Forecourt Trader
in brief

PayPoint is the first payment network to offer Noodle top-ups. Noodle is a new mobile phone service which claims to give customers very low-cost national and international calls. Noodle e-vouchers are available in £5, £10 and £20 denominations. PayPoint retailers earn 4% commission.

Glint of hope for flood-hit retailers

Despite the worst floods in living memory, retailers should use the opportunity to improve their businesses, according to James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores.

Task group's final say on Buncefield

The Buncefield Standards Task Group has published its final comprehensive four-part report, following which its work is to be continued by a new group - The Petrochemical Process Safety Leadership Group.

Shell rolls out V-diesel

Shell V-Power diesel is being rolled out nationally following a successful launch in the south east last November.

New name for Garage Watch

The name Garage Watch will now disappear, as the trade association set up during the fuel crisis of 2000 to safeguard the interests of rural retailers becomes fully integrated into the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers.

Summer misery

The rain certainly seems to have been on a mission this summer. And drowning people's homes and businesses seems to have been one of its goals. The pictures of cities and towns under water have made us all shudder, and if you've ever been a victim of a flood you'll know that when the water subsides, that is only the beginning of the trouble. The horrid, smelly, gungy mess that is left behind is the depressing start to months of cleaning up to get properties and lives back in working order.

Gulf signs up two more in race to 200

Gulf Retail's recent signing of the three million-litre Taverham Filling Station near Norwich, moves the company closer to reaching its goal of 200 active sites - it currently has 190.

Forecourt property boom

Last year property agent Christie & Co sold and advised on more forecourt transactions than ever before - and it reports that this trend has continued in the first half of 2007.

Subway expansion hits the 1,000 mark

Subway has opened its 1,000th outlet in the UK and Ireland, and its rapid expansion here includes 30 franchises on forecourts and three in convenience stores. It currently has a further 60 outlets in the forecourt and c-store sectors in development.

Wash out

This summer's floods caused havoc at forecourts across the country - but it was when the water started to drain away that the real problems started.

In the surgery this month - Merringtons Stores, (Premier/Power Fuels) Droxford, Hants

Driving north on the A32 from Fareham towards Alton, I passed through the small village of Droxford. I was wondering how the Murco garage and its unaffiliated shop made a satisfactory living, when about a mile further on I saw a Power fuel pole and then its Premier store.

The dark side

Last month we observed that on the usual indicators of shop efficiency, the forecourt shop had seemingly come of age and was a paragon of success. Surely even the most hard-bitten and cynical petrol retailers had something to smile about? The response from some readers and clients was slightly more sanguine. "Yes," they said. "We're all working twice as hard as 10 years ago - but for the same money."

Service Centre with Jac Roper

== Just following orders ==

The loan arrangers

If you have a thriving business - or even better, a string of them - then fundraising won't be a problem. In fact you are probably familiar with the process and may even have a finance director to rustle up the readies.

Best foot forward

Brother and sister, Babu and Vijaya Sivarajah, run the Aylesford Service Station on the outskirts of Maidstone in Kent. It's on a busy road that runs onto the M20. There are many industrial units nearby, plus a huge Waitrose distribution centre.

Detect to protect

Never has it been more important to take care of your wet stock. Obviously it's an extremely valuable commodity and any losses are money - or fuel - down the drain. However there are bigger issues at stake - namely protecting the environment. Cause damage to the environment and it could cause serious damage to your business not least of all because of the new EU Environmental Liability Directive, which is going through the consultation process, and is based on a 'polluter pays' principle. And don't be mistaken in thinking your insurance will help - it will in some cases, but not all. Because of concerns about the hefty cost of clean-ups, the Association of British Insurers has agreed that public liability policies should cover sudden and accidental pollution but not any gradual pollution or the mandatory clean-up costs involved. So if you've got a leak that's been dripping away for some time you could be in trouble.

