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September

‘Musical chairs’ as sell-offs continue

The industry equivalent of musical chairs has continued this month with more sites changing hands – Texaco to Pace Petroleum, Morrisons to Tesco, and Fuelforce to Murco.

Sign of the times

The evolving forecourt market has prompted Palmer & Harvey to adapt its service to the independent sector. Along with the launch of the Sinqua epos system for forecourts by YP Electronics, which P&H acquired in 2000, it has this year formed a new team dedicated to serving the growing number of multi-site operators.

Distress signal

As forecourt retailers transform their shops into convenience stores, they might be tempted to push car care to one side, but the high-margin and distress nature of car care make it one of the most important categories to the forecourt shop. If a motorist runs out of fuel, breaks down or loses a headlight bulb, the nearest forecourt will be their first destination for a petrol can, tow rope or new bulb.

Better by design

Forecourt design and shopfitting are the foundations of any forecourt business. After all, if the forecourt doesn’t look inviting or doesn’t advertise its services properly to passing traffic, then the business will fall at the first hurdle because nobody will come in. “The site needs to project an inviting appearance from the road and be easy for customers to use,” says Alec Cornish-Trestail, who runs forecourt design company ACT Design.

Shell moves dealer contracts to Platts

Shell is to replace the number of existing margin share dealer contacts currently active in the UK market with new Platt Plus deals.

Brutal attack on forecourt cashier

A young cashier was pistol-whipped and kicked during a brutal robbery at a forecourt in the London suburb of Croydon.

Store conversion

Independent retailer Bryce Smith has converted the old car showroom at Ladyacre forecourt in Lanark, into a 1,100sq ft Spar-branded convenience store.

Opportunity knocks for alcohol sales

The increasing consumption of alcohol at home is good news for forecourt retailers, according to a new report by independent market analyst Datamonitor.

News in brief

BP IS THE WORLD'S most admired UK company, according to new research from management consultancy Hay Group and Fortune magazine. The research – based on surveying more than 10,000 directors, executives and managers at 357 companies around the globe – also puts BP as the second most admired UK innovators – second to Tesco. A BP spokeswoman said: “It’s always gratifying when a survey comes out in your favour, but we are just focused on getting on with the business.”

Fuel prices: August 30, 2005

As ESSO and BP join Shell and Gulf in launching new loyalty programmes this year, are such schemes a key tool for businesses today?