Forecourt Trader
Home
Menu
Money Talk: Forecourt crime is more than just drive-offs and no means of payment

Interesting to see that BOSS (the British Oil Security Syndicate) has launched a 'forecourt crime index' to help retailers gauge their own experience against a national benchmark. It's a good idea, and one not to be dismissed, however, the real limitation is that the index appears to relate specifically to drive-offs and NMoP (no means of payment) incidents as if they were the only elements of forecourt crime. Some with long experience in the industry might beg to differ. That's not to suggest that these two problems are insignificant. Assuming that the estimated £30m-a-year cost of these incidents is accurate, that works out at an average of around £3,500 per site nationally.

King of the road

Aas the news broke that Rontec was extending its partnership with Morrisons with plans for a further 40 Morrisons Daily convenience stores across its network, I was in the hot seat literally in the back of the car with Rontec's legendary chairman and chief executive, Gerald Ronson, on one of his equally legendary regular site tours. "It's a major development programme between two companies who have a similar 'can do' culture," he says. "We've done 10 Morrisons sites, and the figures so far are encouraging. We're doing another batch of 40, but our network has the potential for at least another 50 from a locational and size point of view potentially we could have up to 100 sites under the Morrisons banner by the end of the year. It should give us another £50-70m turnover. It's keeping the team busy! But it's where I believe this industry is going."

Shop Doctor: In the surgery this month - Verwood Motors, Ringwood Road, Verwood, Dorset

LOCATION: My target, Verwood Motors, part of the Central Convenience Stores enterprise, is situated on the B3081 that runs through the town of Verwood, between the A31 and A354.

Shop Doctor: In the surgery this month - Shell Select, Brenzett, Kent

LOCATION: This Shell site is on a roundabout just outside Brenzett on the Romney Marsh. The site is very visible from the roundabout but it's not obvious how you get to it. I had to turn one way and do a U-turn to get in. There used to be a Little Chef adjacent to the forecourt but now it's a business selling sheds.

Shop Doctor: In the surgery this month - Parkfoot Garage, West Malling, Kent

LOCATION: Located on the busy A20 in West Malling, Kent my stealth check target is the prize-winning Parkfoot Garage. The site won the first Forecourt Trader of the Year award in 1996 and, for the past four years, has been the Best Site in London & South East in the 4mlpa plus category. Now that's consistency and surely worth another visit.

Shop Doctor: In the surgery this month - Chatham Road Service Station, Maidstone, Kent

LOCATION: My target, the Chatham Road Service Station, is located just south of junction six on the M20 and north of Maidstone on the A229. The site is on a service road and if travelling south, drivers must go right round a busy roundabout and come back on themselves. It was okay for me as I wanted to visit the site, but it's a bit of a hassle for local drivers. To make it worthwhile, it needs to be special.

Shop Doctor: In the surgery this month - Micheldever Service Station, Cocksford Down, Popham, Hampshire

LOCATION: Micheldever Service Station is located on the A303 eastbound at Popham and was, until recently, an Esso 'On the Run'. It is now one of the growing numbers of Euro Garage sites in the south. There are the usual 'service station ahead' signs on the A303, but the service station pole is not visible until drivers are on the slip road up to the site.

Shop Doctor: In the surgery this month - Nantycaws Filling Station, A48, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire

In the surgery this month