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November

Online poll result
01 November, 2005

The results of this month’s online poll make interesting reading, for while it’s encouraging to know that more than half (56%) of the retailers who voted did have an effective plan, there were almost just as great a number out there (44%) who may not be properly prepared should another fuel crisis hit.

'Fuelies' dismiss food shopping as tedious
01 November, 2005

There’s a new breed of food shopper according to the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD), and they’re called ‘fuelies’ because they view food in the same way as petrol and diesel – as a boring but essential commodity bought on price. But it’s these ‘fuelies’ who are the key challenge for the whole grocery industry says the IGD.

News in brief
01 November, 2005

WELCOME TO CLARE COLEMAN who joins Forecourt Trader as Assistant Editor, taking over from Amy Lanning who left last month to work on sister publication Convenience Store. Clare previously worked as a reporter on a local newspaper in Basingstoke and is looking forward to getting to grips with the petrol retailing industry.

Opposing fortunes
01 November, 2005

Oil companies face a huge dilemma over their retail strategies, according to Greg Hodge, retail analyst at Planet Retail, which specialises in analysis of the major retailers and retail markets worldwide.

Shop Doctor: BP Georgetown, Didcot, Oxon
01 November, 2005

Over the years I’ve heard much about the prize-winning Fraser Group, and its role in the Lakeside Group, and thought it high time I visited one of its sites. So I travelled to Georgetown, Didcot, south of Oxford. This Spar store/BP forecourt site has recently been revamped and seems ideally situated – it’s among chimney pots, is just outside Didcot and has an entrance to the Didcot Girls’ School immediately behind it. On the down side it does have competition from a Co-op ‘Swift Shop’ c-store next door.

Database: Stakeholder pensions
01 November, 2005

How many staff do you employ – six, seven, eight maybe? According to our annual PAYEpeople forecourt wages report (Forecourt Trader, Oct 05) the ‘average’ petrol retail site in the UK employs 8.2 hourly-paid staff. We know that many operators run two or three sites but it’s now becoming commonplace for one retailer to be responsible for five, six or even more sites. So it’s not unheard of for a site operator to be responsible for 30 employees, in fact it may soon be the norm. However as far as the Welfare Reform & Pensions Act 1999 is concerned, the number of staff you employ before you fall under the scrutiny of the Department of Work and Pensions is much lower than that. Five – to be precise. No, that wasn’t a misprint. If you employ five or more staff then you need to ensure that you have complied with the regulations regarding Stakeholder Pensions.

Service Centre
01 November, 2005

An abuse of power?

Looking to the Futura
01 November, 2005

We’ve seen old brands reawakened from the dead – think Gulf and Regent – and low-profile brands thrust into the limelight – think Pace. But seldom – certainly not this century – have we seen an entirely new brand make its way onto the forecourt.

Shoot for the stars
01 November, 2005

When Susie Hawkins attended her first Forecourt Trader awards ceremony back in 2002 she gave herself a goal – she wanted to be the one up there collecting the winner’s trophy. Just three years later Susie, who celebrates her 29th birthday this month, has achieved that goal, becoming one of our youngest ever winners and the first female solo entrant to pick up the petrol retailing industry’s top award, Forecourt Trader of the Year 2005.

Platform for change
01 November, 2005

There is so much focus on developing the shop side of the service station business these days, that the fuel element has become almost secondary – except where prices and margins are concerned of course.

When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?