Cash flow

This year is the 40th anniversary of the ATM. The first cash machine was unveiled on June 27, 1967 by actor Reg Varney, of On The Buses fame, at a branch of Barclays in Enfield, Middlesex. By last year, according to the payments association, APACS, there were 60,468 ATMs sited across the UK and the total value of withdrawals from those machines was £180bn - an average of £5,702 per second. At present these ATMs provide us with 65% of the cash we need, however APACS expects that figure to rise to 81% by 2016.


consumer lifestyle changes mean sales in the food-to-go sector are rising - but customers are getting very picky about what they eat. A growing number want healthier lines - things like wraps, low-fat sandwiches or even sushi - and these products are slowly finding their way onto forecourts.

Cap fits for advertisers

MagneCap is targeting forecourts with its latest advertising method - which also aims to help drivers avoid misfuelling.

New plant room kit

Istobal has teamed up with Esso to bring out a pre-prepared plant room for car wash or jet wash equipment.

Important mat-ters

Gripfit is offering retailers a fixed-frame mat which it claims is an easier and cheaper alternative to traditional entrance mats.

Chilled efficency

Verco has introduced a new integral and energy-efficient open-chill refrigerated cabinet.

Kiss-me-quick chox

Galaxy Mistletoe Kisses will head up the new Christmas range from Mars. Described as being perfectly suited to the impulse and independent retail sector, they are targeted at the female consumer seeking a little indulgence in the run up to Christmas.

Pizza hits the road

Goodfella's has kick-started a nationwide roadshow to sample its award-winning pizza range.

Lighter bottles for Harrogate

Harrogate Spa Water is being re-packaged in one of the lightest PET bottles on the market.

Colman's saucy move

Colman's has revamped its packet sauce range to reassure consumers that the products contain no artificial colours or preservatives, no hydrogenated fats and no added MSG.

Lucozade refuels ads

Lucozade Energy is continuing its forecourt-specific activity with a new summer campaign.

Mornflake's golden oats

Mornflake has teamed up with Lyle's Golden Syrup to add a new instant porridge to its cereal range in the UK.

Naughty but nice

Luxury ice cream company Haagen-Dazs is boosting its retail profile with a national TV campaign. The naughty ads aim to sum up the enjoyment associated with the brand through communicating 'The Longer Lasting Pleasure' message of slowly melting ice cream. The end frame focuses on the Haagen-Dazs minicup multi-packs - which feature four of the best-selling flavours in individual 100ml portions.

One-a-day snacks

Muller UK is launching a new range of smoothies and yogurts aimed at health-conscious snackers. The One-A-Day yogurts and yogurt drinks contain one fruit portion and are made with natural ingredients.

Take the pain out of stains

Carpet care company 1001 is relaunching its top selling spot stain remover this month. The Trouble Shooter Ultra has a 4-in-1 cleaning action which eliminates stains, neutralises odours, conditions fabric and protects carpets and upholstery from future spills. From mid-August it will come with a new citrus fragrance with a rrp of £2.99.

Pot idol promotion

Fans of Simon Cowell may get the chance to see their idol in the flesh thanks to a promotion by Pot Noodle.

Back of the net

Coca-Cola and Coke-Zero are running a footie-tastic promotion on their cans and bottles this month.

Chocs away

Italian confectionary company Pernigotti has launched its ranges into the UK impulse and forecourt sectors.


Global warming, don't you just love it! Or not. Back in April we were all sweltering and being warned not to waste water as this summer was going to be a scorcher. Cancel those holidays abroad, we won't need to fly anywhere to get a great tan. Just sit in your back garden and soak it up.

How to enter Giveaways

Simply write your name, address and telephone number on a postcard or a sealed envelope stating what you want – Coca Cola or Pernigotti – and we'll do the rest, including delivery. Send it to Forecourt Trader, Broadfield Park, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 9RT by August 31.

Fuel prices - July 31, 2007

How to enter Giveaways

Simply write your name, address and telephone number on a postcard or a sealed envelope stating what you want – Coca Cola or Pernigotti – and we'll do the rest, including delivery. Send it to Forecourt Trader, Broadfield Park, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 9RT by August 31.