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August

In the surgery this month - Merringtons Stores, (Premier/Power Fuels) Droxford, Hants
06 August, 2007

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
06 August, 2007

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
06 August, 2007

== Just following orders ==

The loan arrangers
06 August, 2007

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
06 August, 2007

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
06 August, 2007

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
06 August, 2007

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.

Healthdrive
06 August, 2007

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
06 August, 2007

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

New plant room kit
06 August, 2007

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

As the Government is urged to publish its plans for E10 by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Bioethanol, would you welcome the introduction of E10 as the right next step in cutting automotive carbon emissions?