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03 March, 2011
In the last of the series focusing on the winners of the Forecourt Trader awards 2010, the spotlight is on the Oil Company Initiative and specialist categories
Page 30 

Best Oil Company Initiative winner

Melanie Lane, Shell's general manager, UK Retail, was "over the moon" to receive the award for Best Oil Company Initiative on the company's behalf for its FuelSave unleaded and diesel fuel. Described as a "real breakthrough innovation" the launch of the fuel last July was the company's biggest marketing investment for 10 years. Lane said the fuel was launched in response to the overwhelming customer need to save on fuel costs it claims to save one litre of fuel per tank and took five years to develop. It was made available to consumers and dealers "at no extra cost"; and also brought the Shell brand into the limelight with the focus on its 100-year fuel heritage.

The launch was accompanied by a blaze of marketing activity, and included enlisting the support of cricketer Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff as an ambassador for the fuel. He launched a one litre fuel challenge, and donned a yellow uniform to act as petrol pump attendant on a Shell forecourt for a morning.


Best Oil Company Initiative - highly commended

Total's marketing team was delighted to accept the Highly Commended award for Best Oil Company Initiative for its Total Rewards and Car Wash Card schemes. At a time when everyone is looking for ways of cutting outoings, without abandoning treats like meals out or family outings, the Total Rewards scheme rewards customers with vouchers that are redeemable at a huge variety of selected partners. It is designed to assist dealers in a variety of ways, boosting all areas of their business. There is no long collection period for a small reward one spend of 30 or more earns one voucher and one discount, and is not limited to fuel but includes all products available at Total forecourts. Total's pre-pay Car Wash Card is a boost to car wash business and its launch followed a survey showing that people wanted a more convenient way of obtaining car wash services from forecourts. The card means they can drive straight to the wash and also benefit from special offers and discounts.


best Hot Beverages Outlet - sponsor Coffee nation

Esso's On the Run site in Kings Drive, Eastbourne in East Sussex, managed by Marcel Grabowski (pictured centre), fought off stiff competition for the Best Hot Beverages Outlet award.

The judges, including sponsor Coffee Nation's finance director Simon Vardigans (pictured right with awards host Mark Durden-Smith) were looking for a hot beverage offer that was impactful both inside and outside of the store; clean and well maintained; positioned near other impulse products; and operated by knowledgable and customer-focused staff. And that's exactly what they got.

The Costa-branded franchise offers the full array of Costa products, and is the central fixture in a wider area dedicated to selling food-for-now products. External signage ensures passing motorists cannot fail to see the Costa branding, and staff attend training courses at both Costa and Esso training centres.


Best Soft Drinks Outlet - sponsor Coca-cola Enterprises

The award for Best Soft Drinks Outlet was hotly contested but Esso Oswestry in Shropshire pipped the other entrants to the post with its comprehensive displays both on a main fixture and in other high traffic locations alongside related categories such as sandwiches, newspapers and confectionery.

The site, which is managed by Daniel Hall (pictured third from left) and assistant store manager Stephen James (second from left), has a good range and availability, displaying the best sellers prominently. The fixture layout is easy to shop and products are well faced on clean shelves.

Judge and sponsor Coca-Cola Enterprises' business controller manager for impulse, Andy Brown, (pictured far right) was particularly impressed by the site's participation in promotions and special offers. Deals were prominently displayed, and at the time of judging, the site was getting behind activity surrounding the World Cup with good use of point of sale material.


Best Tobacco Merchandising - sponsor Imperial Tobacco

Moto Toddington South in Bedfordshire scooped the award for Best Tobacco Merchandising for its exceptional display standards and responsible approach to driving legislative compliance.

Manager Tanya Wooster (pictured centre alongside colleagues) ensures availability of all brands is maintained, and sales of the premium brands are almost 10% above the national average, driven by displaying those products in prime locations on the fixture. Tanya consistently reviews sales performance to remove poor performing lines in favour of new and developing brands.

Regular staff briefings on the importance of legislative compliance and the risks involved both on a company and individual level, along with a Think 25 policy and support of the No ID, No Sale programme, ensures Moto Toddington South never falls foul of the law.


best use of retail Technology - sponsor Torex

Brennans Spar in Seaforde, County Down is certainly making the most of its investment in a HydraPos epos system by Htec.

The site, managed by Conor McKibben (pictured centre with joint site manager Marie Madine), is one of the busiest service stations in Northern Ireland, thanks to its delicious homemade ice cream, making it imperative that the tills keep up with demand.

Quick payment options mean transaction completion time is less than 60 seconds, keeping queues to a minimum and giving staff more time to concentrate on giving customers the attention that they require. Aside from the epos system, Brennans Spar relies heavily on technology as a major aspect of its business, allowing it to grow and offer the customer more. Features such as pay at pump, a lottery screen with the winning numbers displayed and the back office reporting daily sales all contribute to the running and maintaining of a successful business.