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January

Moving forward
10 January, 2008

Aleef Garages is one of the biggest names in the UK independent forecourt retail sector, and few in the industry could have failed to spot the recent headlines about the

In the surgery this month - Pump Hill Service Station, Clacton on Sea, Essex
10 January, 2008

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Pump Hill Service Station is on the B1027 which runs between Clacton and Colchester. It is clearly marked by two poles and shares an area with a car sales business.

Credit crunch in the real world
10 January, 2008

January's always a bit of a grim month and this year's could be grimmer as that 'credit crunch' we've all been hearing about since last summer is about to hit - hard and soon. For most of us (at least those among us who don't have an account with Northern Rock), the constant mentions in the news about the problems of huge multinational banking conglomerates may have seemed totally unconnected with the real world, where trade has largely continued as normal.

Service Centre with Jac Roper
10 January, 2008

== New Year, new rules ==

Local and proud
10 January, 2008

Not only were the Frasers named Best Independent with Nine Sites or Less at the Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards back in September, they also picked up the overall category award for Best Neighbourhood site for their Brize Norton Service Station in Oxfordshire.

Only in America
10 January, 2008

The US town of Gainsville is all but invisible from the Lee Highway, the main artery which takes commuters between their jobs in the business hub of Washington DC and their homes in the rolling countryside of Virginia.

It's a bug's Life
10 January, 2008

Failing to look after your tanks and pipework properly could really land you in hot water. Not only can a fuel leak seriously damage and pollute the environment, it could end with a hefty fine. But while leaks are something forecourt operators are well aware of, experts are warning retailers to prepare for another problem - jellyfish. No, not the real variety, but something that resembles these sea creatures - and which could end up growing in your fuel tank. And it's all to do with the growing use of biofuels.

Hot property
10 January, 2008

When an article appeared in The Grocer at the tail end of last year stating that the Co-operative Group had snapped up another seven forecourt sites, Allen Shepherd's phone did not stop ringing. That's because Shepherd is director of corporate retail at Christie & Co, which had handled the sale for QMP, and the calls were from companies wanting to know why they hadn't been alerted to these sites coming on the market. "That just goes to show how in demand forecourts are," says Shepherd. "The market's so hot that we don't need to go onto the open market. We know what buyers are looking for and we tend to pick out three to six parties and sign them up to a confidentiality agreement."

Smoke signals
10 January, 2008

Another year and yet more legislation for the tobacco industry. In 2007 we had the ban on smoking in public places plus the rise in the age at which people could buy tobacco - from 16 to 18. This year we have new laws for lighters plus the introduction of pictorial health warnings. When will it ever end is the obvious question and the answer is probably when every last smoker has given up. However that's a long way off as there are still 13.7 million adult smokers in the UK - yes the numbers fall every year but not as much as one might think given all the anti-smoking activity.

Key to safer storage
10 January, 2008

Securikey is expanding its product offering by introducing a range of high security deep key cabinets aimed at forecourt stores.

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?