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September

Outcry over shop theft downgrade

Angry retailers fear it will be 'open season' for thieves if plans to cut jail terms for shoplifters go ahead.

Space for Pace

It's nearly two years since Kuwait Petroleum GB was bought by Refined Holdings and became Pace Petroleum, prompting the demise of the Q8 signage on UK forecourts.

growth spurt

As Spar announces its intention to boost its forecourt estate to 600 stores over the next two years, you could be forgiven for thinking that one of its wholesalers, Capper and Co, is trying to achieve that single-handedly.

Building a brighter future

Forecourts have come a long way in the past 10 years, with small, basic kiosks being transformed into large modern c-stores, with hot food and quality coffee. Led by oil company investment in high-level offers like Esso's On The Run and BP's Connect, the distinction between the old-fashioned 'oily' filling station and the more appealing grocery-style offer has never been greater.

Shining example

The supermarkets are always there to spoil the party aren't they? With the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury now selling more non-food items than ever before, car care has become yet another area where forecourts face extra competition from the multiples. But they are perfectly placed to rise to the challenge, says David Rogers, sales director of premium valeting products company. Autoglym. "Car care products are big sellers, and their increasing popularity is illustrated by the fact that they are now readily available in supermarkets. Forecourts should be capitalising on this trend, rather than seeing their market share decline as the supermarkets and car accessory stores seize the potential."

Conference covers future of forecourts

A conference entitled 'Future Fuels & Forecourts' will take place at The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London, on September 21, followed by the Forecourt Trader of the Year awards 2006 evening.

Fraud investigation doesn't deter Aleef

Forecourt Trader top 10 independent retailer, Aleef Garages, is under investigation for a large-scale tax fraud. However company director, Anis Patel, said it was business as usual for the forecourt and newsagents chain, and trading was strong. The company operates 29 forecourts and 26 CTNs in the north west.

Site figures drop again

The number of forecourt sites has dropped to 9,626, according to the latest figures published by Catalist.

Anger as reclaim kits 'bought in vain'

Car wash operators have been forced to waste money on unnecessary water recycling systems, following the drought orders by water companies which were threatened but never imposed, according to David Charman of Parkfoot Garage in Kent. He is now demanding an explanation from his supplier, Mid Kent Water, who he says has 'misled' businesses and left them in limbo by not implementing the drought order granted in May.

ACS wants to hear your views

Forecourt retailers are being urged to voice their concerns about rising employment costs, as the government prepares to introduce a number of employee-friendly measures.

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