Forecourt Trader
Chevron assumes management of UK terminals


MPs say retailers must drop prices

MPs are taking action to make retailers drop their pump prices to match the recent decline

Cheeky and ignorant

MPs taking action to make fuel retailers cut their pump prices? How ridiculously cheeky - and ignorant. It would also be extremely laughable (it's not April 1st is it?) if not for the sobering thought that these nitwits have a hand in running the affairs of the country.

express service

A bigger presence in petrol retailing and on-site convenience stores is at the heart of a continuing strategy of growth and consolidation announced last month by Dennis Woods, chief executive of Petrol Express, part of the GNE Group plc.

Tremendous Trio

Michael Johnston has been running the busy Euro Spar, Castle Wellan site in County Down, Northern Ireland for about three years.

Daylight robbery

Rising fuel prices can cause headaches for retailers, not least because they make forecourts a more attractive target for crime.

Espresso delivery

The fact that Tesco is trialling Starbucks concessions in some of its stores is testament to the power of branded coffee. Tesco does everything from basic coffee to its Finest range yet it views Starbucks as the brand that will bring customers in.

Money for nothing

With most forecourts now focusing on the shop side of their business and on categories like chilled foods, it's easy to overlook non-food items. However, many operators can testify to the success of non-food promotions. These are the things often promoted on the top of petrol pumps offering maps or torches or candles at knockdown prices when you spend so much on fuel. You might be asking yourself who buys such things? And the answer is, loads of people. Asif Ayub, sales director of Fast Trak, says they are great impulse purchases. "We offer everything from high-tech gadgets such as wireless headphones to mugs for mass appeal. I can't really pinpoint a target audience because our products appeal to everyone. For instance we sold shaver sets and hair clippers which we thought would appeal to men. And yes they did, but we also sold clippers to a lady in Wales to use on her horse!"

Is this the dearest fuel in the country?

Allan Henry who runs the John Henry service station in Dalmuir, Clydebank, is selling petrol for 125.9ppl and diesel for 131.9ppl. His prices are so high they were featured in the local Clydebank Post newspaper.

Warning to check contractor status

Petrol retailers are facing the threat of legal action by appointing inexperienced contractors with inadequate training and little industry knowledge, warns Steve Martin, managing director of sign installation specialist Xmo Strata. "With ever changing legislation, dealers need to

Green sales hit the gas

Sales of 'green' cars are expected to overtake 'gas guzzlers' for the first time this year, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Trial shows thieves exactly who's BOSS

The British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS) says it has seen "very encouraging" results from a trial it has been running in Hertfordshire where it acts as the middle-man between retailers and police. The trial, which started in April, is a version

Moto site goes on the nature trail

A Moto service station is to become a gateway to Britain's National Forest.

Soft drinks market is fast losing its fizz

Consumers are drinking soft drinks more regularly - so says a new report from Datamonitor. It states that UK consumers had 2.3 'soft drink occasions' per person in 2006, but this is expected to reach 2.9 occasions by 2009. Matthew Jones, consumer market analyst and author of the report, explained: "Greater knowledge on the importance of hydration, maintaining a healthy diet and an awareness of nutritional needs, together with a growth in scepticism towards sugared carbonates, are all contributing to a dynamic soft drinks market."

in brief

Castrol has signed a channel partner contract with Convenience Distribution Group aimed at improving delivery of products to forecourts nationwide. Convenience Distribution Group has 12 distribution centres around the UK, and Castrol said the deal would offer retailers benefits such as smaller minimum order quantities and faster delivery.

Fuel prices – January 30, 2008

Results of this month's online poll:

With many stock-outs reported in the south over the Christmas period, how concerned are you about the quality of service from your fuel supplier?

More harm than good?

Biofuels have hardly been out of the news recently, and just about everyone seems to have an opinion on whether they are our friend or our foe. One of the many groups joining the debate this month was The Royal Society - an independent academy promoting natural and applied sciences - which issued a warning at a conference it held in London on January 14.

In the surgery this month - Rusdene Services - Birdham, Chichester, West Sussex

GENERAL APPEARANCE: The small village of Birdham is the location of one of the Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies 2007 sites, Rusdene Services. It is a Total forecourt with a Smile-branded shop.

Change the rules of the card game

We've raised the subject of rising credit card costs on forecourts so often that it's almost embarrassing to do so again. Unfortunately with the almost weekly increase in pump prices the issue becomes ever more pressing. So the question is: can the retail petroleum industry still afford to sell its main product under the existing rules of the credit card game?

Service Centre with Jac Roper

== Internet threat ==

Standing ovation

Dresser Wayne, the retail fuelling business of US manufacturer Dresser, Inc, has launched a new high-tech petrol pump with integrated multi-media display.

Compact scales

Avery Berkel has launched a range of counter service scales aimed at smaller independent retailers.

Easier filtration

Lincat has added two powerful new fryers with built-in oil filtration to its heavy duty Opus 700 cooking equipment range. The new products are designed to save money by extending the life of cooking oil by up to 50%.

New look for Coke

Coca-Cola is going back to its roots with a new packaging design across its entire range.

British and proud

Walkers is launching a multi-million pound Home Grown marketing initiative aimed at encouraging customers to celebrate Britishness..

Chill out with Thorntons

Thorntons individual ice cream luxury sticks are coming onto the market this month.

Get up to scratch

Tetrosyl is launching a new range of car care products designed for customers who want to touch up their vehicle's paintwork in one easy application.

Awaken your senses

Nestlé Rowntree is kicking off its biggest ever KitKat launch this month, with a £9m media campaign to support the introduction of KitKat Senses.

Evian keeps up the Detox

This year's continuing Evian Detox campaign is being supported by an increased marketing spend of £1.5m.

Cleaner and greener

CarPlan has launched what it claims is the first eco-friendly range of car care products available from a leading car care brand in the UK automotive market.

Premium ice cream

R&R is launching a stack of products this month which are aimed at the impulse summer ice cream sector.

How to enter giveaways

To claim your Giveaway, simply write your name, address and telephone number on a postcard or sealed envelope stating what you want - The Fabulous Bakin' Boys, Coca Cola, Evian or Gillette - and we'll do the rest, including delivery. Send it to us at Forecourt Trader, William Reed Business Media, Broadfield Park, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 9RT, by February 29.

What the doctor ordered

Stay hydrated during spring with The Juice Doctor, which is giving away three cases of its Hydration Fix drinks to five Forecourt Trader readers.

Smoothie operator

Britvic is relaunching its PJ's Smoothies brand with lower price points and a focus on four key flavours in a bid to attract new consumers to the category.

Sugar free treats

Werther's Original is launching a sugar free variant, and is giving readers the chance to win £50-worth of product. Four prizes are available.

Soups full of goodness

Premier Foods has kicked off a £3m marketing campaign for Batchelors Soupfulls - its new range of filling, wholesome soups.


Unusual name, Jerome. The only time I had come across it before was when it took two Jeromes to get three men up a river in a boat. Presumably thanks to the marvels of modern technology, it now takes just one Jerome to get one bank £3bn up the creek without a paddle! Of course, he would say that if the bank had held its nerve its loss would only have been £1.3bn instead of £3bn.