; assisant manager Umar Qureshi

L-r: Store manager Indre Aulaseviciene; area manager Thomas Chung; assisant manager Umar Qureshi 

As the final award was announced, there was a whoop and a cheer as MFG’s flagship site in Putney became the latest overall victor in the industry’s most prestigious annual forecourt awards.

And onto the stage sprang the site’s charismatic store manager Indre Aulaseviciene to hold the coveted trophy aloft – the result of a considerable amount of hard work by many people within the UK’s biggest independent forecourt operator.

“I was so surprised to win, “ she said. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard our name.When I saw the pictures, I could see there were so many really good sites. But when we won the regional award (Best Site in London & South East over 4mlpa) I knew we were in with a chance.”

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MFG Putney store manager Indre Aulaseviciene who has created a positive environment for staff and customers, making Putney a winner

William Bannister, the company’s CEO, said: “We are delighted that Putney has received this award and congratulations to the whole Putney team.

“Putney is an important site for us as we see it as the industry-leading blueprint for the future of UK forecourts to achieve a practical transition from fossil fuels to electrically powered vehicles. It’s part of MFG’s dual fuel strategy – placing equal importance on electricity as a fuel source, compared to fossil fuel, providing motorists with confidence that they will always be able to rely on MFG to keep them mobile.

“The concept is modern in design and provides a high-quality retail and consumer experience for the community and for motorists to use while charging their vehicles, including state-of-the-art valeting facilities.”

Last year the site underwent a complete knock-down-rebuild, doubling its reach by building on land at the rear of the plot, emerging in September 2021 as a destination convenience forecourt prepared for the ongoing transition away from fossil fuels, towards electric vehicles.

The dual-fuel station is balanced in its approach, with eight dedicated ultra-rapid 150kW EV charging bays and eight traditional petrol pumps. The striking-looking valeting centre has four jet washes, four air machines (with water and screen wash) and four vacuums.

Other customer attractions include two toilets, Amazon Lockers, InPost lockers, Uber Eats, free-to-use ATM and Paypoint.

The modern Budgens store has a comprehensive convenience range, including grocery, non-foods, frozen and chilled foods, as well as a great food-to-go range including fresh bakery, pastries and hot savoury foods, with a number of popular food and drink brands, including two Costa Express machines.

There is also a very pleasant Costa Café at one side of the main building for customers to relax in while their cars are charging.

The site is run by Peregrine Retail Ltd – a subsidiary of MFG – which operates 24 sites under the direct management format, in contrast to most of MFG’s sites which are run by contract managers.

Thomas Chung is area retail manager of almost half the sites within Peregrine Retail, including Shell Putney, which he has been involved with from the start, including the key task of recruiting staff.

While it takes many people to conceive, plan, design and build such a format for the future – as MFG Putney surely is – you also need people who can bring it altogether and ensure it’s running well on a daily basis, building good relationships with staff and customers, and that takes some skill.

Indre seems to have impressed from the start, taking over as store manager within one month of starting work at the site, the pandemic having led to redundancy from her previous role in hospitality and foodservice. “Indre had not worked on a forecourt before, but came across as honest, open and bubbly – a resilient and experienced person who ticked all the boxes,” explained Thomas. “In terms of retail standards, that’s quite trainable, but the right leader can embrace and influence their team, and motivate the team to deliver – that’s a great start.” He says that with consistent coaching and development, while being honest and resilient, the new management team have built a culture of trust and passion, while creating a fun, rewarding and hard-working environment: “Team members are happy, proud, and productive which has created a positive environment for our customers, with great standards in all areas of the site, with full availability and great service,” he said. “Trust is needed to work together, build a bond, a team. I see it as a family. Working to a common goal.”

There have been learnings for all, working on such a leading-edge site, particularly on the EV side. One third of the motoring customers have electric vehicles, and are also learning – about how to live with their new cars. They occasionally need help, like on some models not realising they have to press ‘unlock’ to release the charger.

“We’ve had some training sessions, but we’re also learning through practice and experience,” explains Indre. She always starts the day with a plan, based around a strategy: SAS – Standards (keeping clean and tidy); Availability (eg stock – what needs to be ordered); and Service (queues, quality of service, uniform and so on).

“Although I hadn’t worked on a forecourt before, many of the disciplines, such as making things look nice; dealing with suppliers and invoicing, was not new.

“However, I am really enjoying it. I learn something new every day. We have really nice customers here (and some crazy ones!). But it’s a privilege to work here.”

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The ‘dual-fuel’ service station is MFG’s flagship site

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The store is run to a strict code: SAS – Standards, Availability and Service


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The site features eight 150kW EV chargers in striking blue livery


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The impressive valeting centre has four jet washes, four air machines and four vacuums